Romania: PM Victor Ponta steps down over night club fire
Nov 4, Bucharest: The Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced his resignation after mass protests in the capital over the night club fire that killed over 30 people last week.
"I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too," Ponta said in a statement on Wednesday. "I hope the government's resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets." However, the Romanian PM also added that he would Ponta said he would stay on until a new government is in place.
President Klaus Iohannis will name a prime minister to form a new government, which needs to be approved by parliament.
Deputy leader of the opposition Liberal Party, Catalin Predoiu, hailed the resignations. "This is a victory of the street. It is a lesson for all politicians," he said.
Large crowds had gathered on the streets of the capital calling for the fall of the current government. Cries of "shame on you" and "assassins" filled the streets of Bucharest as thousands of people rallied on Tuesday demanding cabinet resignations as the death toll from the fire at the Collective nightclub rose to 32.
The Romanian cabinet has been facing charges of wide-spread corruption and it has been accused of ignoring safety norms if private companies scratch their backs. In September, Ponta became the first sitting Romanian prime minister to go on trial for corruption. He faces allegations of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. He was one of three people who resigned under pressure from the protesters.
The Oslo Times