Thursday, November 5, 2015

After PM's resignation, Romania still shrouded in uncertainty

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Wednesday announced his resignation over the Friday club fire tragedy, yet the move does not seem to quell public discontent with the political class.

Protesters were gathering in the streets for the second day on Wednesday, but with a much bigger number, chanting slogans and holding banners against the political class, in the country's major cities. They said they wanted a "technocrat" government, instead of the one composed of "politicians."

Ponta announced giving up the premiership after massive demonstrations on Tuesday night demanded his resignation and departure of some other officials, including Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea, and Cristian Popescu Piedone, mayor of Bucharest's Sector 4, where a fire broke out Friday last week in a club, killing 32 people and injuring more than 180 others.

The National Liberal Party, the main opposition, proposed holding snap elections through a political agreement, following Ponta's resignation. The party's co-chair Alina Gorghiu called the protest "categorically a powerful warning that Romanian citizens, the civil society in Romania gives to the political class, to society in its entirety."

However, the Social Democrat Party, major at rule, disagreed with the proposal of the main opposition, stressing that the ruling coalition currently is a stable political structure. According to the party's national leader Liviu Dragnea, snap elections would mean a time of instability and blockages at a governmental level. "That would mean that starting today and for months on end there will be an unstable government and an acting prime minister, but the budget law has to be approved as the winter is coming and an unstable government will not be able to keep things under control," said the national leader.

Under normal circumstances, Romania is to hold parliamentary elections in December 2016. No dissolution of the parliament has taken place in the country since 1990.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced holding the first round of consultations with parliamentary parties on Thursday and Friday in a bid to cope with the current situation.

  Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
  5/11/15

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