Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced the resignation of his government Wednesday following huge protests in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people.
“I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too” Ponta said in a statement. He said the government would stay on until a new one is in place. “I am obliged to take note of the legitimate grievances which exist in society” said Ponta.
Although former Prime Minister said: “I hope handing in my and my government’s mandate will satisfy the demands of protesters”, the protests continue in Romania’s capital and the main cities. People ask about the Parliament resign and early elections. Romania is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections in December 2016, but some are now predicting that they could be held as early as the spring, with an interim cabinet in place until then.
About 20,000 people took to the streets of Bucharest on Tuesday evening in a spontaneous protest calling for the resignation of Ponta, the interior minister, Gabriel Oprea, and the mayor of the district where the Colectiv nightclub was located.
UPDATE: As protests in Romania continue, despite the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, it has become clear that Cioloș will take over as prime minister until elections are held in December 2016, said Euroactiv.com.
”Having the former Commissioner in charge seems like a good idea. Not only will it be seen well in Brussels, but Cioloș is one of the rare public figures in Romania who is not perceived as corrupt. Indeed, Cioloș didn’t spend much time in public office in Romania. Before becoming Commissioner in 2009, he worked for the European Commission’s delegation to Romania, and before that, as a scholar on internships in France. His wife Valérie is French.”