News Daily Spot: Romanian opposition demands early elections after resignation of Ponta

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Romanian opposition demands early elections after resignation of Ponta

The National Liberal Party (PNL), the leading Romanian opposition has demanded the calling of early general elections following the resignation Wednesday of the government headed by Social Democrat Victor Ponta.

"Early elections mean a new Parliament that has the legitimacy of the vote," said Alina Gorghiu, president of the Liberal National Party, center-right, Efe reported.

Ponta, prime minister since 2012 and is currently on trial for corruption, announced his resignation and that of the entire Executive to take responsibility for the death last Friday of 32 people in a fire at a nightclub that breach safety standards.

Some 20,000 people took to the streets yesterday in Bucharest to demand the departure of Ponta and Minister of Interior in a protest which was linked inaction in the fight against corruption to the lack of security controls.

"This was a demonstration against neglect, arrogance and corruption in the administration," said Gorghiu.

Romanian Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea said today that both Ponta as he decided to resign yesterday.

"Together we decided that we should hear the voice of the street," Oprea said.

Ponta also justified his abandonment of power by the tragedy on Friday and popular anger.

"I have an obligation to recognize the legitimate anger that exists in society," he said.

"I hope the waiver of my mandate and my Government meet the demands of the demonstrators," continued Ponta.

The outgoing prime minister, who is on trial for tax evasion, money laundering and forgery, had ruled out resigning now on those charges of corruption, but announced he would not run in the general elections of 2016.

It is expected that in the coming hours the three parties in the governing center-left coalition will address the formation of a new government.

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