6 February 2017

Romania leader: govt won't resign in face of mass protests

Tens of thousands of people shine lights from mobile phones and torches during a protest in front of the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Romania's government met Sunday to repeal an emergency decree that decriminalizes official misconduct, a law that has prompted massive protests at home and widespread condemnation from abroad.
The leader of Romania's ruling center-left coalition says the government won't resign following the biggest demonstrations since the end of communism against a measure that would ease up on corruption.
Social Democratic chairman Liviu Dragnea emerged from a meeting with governing partners Monday saying that "we unreservedly expressed our support for the government ... and the prime minister."

On Sunday, the government backed down following six days of street protests from an emergency ordinance that would decriminalize abuse in office by officials if the amount involved was less than about $48,500. It plans to introduce another version of the law in Parliament, where it has a majority.
Dragnea, the major power broker in the government, is banned from being prime minister because of conviction in April 2016 for vote rigging. 
(AP)      
Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea, whose path to becoming prime minister is effectively blocked by corruption charges, talks to the media in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. The largest anti-government crowds since the violent 1989 revolution that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu succeed in pressuring Romania's new government to repeal a hastily adopted decree that would have eased penalties for official corruption.
Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea, whose path to becoming prime minister is effectively blocked by corruption charges, talks to the media in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. The largest anti-government crowds since the violent 1989 revolution that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu succeed in pressuring Romania's new government to repeal a hastily adopted decree that would have eased penalties for official corruption.
Members of the parliament prepare for a session in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. The largest anti-government crowds since the violent 1989 revolution that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu succeed in pressuring Romania's new government to repeal a hastily adopted decree that would have eased penalties for official corruption.
Members of the parliament prepare for a session in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. The largest anti-government crowds since the violent 1989 revolution that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu succeed in pressuring Romania's new government to repeal a hastily adopted decree that would have eased penalties for official corruption.                 
Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea, whose path to becoming prime minister is effectively blocked by corruption charges, talks to the media in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. The largest anti-government crowds since the violent 1989 revolution that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu succeed in pressuring Romania's new government to repeal a hastily adopted decree that would have eased penalties for official corruption.
Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea, whose path to becoming prime minister is effectively blocked by corruption charges, talks to the media in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. The largest anti-government crowds since the violent 1989 revolution that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu succeed in pressuring Romania's new government to repeal a hastily adopted decree that would have eased penalties for official corruption.           
Tens of thousands of people shine lights from mobile phones and torches during a protest in front of the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Romania's government met Sunday to repeal an emergency decree that decriminalizes official misconduct, a law that has prompted massive protests at home and widespread condemnation from abroad.
Tens of thousands of people shine lights from mobile phones and torches during a protest in front of the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Romania's government met Sunday to repeal an emergency decree that decriminalizes official misconduct, a law that has prompted massive protests at home and widespread condemnation from abroad. 
People carry effigies depicting, from right, Social Democratic party leader Liviu Dragnea, former President Ion Iliescu, Senate head Calin Popescu Tariceanu and former Premier Victor Ponta during a protest in front of the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Romania's government met Sunday to repeal an emergency decree that decriminalizes official misconduct, a law that has prompted massive protests at home and widespread condemnation from abroad. Banner reads "Resignation"
People carry effigies depicting, from right, Social Democratic party leader Liviu Dragnea, former President Ion Iliescu, Senate head Calin Popescu Tariceanu and former Premier Victor Ponta during a protest in front of the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Romania's government met Sunday to repeal an emergency decree that decriminalizes official misconduct, a law that has prompted massive protests at home and widespread condemnation from abroad. Banner reads "Resignation"

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