Romania: Prime Minister Quits as Party Leader Over Corruption Allegations
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned from the leadership of his Social Democrat Party (PSD) over the weekend after prosecutors announced criminal proceedings against him on corruption charges.
Ponta, who vehemently denies wrongdoing, told his followers in a letter published online that other party colleagues had temporarily resigned when facing allegations. “I cannot ask others to make a sacrifice I'm not willing to make myself.” He continued that he would not hold any “leadership position in the party until the moment that I will prove my innocence against the accusations.”
In June, when allegations against Ponta surfaced, Romania’s newly elected president Klaus Iohannis called on Ponta to resign as prime minister, calling it an “impossible situation.” According to the newspaper Romania Libera, today Iohannis said, “My opinion of Victor Ponta remains the same (as) I had expressed since June 5,” but, he said, he would continue to work with Ponta.
Several of Ponta’s colleagues said they do not expect him to step down as prime minister.
This article was amended on November 4, 2015.