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Romania's Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca denies plagiarising his thesis

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By Euronews
Nicolae Ciuca was sworn in as Romania's Prime Minister less than two months ago.
Nicolae Ciuca was sworn in as Romania's Prime Minister less than two months ago.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alexandru Dobre

Romania's main opposition party has demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă after allegations that plagiarised part of his thesis.

A Romanian journalist has claimed that nearly a third of Ciucă's 138-page doctoral thesis contained plagiarised content.

The former military officer -- who only took office in November -- has denied the allegations and says the thesis was "honestly written ... according to the legal requirements existing at that time."

“These public accusations cannot be scientifically substantiated in any way,” he added in a post on Facebook.

Dacian Cioloș -- the leader of the opposition USR-PLUS alliance and a former Prime Minister -- has called on Ciucă to "urgently clarify" the allegations.

The thesis in question was published before Ciucă received his doctorate in military sciences from the National Defence University in Bucharest in 2013.

An investigation by journalist Emilia Sercan claims that up to 42 pages of the work were copied from printed texts "that could not be detected by an anti-plagiarism programme".

Similar investigations into plagiarism have forced Romania's Interior Ministry to reform certain regulations, while Sercan has received death threats.

Last month, the country's former minister of innovation and digitalisation resigned after it was revealed that he had lied on his CV.

Additional sources • EFE