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Romania rocked over PM Ponta’s alleged corruption

Romania rocked over PM Ponta’s alleged corruption
By Chris Harris with REUTERS/AFP
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Romania has been plunged into crisis after its president called for Prime Minister Victor Ponta to resign over alleged corruption.

Prosecutors named Ponta as a suspect for crimes including forgery, money-laundering, conflict of interest and tax evasion earlier on Friday (June 5).

President Klaus Iohannis called for him to step down, saying his position was untenable in the circumstances.

Ponta, who lost out to Iohannis in Romania’s presidential election last November, denied any wrongdoing and claimed the accusations brought against him had previously been put forward by his political enemies.

President Iohannis, in a televised address, said: “I am of the opinion that we are at the heart of an impossible situation for Romania, with a prime minister suspected of criminal doings. I asked for the resignation of Victor Ponta.”

Investigators suspect Ponta of conflict of interest in his role as prime minister, which he has held since 2012.

They are also interested in his past when he was a lawyer and his relationship with Dan Sova, a former transport minister, who is the object of a corruption enquiry, report AFP.

The next parliamentary elections in Romania are due at the end of 2016.

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