Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta has secured political immunity in a criminal investigation after his leftist government survived a no-confidence vote on Friday.
Analysts expected the centrists challenge to the government to fail and in the end the opposition fell short by 84 votes. Parliament had blocked the criminal investigation into Ponta on Tuesday.
Hundreds of protesters across the country took to the streets calling for Ponta’s resignation while the vote was in progress.
“We want Victor Ponta to resign. He is under corruption charges and he himself declared that he will step down in such a situation. But he didn’t and this is one of the many reasons why we want him gone,” said one protester, while another added:
“I want a clean Parliament and government which really represent me. Protesting is the way to do it. We will protest until the politicians from Bucharest get the message.”
The demands for the PM’s resignation come after he was questioned on suspicion of forgery, tax evasion and money laundering.
Ponta has denied any wrong doing. “What does it mean? We have a government, we have a majority, let’s get back to work,” he said after the vote.
Another no-confidence motion is due in the autumn.