Tens of thousands rally in Romanian capital for corruption protest

Tens of thousands rally in Romanian capital for corruption protest
By Mark Armstrong

The government supporters are angry at the manner in which corruption is being investigated

Over a hundred thousand government supporters gathered in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Saturday to protest alleged abuses by prosecutors investigating corruption.

The ruling Social Democrats think investigators have too much power, claiming that they have tapped phones illegally and targetted officials without sufficient cause.

"I came here to support a correct justice," said one protestor, not one that’s made with fake penal cases and lying witnesses"

The anti-corruption office says it successfully prosecuted over 700 officials in 2017 including a senator and critics of the rally say it is aimed at intimidating judges and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who supports the fight against corruption.

"It is very peculiar to have a rally made by the parties that are in power against what they call the deep state. The deep state is usually very linked with conspiracy theories," said Professor Andrei Țăranu, a doctor in political sciences, National School of Political Sciences and Administration (SNSPA).

Last year Romania saw the biggest protests since the fall of communism after the government tried to decriminalise minor official misconduct.

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