Romania PM Ponta Resigns Over Bucharest Nightclub Fire

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Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has resigned after some 20,000 people took to the streets to protest over a nightclub fire that killed 32 people.
Friday night’s blaze in Bucharest started when a band performing at the club set off fireworks inside.
Demonstrators called for Mr Ponta to step down, complaining of government corruption and poor safety supervision.
“I’m handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too,” Mr Ponta said in a statement.
“I hope the government’s resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets,” he added.
Ponta under fire
In September, Mr Ponta became the first sitting Romanian prime minister to go on trial charged with corruption. He faces allegations of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.
He denies the charges and has accused prosecutors of being “totally unprofessional”.
The protesters have also demanded the resignation of the mayor of the Bucharest district where the nightclub fire occurred and the country’s Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea.
Mr Oprea, the leader of Romania’s junior ruling coalition party, the UNPR, remains in his position.


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