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​Romanian politicians, people react to prison sentence applied to political leader Dragnea. PM Dancila attacks judges, defends boss

de Editorial Staff
Vineri, 22 iunie 2018, 9:23 English | Top News

Protest impotriva PSD-ALDE in Piata Victoriei
Foto: Agerpres
A court decision on Thursday to sentence the leader of the governing Social Democrats (PSD) Liviu Dragnea to 3 years and a half under abuse in office charges has sparked a wave of reactions. While Dragnea himself, who is expected to appeal, remained silent, the head of his government defended him publicly and attacked judges who chose the sentence. In the streets of Bucharest, people protested again, while the opposition called for Dragnea's resignation as House speaker. Upheaval is expected within the PSD as well.

  • Some 7,000 people took to the streets in Bucharest for a new day of protests sparked by PSD moves to change the criminal procure code, a move seen as a means to undermine the fight against corruption. This time around, people were also celebrating the sentence applied to Dragnea

  • Meanwhile, PM Viorica Dancila, generally seen as a decoy for Dragnea (who could not serve as prime minister due to a previous sentence for electoral fraud), issued a press statement claiming that those who call for Dragnea's resignation were in "serious breach of the Constitution". That is, because Dragnea would not have to be held accountable until a final verdict in the case.

  • Dancila also attacked judges who issued the verdict, saying the verdict showed the arbitrariness that governed how law was applied in Romania

  • Other ministers handpicked by Dragnea to be members of the government, including Home minister Carmen Dan, also lent their support for their leader.

  • Meanwhile, Dragnea's opponents within the PSD were expected to move on Friday when a party leadership meeting was expected. While dozens of territorial party branches, party leaders and members of the government voiced support for Dragnea, others, including former PM Mihai Tudose, were attempting to draw the support of as many leaders as possible to replace Dragnea as party leader.

  • All major opposition parties called for Dragnea's resignation as House speaker. The leader of the Liberals, Ludovic Orban, said Romania could no longer be "suffocated by an individual and his dominating clan". The opposition had previously tabled a censure motion against the government

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