Romania names interim premier after Ponta resignation


Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday appointed the country’s education minister as the interim prime minister following Victor Ponta’s resignation a day earlier.

Sorin Cimpreanu will remain in his Education Ministry post until the parliament appoints a new prime minister and government.

Iohannis is to hold talks with all parliamentary parties before nominating a successor for Ponta who is capable of mustering a majority support.

Early elections will be called if the procedure fails to produce a government after two attempts.

Ponta resigned on Wednesday amid massive protests over a blaze at a nightclub five days earlier that killed 32 and seriously injured dozens.

The protesters blame Romanian authorities for widespread corruption which, among else, allows venues to operate without enforcing safety standards.

Ponta faced pressure to resign before the blaze. On September 21, he became Romania’s first sitting prime minister to go on trial for corruption, facing charges of forgery, tax evasion and money laundering worth at least 180,000 lei (45,000 dollars).