Europe

Romania president names interim PM Cimpeanu as protests go on

  • 5 November 2015
  • From the section Europe
Media captionProtesters took part in a second night of demonstrations in Bucharest

Romania's president has appointed Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu as interim prime minister after protests led to the downfall of Victor Ponta.

The protesters have blamed widespread corruption for the deaths of 32 people in a nightclub fire and want widespread political reform.

President Klaus Iohannis has said he will hold further talks before making a final decision on a new prime minister.

He said he would consult civil society groups as well as political leaders.

"I will, for Friday afternoon, call a group that represents both the civil society and what we call the street. It is important to me to know their views and options," he announced.

Mr Cimpeanu will take over the role of prime minister until a new leader is nominated and approved by parliament. Without parliamentary approval, early elections will have to be called.

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Image caption Former Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned following mass protests

Mr Ponta, who is facing trial on corruption charges, had earlier gone on national TV to say he hoped his resignation would "satisfy the people who came out in the streets".

But tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bucharest and other cities on Wednesday, for the second night running, demanding change.

The protesters' initial anger was directed at the authorities because they said the Colectiv nightclub, where Friday night's fire took place, had only been able to open because of bribery.

More than 100 people are still being treated for their injuries and there are fears the number of fatalities could rise.

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