The Latest: Thousands protest in Romania for 3rd day running

AP News
Posted: Nov 05, 2015 3:37 PM
The Latest: Thousands protest in Romania for 3rd day running

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The latest on the fallout from a fire at a Bucharest nightclub on Friday that left more than 30 dead. All times local.

10:40 p.m.

Thousands of Romanian protested for a third day demanding early elections and an end to widespread corruption after a nightclub fire killed more than 30 people and led to the collapse of the government.

Some 10,000 staged a protest in University Square, a traditional site of anti-government demonstrations, waving huge Romanian flags Thursday evening.

"We want to work, but corruption is killing us!" read one banner.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned with his Cabinet on Wednesday after mass street protests demanded he step down.


3:54 p.m.

The U.S. Ambassador to Romania has praised mass anti-corruption protests that erupted after a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 and led to the collapse of the Romanian government.

"These past days have been both dynamic and very moving," said U.S. Ambassador Hans G. Klemm.

Protests continued even after Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his Cabinet resigned Wednesday. People are calling for better governance and more accountability.

"We applaud the non-violent exercise of freedom of speech and assembly, and encourage all Romanians to stay engaged in the civic process," Klemm said.


11:55 a.m.

Romania's president has named the education minister as interim premier following the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet.

President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday he was naming Sorin Campeanu to hold the fort until a new prime minister is named and approved by Parliament.

Parliament has two opportunities to vote on a new government. If that fails, early elections are called.

Iohannis praised street demonstrations that have erupted in the past two days and said he was listening to what protesters had to say

"I have a message for protesters. I saw you, I heard you, I will take into account your demands."

He said he would meet political parties for political talks. He added he would bring "a new actor" to the table.

"I will meet a group which represents civil society and the street. It is important for me. I want to know their wishes and opinions."


11:30 a.m.

Romania's president will name an interim prime minister after Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned following mass protests over a nightclub fire that left more than 30 people dead.

President Klaus Iohannis will name the caretaker premier later Thursday. He will hold talks with political parties later in the day and will nominate a new prime minister later this week, tasked with forming a new government, which needs parliamentary approval.

If this fails twice, early elections will be called. Scheduled parliamentary elections are not due until December 2016.

Thousands demonstrated this week demanding early elections and better governance.

Ponta has proposed Defense Minister Mircea Dusa as interim prime minister.