Romania's president appoints education minister as interim PM

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2015 4:53 AM

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis appointed outgoing Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu to be interim prime minister on Thursday, replacing Victor Ponta, who resigned the previous day amid protests across the country.

An estimated 25,000 people marched in Bucharest on Wednesday evening and thousands more poured onto the streets of cities throughout Romania, demanding resignations after a fire killed 32 and injured hundreds in a Bucharest nightclub at the weekend.

"I have an important message to make for you: I saw you, I heard you, your demands matter to me," Iohannis said.

The protesters said the leftist government's resignation should be just the beginning of widespread reforms in a political system widely seen as corrupt.

Ponta's resignation is expected to produce a new cabinet, probably led by a technocrat. Iohannis said he will consult political parties and civil society on a new premier in the next two days, and a nomination might emerge by the end of the week.

Among the names advanced by some politicians are Dacian Ciolos, a former European agriculture commissioner; Vasile Dancu, a sociologist; and Florin Georgescu, first deputy governor of the central bank.

(Reporting by Radu Marinas, editing by Larry King)