The Latest: Romanian leader: confidence vote wasn't needed

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Posted: Feb 08, 2017 9:53 AM
The Latest: Romanian leader: confidence vote wasn't needed

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The Latest on the political situation in Romania (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

Romania's prime minister says there was no good reason to file a motion of no-confidence in the government, following days of massive protests against a government measure to ease off on the corruption fight.

The center-left government of Premier Sorin Grindeanu, which has a solid parliamentary majority, easily survived the motion on Wednesday.

Grindeanu said he had understood the message of the protests, against an emergency government ordinance last week to decriminalize some aspects of official corruption.

However, he said the opposition which filed the no-confidence motion against his government had "the constitutional right... but it's hard not to notice that we don't have a reason for this vote."

The government withdrew the decree and it will now be submitted to parliament for debate.

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3:55 p.m.

Romania's center-left government has survived a parliamentary vote of no confidence after mass protests.

Ioana Bran, the parliamentary secretary said 161 lawmakers voted in support of the motion, short of the 232 votes needed for it to pass.

"We can say that the necessary majority has not been met, according to the constitution, for the vote to pass," Bran said.

Hundreds of thousands of people protested against the government after it passed an emergency ordinance last week to decriminalize some official corruption.

The government eventually scrapped the ordinance and the bill will now be debated and approved by the parliament.

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3:35 p.m.

The president of Romania says the fight to contain corruption in his country shows the "ugly face of politics" and praised protesters for standing up to block a measure that would have eased up on public officials who abuse their power while in office.

President Klaus Iohannis told The Associated Press Wednesday that massive street protests had been successful for the moment in stopping an emergency decree that would have weakened anti-corruption efforts.

He said he was pleased that protesters cared about the future of Romania and made their feelings known in peaceful demonstrations.

"I was surprised by the size of the crowd," he said. "Having over 200,000 people in Piata Victoriei (Victory Square) is something extraordinary.