250,000 people are protesting government decree in Romania

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
February 2, 2017World News
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Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on February 2 he had filed a challenge with the Constitutional Court to a government decree decriminalizing some graft offenses and which has brought hundreds of thousands of Romanians out in protest.

“It is obviously a legal constitutional conflict between the government and the judicial system and parliament,” Iohannis said in a televised news conference.

He called on the Social Democrat-led government to repeal the decree, adopted late on Tuesday and which will enter into force in a little over one week unless the Constitutional Court rules against it.

Romania‘s top judicial watchdog has also filed a court challenge to the decree.

More than a quarter of a million Romanians venting their anger on the streets.

One of the largest ever protests against the government in the capital Bucharest, with thousands more across the nation, after a decree passed this week that could set dozens of officials jailed for corruption free.

“We came to protect our country against criminals; who tried to dismiss the rule of law in Romania, to protect our rights and interests, not theirs,” one protester said.

Police on Wednesday (February 2) arresting dozens of violent soccer fans in the city square after larger protests left, teargassing hundreds of them after they threw fireworks and stones at riot officers.

The decree would apply to ongoing corruption probes AND new cases and effectively throw out the trial of the ruling Social Democrat party’s leader, Liviu Dragnea accused of abusing his power to secure state salaries for people working for his party.

Six countries including Germany and the U.S. issuing warnings the decree would damage Romania‘s global reputation and its EU and NATO membership.

The ruling government of Prime Minister Sorin Griendenau also approved a draft bill to grant prison pardons, saying it could thin out overcrowded prisons – a claim critics and legions of protesters call an attempt to free corrupt allies of the Prime Minister.

(REUTERS)

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