Romania appoints Sorin Campeanu as new interim Prime Minister

BUCHAREST (TIP): Romania’s President on Nov 5 appointed Education Minister Sorin Campeanu as interim Prime Minister to replace Victor Ponta, who quit following mass anti-government protests sparked by a deadly nightclub fire.

Klaus Iohannis named Campeanu to lead a temporary administration ahead of talks with political parties on Thursday over forming a new government.

Ponta quit on Wednesday after a horrific fire at a Bucharest nightclub left 32 people dead, prompting tens of thousands of people to take to the streets demanding a “profound change” in the government as a wave of grief and anger swept the country.

The venue was not authorised to hold concerts or stage the pyrotechnic display that sparked the fire.

Many protesters saw last Friday’s tragedy at the Colectiv club as a sign that nothing has changed in one of Europe’s poorest and most corruption-prone nations.

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Ponta himself has been under pressure for weeks over charges of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering that have made him the first Romanian head of government to go on trial.

He said it was right for top officials to take responsibility over the fire, which sparked a stampede as panicked revellers desperately tried to get out, leaving nearly 200 people injured.

Ponta’s resignation has failed to stop the protests and some 10,000 demonstrators, most of them young, took to the streets of Bucharest on Thursday, the third night running.

They were protesting against corruption among the political classes they hold responsible for the nightclub deaths.

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