Romania annuls emergency

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu announced late Saturday that the government decided to repeal the emergency ordinance which critics and protesters said could help corrupt politicians escape justice.

Romanian government would revoke the emergency ordinance which changed Criminal Code in an emergency meeting on Sunday, Grindeanu told a briefing at the cabinet’s headquarters.

Grindeanu made the announcement after an emergency meeting of the ruling Social Democrats, saying that he did not want the Romanian people to split into two opposing camps.”All the arguments we had in supporting the ordinance were not very well communicated … A lot of confusion was created. And very many distortions that are not related to what was adopted in the end,” he explained, adding that the Justice Ministry and the justice minister will assume all consequences.

The prime minister said that he would soon initiate a consultation with other parties and send to the Parliament at the shortest a draft law on the amending Criminal Code.

The emergency ordinance, which was passed on Jan. 31, triggered huge protests in Romania over the past several days. On Saturday, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in the capital of Bucharest.

Chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party Liviu Dragnea said he would talk with other political parties of the ruling coalition and with the prime minister to propose a solution to this deadlock.

According to Dragnea, he felt that he could no longer control local organizations that can bring to the streets in Bucharest some one million people for a counter-protest.

“We can not assist in crushing Romania,” he said.

“This is not ceding in front of an opponent, but having the wisdom to think about the interest of the country,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Senate Speaker and co-Chair of the co-ruling Alliance for Liberals and Democrats, told a local private television broadcaster.

The emergency ordinance has redefined, and partially decriminalized abuse of office offenses.

After the ordinance was adopted, Justice Minister Florin Iordache said that abuse of office was to be considered a crime only if the damages exceeded 200,000 lei (47,500 U.S. dollars).

However, the opposition complained that the changes to the criminal law would likely prevent some politicians charged with crimes from being punished.

Local analysts wondered whether the demonstrations across the country would come to an end after the government’s concession, or the protesters would request the government to step down.Media agencies

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