icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Romanian govt resigns amid protests over deadly nightclub blaze

Romanian govt resigns amid protests over deadly nightclub blaze
The Romanian cabinet has resigned in response to nationwide mass protests that followed a deadly fire in a Bucharest nightclub in which 32 people died, Ministers said they would continue to carry out their duties until a new government is formed.

“I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too,” AP cited Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta as saying in a statement Wednesday. The PM said he was “obliged to take note of the legitimate grievances which exist in society.”

“I hope handing in my and my government's mandate will satisfy the demands of protesters,” Ponta said.


The PM stepped down after an estimated 20,000 protesters took to the streets of Bucharest, the Romanian capital, demanding the resignations of PM Ponta, Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea and the mayor of the district where the nightclub was located.

On Monday, the crowds in the streets of Romanian capital waved national flags, chanting “Assassins!” and “Shame on you!”

The Romanian government has long been perceived as corrupt, and Friday’s nightclub tragedy brought emotions to boiling point.

Cristian Popescu Piedone, the mayor of the Bucharest district where the nightclub fire took place, told reporters he is morally guilty for the deadliest fire in Romania's history. 

“I assume the moral blame. As for the legal [blame], I will leave it to justice to pronounce,” Piedone said.

“I understand what is being asked and what is expected, and they are right, someone has to take political responsibility,” President Klaus Iohannis wrote on his Facebook page late Tuesday, adding that “the next step is for politicians, who cannot ignore this sentiment of revolt.”

“We need a new start,” Alina Gorghiu, co-leader of the leading opposition Liberal Party, said Wednesday.

New elections are needed “to resolve the crisis we find ourselves in,” and give Romania “a new parliament legitimized by a popular vote,” AP cited Gorghiu as saying.

On Friday, October 30, 32 people lost their lives and nearly 180 were injured in an explosion and fire which happened during a heavy metal concert accompanied by a pyrotechnics show at the Colectiv nightclub.

After fire broke out in the basement of the club, it ignited foam décor, which prompted scores of panicked spectators to try and escape through a single door.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.