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Romania PM Ponta resigns over Bucharest nightclub fire

Photo by AFP

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has said he is resigning, a day after some 20,000 people took to the streets to protest against a nightclub fire that left 32 people dead, the BBC reports.

Friday night’s blaze in Bucharest started when a band performing at the club set off fireworks.

Demonstrators called for Mr Ponta to step down, complaining of government corruption and poor safety supervision.

Mr Ponta is already facing trial on corruption charges.

He became the first sitting Romanian prime minister to be formally accused of corruption during the summer on allegations of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering dating back several years.

He repeatedly denied the charges, accusing prosecutors of being “totally unprofessional”.

Mr Ponta said on Wednesday he was “handing in my mandate, I’m resigning, and implicitly my government too”.

“I hope the government’s resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets,” he said on Romanian TV.

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