Iohannis on TVR: Ponta told me he’d consider resignation

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President Klaus Iohannis told TVR public broadcaster on Friday night that Prime Minister Victor Ponta told him he would think about resignation, during their conversation at Cotroceni Palace earlier in the day.

‘He told me he will think about [the request for his resignation], he will probably seek the advice of his party colleagues and come to a decision accordingly. I believe and hope the decision will be his resignation,’ Iohannis told TVR.

‘Such statements when things are hot, as in this case, should be taken reticently. I am convinced that one day or maybe two days will be needed to clear things up and I hope that next week we will have the denouement of this stage in the political crisis. (…) Irrespective of how we look at things, we cannot ignore what happened today at the National Anticorruption Directorate. It is something that has and will continue to have deep consequences in Romania’s politics,’ said Iohannis.

The Romanian President stated that Victor Ponta’s resignation is the only possibility now of quickly getting out of this situation, expressing hope that it won’t come to the premier’s impeachment and that the first option, the best, is that Government should resign.

“It’s a unprecedented situation that has a special political weight. The fact the incumbent premier is charged with criminal actions makes us in a difficult position, as a country, which has to be managed quickly and properly. It is out of the question that a person charged with criminal deeds should be premier (…) For that reason I asked for the premier’s resignation. It is the only solution now to get out of this situation quickly. Obviously, the benefit of doubt is functioning, but in politics things are not that simple and anywhere in the world a high-ranking politician charged with criminal acts is quitting so that he should not jeopardize the image of the country he represents,” the president argued.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta refused to resign on Friday, as asked by President Klaus Iohannis, saying he was appointed to the office by Parliament and Parliament alone can dismiss him.

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