Several hundred persons on Sunday gathered at the fountain in University Square asking the resignation of Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea, after traffic police officer Bogdan Gigina died last Tuesday during his mission to accompany deputy premier Oprea’s motorcade. Similar protests have been also staged in other cities in the country.
Demonstrators said the action was not an organized one, but a way of protest staged by people who want to condemn “the abuses of any ruling dignitary.”
The meeting initially began in front of the Government building, then demonstrators returned to Universitate Square on Calea Victoriei, blocking the traffic.
They also stopped by the Interior Ministry HQs, asking for Oprea’s resignation but also for the one of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, arguing the premier is covering Oprea. “Oprea, resign”, “Ponta, resign”, “Shame on you”, “Oprea, down, you are a mobster”, “Oprea, you cannot hold on not with thousands of Securitate officers”, “Oprea commits crimes, Ponta is supporting him”, were some of the slogans chanted by the angry demonstrators.
The manifestants who left from the Interior Ministry to Victoria Palace ironically shouted they needed a motorcade, as “there might be potholes” on the way.
Before being on the move to Interior Ministry’s HQs, they kept a moment of silence in memory of police officer Bogdan Gigina and expressed their condolences to his family.
Motorcyclists from Transylvania also held a commemorative march in Cluj-Napoca in Gigina’s memory, dubbed by a protest meeting asking for minister Oprea’s resignation in Unirii Square.
On Saturday, almost 300 motorcyclists lit candles and kept a moment of silence at the very place Bogdan Gigina died. The event was organized by the Motor Club Community in Romania.
Interior Ministry gives first official answer, yet makes no clearing
Also on Sunday morning, the Interior Ministry sent the first official answer regarding to the death of the traffic police officer who was in Gabriel Oprea’s motorcade, claiming neither the ministry nor the minister cannot present details on this topic before the investigation is over.
However, the Bucharest Prosecutor’s Office that is investigating the case says that the Interior Ministry, the Romanian Police and Bucharest Police had only given partial information about the circumstances of the accident.
President Iohannis, Opposition take stand
While in Arad on Sunday to attend the ceremonies on Army Day, president Klaus Iohannis said “it’s inadmissible” the Government should not take an official stand in the accident case, calling “Mr. Ponta and Oprea to hurry in front of the microphones to give explanations.”
In his turn, the National Liberal Party first vice-president, Catalin Predoiu told a press conference on Sunday that his party will keep asking for deputy premier Gabriel Oprea’s resignation, arguing the party’s action is not based on a political reckoning.