Romanian president: Country is in crisis

Romanian president: Country is in crisisRomania's president said lawmakers the country is in a "fully-fledged" political crisis as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against a government measure that would weaken the country's anti-corruption drive, AP reported on Tuesday.

In an address to Parliament, President Klaus Iohannis said the majority of Romanians now believed the country was going in the wrong direction.

"Romania needs a government that is transparent, which governs predictably by the light of day, not sneakily at night," the president said, referring to the late hour the government passed an emergency ordinance last week aimed at decriminalizing some forms of official corruption.

The move — which bypassed Parliament and was not signed off by Iohannis, who has limited powers — ignited the biggest protests seen since communism ended in the country in 1989. As a result, the government will now seek to introduce the plan in Parliament.

Some lawmakers booed and shouted "shame on you!" at Iohannis and walked out. Other lawmakers cheered.

Despite the crisis, Iohannis said Romania did not need early elections, a view the government shares.

In his speech, Iohannis pressed ahead with an earlier initiative to hold a referendum on another government idea to pardon prisoners. Critics say the proposal will help government allies convicted of corruption.
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