Romanian justice minister quits over corruption decree

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"However, for the public opinion this was not enough, so I have made a decision to submit my resignation", he added.

The demonstrations - attracting hundreds of thousands of people - have been the country's largest since the fall of communism in 1989.

"The fight against corruption.will continue to be one of the priories of the Romanian government", he told reporters. Mr Iordache drafted the bill, which the government withdrew following the public outcry.

Minister of Justice, Florin Iordache, has announced about his resignation from the position of Minister of Justice.

A few days ago, Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said the Justice Ministry and Iordache would take responsibility for the poor communication and confusion related to the adoption of this emergency ordinance.

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Grindeanu, who took over in early January following a strong win for the Social Democrats in December 11 elections, on Wednesday soundly defeated an opposition no-confidence motion in parliament.

The ordinance would have decriminalized abuse in office by officials if the amount involved was less than about $48,500. Large-scale protests have been a major feature of Romania's image in recent years, prompted by a variety of proximate causes.

The bill was promoted by the government as a means of ending prison overcrowding and to align some laws with the country's Constitution.

Bowing to pressure, the government last week scrapped the decree that would have shielded many politicians from prosecution for corruption.

Representatives of the judiciary, alongside the foreign embassies and representatives of the local and foreign investors warned that the approval of changes in such a manner risk undermining Romania's rule of law and anti-corruption practices. Corruption has always been a major problem since Romania joined the European Union as its second-poorest member in 2007.

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