Bucharest: Romania’s anti-corruption agency on Friday questioned Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who has been named by prosecutors as a suspect in a number of corruption cases. President Klaus Iohannis has urged Ponta to step down, media reports said.
Ponta is facing corruption charges, including forgery, money-laundering, and tax evasion, BBC reported, adding that Iohannis’s call for Ponta to step down was rejected by the latter, who denied any wrongdoing.
The prime minister said that only parliament has the power to dismiss him. “I respect his (Iohannis’s) public position but I was appointed in the job by Romania’s parliament and only parliament can dismiss me.”
“I came to the (anti-corruption agency) DNA like a normal person,” The Guardian quoted Ponta as telling reporters. “I didn’t give them any statement.”
Ponta is accused of using forged documents from a law firm to buy two luxury apartments and a car.
The president cannot suspend the prime minister, who took office in 2012, without the approval of parliament. Ponta belongs to the Social Democratic Party.
Romania has intensified its anti-corruption drive in recent months, which has led to the arrest of several well-known public figures in the country.
The DNA probe has spread to include Ponta’s family members and relatives.
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