BUCHAREST — Romanian Interior Minister Ioan Rus resigned Monday, citing “unacceptable” pressures amid controversy over his ministry’s organization of an impeachment referendum against President Traian Basescu.
“I have submitted my resignation for my own honor,” said Rus, a member of Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s center-left coalition, the Social Liberal Union (USL).
Rus condemned “criticism and pressure” from political figures, including both suspended center-right president Basescu and interim president Crin Antonescu.
He also announced the resignation of Victor Dobre, the junior interior minister tasked with organizing the vote.
“We have been subjected to multiple forms of pressure, discussions, and criticism, coming from Romanian political figures from Traian Basescu to Crin Antonescu,” he said. “From my point of view and from (Dobre’s) point of view, these things are unacceptable.
“We think we organized this referendum sufficiently well.”
Antonescu, who took over as interim president after Basescu was suspended last month, is a leading figure in the USL, which contested the accuracy of electoral registers after the referendum failed to meet the 50-percent turnout threshold required to oust arch-rival Basescu.
Romania’s Constitutional Court last week delayed its ruling on the validity of the impeachment referendum, which has been sharply criticised by the European Union and the United States.The court asked the government to update the lists of eligible voters, saying “contradictory data from state institutions” had forced it to delay its decision to Aug. 31. — AFP