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Romanian parliament votes against stripping PM of immunity

Romania's parliament voted against stripping the prime minister of immunity amid a series of high-profile anti-corruption probes. Investigators allege conflict of interest during the minister's tenure as a lawmaker.

Romania's parliament on Tuesday voted against a request by anti-corruption prosecutors to strip Prime Minister Victor Monta of immunity.

Lawmakers voted 231 against and 120 in favor of repealing Monsta's immunity. The move came as no surprise due to the politician's center-left majority coalition currently in power.

Ponta's activities from 2007 to 2011, during which he was made leader of the Social Democratic Party and served as minister of parliamentary relations, were the target of

anti-graft investigations

.

Klaus Iohannis

President Iohannis has implored Ponta to step down after anti-graft investigators announced on Friday that they would investigate the prime minister

Anticorruption probes

The move comes days after Romanian President Klaus Iohannis requested Ponta step down. Iohannis said the allegations of money laundering and forgery amounted to "an impossible situation for Romania."

The probe comes amid a series of anti-corruption inquiries carried out by the National Anticorruption Directorate.

In March,

Finance Minister Darius Valcov resigned

amid allegations of bribery.

Romania, considered the EU's most corrupt state, has won praise from Brussels for putting thousands of civil servants on trial, including several high-level politicians.

Iohannis was also the subject of an anticorruption investigation

over conflict of interest while serving as mayor of the Transylvanian town of Sibiu.

ls/bw (AP, AFP)

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