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Romanian Justice Minister Florin Iordache has stepped down over an anti-graft law that sparked mass protests and international condemnation. Critics said the law would have protected corrupt politicians from prosecution.
Romania's justice minister, Florin Iordache, resigned on Thursday following five days of mass protests after the government passed an emergency law that would have legalized some forms of political graft. The law was repealed on Sunday, but protests have continued with some demonstrators calling for the resignation of the entire government.
"I have decided to offer my resignation," Iordache told reporters at a press conference, adding that his initiatives were "legal and constitutional" but had failed to placate "public opinion."
The decree, crafted by Iordache, would have spared politicians from criminal prosecution for receiving bribes of up to $48,000. The law was condemned in Romania and internationally as a step backwards in the country's crackdown on corruption.
Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu blamed Iordache for what he described as poor communication with the public over the graft law.
The decree sparked the largest protests not seen in Romania since the toppling of Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.
Protesters have vowed to continue rallying until the government steps down.
However, Grindeanu's Social Democratic government on Wednesday easily survived a no-confidence motion despite the ongoing demonstrations. Government officials have said they still plan to introduce another version of the law in Parliament, where the government's coalition enjoys a majority.
Grindeanu only took office last month, after the Social Democrats recorded a strong victory in the December elections.
dm/sms (AP, dpa, AFP)