Romanian prime minister, Victor Ponta, has resigned from the lead of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) via a letter published on Facebook on Sunday.
The post began by presenting the party’s achievements and went on announcing the need to react to a “new, special situation”, being investigated by the National Anticorruption Agency (DNA), “no matter how and why”. He goes on to say that “other colleagues have temporarily given up political positions in order to clarify their legal situation. And I cannot ask others to make a sacrifice I’m not willing to take myself!”.
In order for this to not affect the party’s image, Ponta said he will not hold any leadership position in the party until proving hi innocence, going on to add that in is situation “the constitutional presumption of innocence does not work”. He also said that he will not be running for any office if he does not have a resolution before the PSD congress.
The post concluded that “Rovana Plumb, Andrei Dolineaschi, Liviu Dragnea and the other colleagues will successfully ensure the party’s leadership during this period”, while he will carry on with his member duties.
“PSD is a totally functional party, with highly experimented people in leadership. Mr. Ponta will continue to attend PSD management meetings and we wait for him to assume his PSD leadership office function. The party’s agenda and direction do not change. Our priority is to continue the good governance we’ve had so far, with Victor Ponta as prime minister, and win the elections in 2016,” PSD senator Gabriela Firea later stated.
After being investigated for plagiarism in 2012 (the Bucharest University Ethics Commision found that one third of his graduation paper had been copied)
DNA prosecutors accuse Victor Ponta of forgery of private documents, of having issued multiple invoices without having legal basis, under a contract between his law firm and the company of Dan Sova. Investigators have determined that, in reality, the prime minister did not perform any professional activity under the convention of cooperation with Sova.
Moreover, Ponta is accused of having Sova draw up legal activity reports, allegedly performed by Ponta, corresponding to the 16 months of the convention. DNA prosecutors claim that in reality, Ponta has not carried out any activities accounted for and that he has used part of the proceeds obtained from Sova’s firm to purchase two luxury apartments in a residential complex in Bucharest.