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Romania's president seeks to annul graft law amid protests

People have been protesting against the government ordinance decriminalizing cases of official misconduct in which damages are less than 200,000 lei..

Published: 02nd February 2017 04:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2017 07:49 PM   |  A+A-

By Associated Press

BUCHAREST (ROMANIA): Romania's president will ask the Constitutional Court to declare unconstitutional a government decree that dilutes what qualifies as corruption amid major protests against the measure.

President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday that he would take the emergency decree to the court, which is the last legal resort to stop the law.

The government passed an emergency ordinance early Wednesday to decriminalize cases of official misconduct in which damages are less than 200,000 lei ($47,800).

Huge protests erupted in the capital and spread to cities around Romania in the past two evenings. Demonstrators say the measure will help government allies and other officials facing corruption charges and will encourage public officials to steal on the job.

About one-third of corruption prosecutions focus on abuse in office charges.

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