Thousands of People Protest in Romania Against the Justice Minister
Thousands of protesters went to the streets of Romanian cities yesterday with appeals for the resignation of the Justice Minister, who wants to dismiss the head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, DPA and Associated Press reported.
Demonstrators of all ages gathered at a three-hour rally in Victory Square, where a lot of demonstrations were organized in the last year to defend the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. More than 4,000 people gathered despite the cold and heavy snowfall, according to media reports. Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Thursday that he was launching a lawsuit to dethrone the popular Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi , who he accused of authoritarian behavior, interference in lawsuits, violation of the constitution, and damage of the image of the country.
It is the President who has to take the final decision on the removal of the Chief Prosecutor of the Anti-Corruption Directorate. Head of State Klaus Johanisse described the Justice Minister's report as "lacking in clarity". Earlier, Johanisse had said he saw no reason to remove Kövesi from her post. "We want an independent judiciary, not one where there is political interference," said one of the participants in the Bucharest rally, quoted by AP. Smaller protests took place in Timisoara, Sibiu, Cluj, Ploiesti, Galati and Iasi.
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