Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Romanian interior minister resigns

BUCHAREST, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Romanian Interior Minister Liviu Dragnea resigned Monday evening, the second person quit the post within six weeks of the new government's taking office.

He made the decision in order to avoid "tension" between the two-party ruling coalition, Dragnea told a press conference Monday evening.

He also complained of underfunding of his ministry, which he said made it hard for him to fulfill the promises he made when he took office on Jan. 20.

His predecessor Gabriel Oprea was forced to resign on Jan. 13 after his Social Democratic Party (PSD) withdrew the political support granted to him.

Romania's new coalition government came to power on Dec. 22. According to a coalition agreement between the PSD and the Liberal Democrat Party (PDL), the PSD gets the nomination for the interior portfolio.

PSD President Mircea Geoana expressed regret over Dragnea's resignation, but said he respects his decision and that the party will soon appoint a new candidate.

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