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Romania: party leader resigns amid corruption probe

Associated Press Associated Press 28/09/2016

BUCHAREST, Romania — A leader of a major Romanian political party has resigned after anti-corruption prosecutors charged him with influence-peddling.

Vasile Blaga resigned as joint leader of the Liberal Party Wednesday hours after anti-corruption prosecutors indicted him. He also said he would not stand for Parliament in December elections. He denies wrongdoing.

Prosecutors said Blaga, formerly leader of the Democratic-Liberal Party, had received 700,000 euros ($784,000) from 2009-2012, most of it from party deputy Gheorghe Stefan, also indicted, in return for telling ministers to appoint party sponsors as managers of state companies.

The Liberals said Blaga's resignation showed he placed "the integrity of the party above his political career."

Blaga, who was twice interior minister and Senate speaker, is one of the key politicians of the last decade.

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