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Romania's new parliament sits amid concerns about corruption

Associated Press logo Associated Press 20/12/2016

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's new Parliament has sat for the first time since elections amid concerns that the country's vaunted anti-corruption fight may weaken under a new government.

The left-leaning Social Democrats easily won the Dec. 11 parliamentary elections, but did not secure a majority. Party leader Liviu Dragnea is banned from being prime minister because he has a conviction for electoral fraud.

The Social Democrats say they will form a coalition government with a minority partner. Dragnea said Tuesday Parliament would likely invest a new government next week.

Anti-corruption site Clean Romania reported that 172 of the 465 lawmakers have integrity problems, ranging from convictions and graft probes to conflict of interests.

President Klaus Iohannis will consult with political leaders this week before nominating a prime minister, who Parliament needs to approve.

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