People protest in Bucharest, capital of Romania, Feb. 5, 2017. The Romanian government on Sunday annulled the emergency ordinance on the modification of the Criminal Code, announced the government in a press release. Meanwhile, protests are still going on in the capital of Bucharest. (Xinhua/Gabriel Petrescu)
BUCHAREST, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Some 2,500 people gathered on Sunday for a demonstration near the Cotroceni Presidential Palace to support the ruling coalition, the first pro-government demonstration after anti-government protests had been held for days in Bucharest and across the country.
The pro-government demonstrators were wearing national flags and placards reading the slogans: "Constitution says President mediator, not spirit agitator," "Respect our vote, I support legitimate government."
Leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said these protests are not organized by his party, stressing he did not want the people to split into two opposing camps.
Meanwhile, the number of protesters in front of the government headquarters on Sunday, the sixth night in a row, reached over 200,000, according to some local media reports, even after the government annulled earlier on the day the controversial emergency ordinance on the modification of the Criminal Code.
The protesters, having succeeded in forcing the cabinet to repeal the ordinance, now put forward new demands: the resignation of the government. Many of the protesters displayed placards reading "Resignation!"
The Romanian government annulled the emergency ordinance on the modification of the Criminal Code at a special meeting on Sunday, a day after Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu announced the decision on Saturday.
"All the arguments we had in supporting the ordinance were not very well communicated ... A lot of confusion was created. And very many distortions that are not related to what was adopted in the end," Grindeanu explained when announcing his decision late Saturday.
The emergency ordinance, which has redefined and partially decriminalized abuse of office offenses, triggered huge protests in Romania over the past several days.
The opposition and protesters complained that the changes would likely prevent some politicians charged with crimes from being punished.