Romanian government resigns in wake of nightclub fire deaths

Tens of thousands rallied calling for the government to resign in the wake of the fire Credit: Reuters

Romania's government has resigned in the wake of protests over a nightclub fire that killed more than 30 people.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced his resignation at Victoria Palace in Bucharest, and that of his government.

"I'm handing in my mandate, I'm resigning, and implicitly my government too," he said.

The resignation comes in the wake of a fire at the Colectiv nightclub in the capital over the weekend that left 32 people dead and hundreds injured.

Some 20,000 people protested in the capital following the blaze calling for Ponta to step down, and for the resignation of the interior minister and a district mayor where the Colectiv nightclub was located.

Victor Ponta announced his resignation and that of his government Credit: Reuters

Earlier, Liviu Dragnea, the head of the ruling leftist Social Democrat Party, indicated that Ponta's resignation was imminent.

"Victor Ponta is giving up his mandate. Someone needs to assume responsibility for what has happened. This a serious matter and we promise a quick resolution of the situation," Dragnea told reporters in parliament.

"You probably noticed thousands of people last evening and what they demanded."

Anger against the government has been brewing in Romania - many accuse it of being corrupt - and the fire has added to the discontent.