Romania’s interior minister resigns

Carmen Dan, Romania’s minister of the interior, has resigned. Mrs Dan announced her resignation on July 15, ahead of a cabinet reshuffle in which she was widely expected to be sacked.

“I leave with my head held high. I have done nothing wrong,” she said in a brief statement.

Mrs Dan – a close ally of Liviu Dragnea, the former leader of the Romanian ruling party, the PSD, who was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for corruption in May – had been under fierce pressure to resign for almost a year. She had been heavily criticised for the brutal manner in which a peaceful anti-corruption protest was broken up by interior ministry forces in August of 2018. She may yet face criminal charges for her role in the violence.

Mrs Dan’s departure signals a key shift in the balance of power within the PSD, now led by Romania’s prime minister, Viorica Dăncilă, who is expected to use the reshuffle to remove ministers loyal to Mr Dragnea. The PSD performed poorly in May’s elections for the European parliament and its support has collapsed from 45 per cent in 2016’s general election to around 20 per cent. The party has yet to put forward a credible candidate for November’s presidential election.