BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanian senators on Thursday rescinded a proposal they approved a day earlier which called for a draft bill on prison pardons to include corruption offences.
On Wednesday, the senate’s legal committee approved amendments to the bill to include influence peddling and bribe-taking on a list of pardonable offences.
Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu and Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea both said they did not support the amendments and at least 1,000 people rallied in Bucharest against the proposal after Wednesday’s vote.
The bill, which the government has said is needed to ease the burden on Romania’s overcrowded prisons, still needs to be approved by the senate before moving to parliament’s lower house, which has the final say on whether it becomes law.
Attempts by the ruling coalition of Social Democrats and junior partner ALDE to weaken a crackdown on high-level corruption earlier this year triggered Romania’s largest street protests in decades.
Romania is seen as one of the European Union’s most corrupt states and Brussels keeps its justice system under special monitoring.
Reporting by Luiza Ilie; editing by Jason Neely