Bucharest Punchup: Romanians March Against Judicial Reforms

© AP Photo / Octav GaneaPeople take part in a demonstration in Bucharest, Romania, December 10, 2017.
People take part in a demonstration in Bucharest, Romania, December 10, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Romanians in the thousands gathered on Sunday in capital city Bucharest and many other urban centers throughout the country, protesting a plan by the leading Social Democrats (PSD) party to implement sweeping changes to the nation’s judicial system, a move that according to the opposition will hamstring the ability of judges to combat corruption.

A coalition of parties, led by PSD, is seeking to implement new legislation that would bring the nation's judicial system under political control, a move decried by the country's thousands of magistrates, as well as the European Commission.

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The new protests come three weeks after a special parliamentary commission began the process of codifying new laws, and with the knowledge that PSD seeks to fastrack implementation and ratification to occur by the end of this year, according to Reuters.

The parliamentary commission has seen major pushback, particularly after PSD member and former justice minister Florin Iordache quit last February after his actions triggered the largest rallies seen in the country since the 1989 Romanian revolution to break away from the former Soviet Union.

"Thieves and mobsters nest, united we save Romania," yelled some 10,000 protesters marching in front of government headquarters in Bucharest, while an additional 20,000 were estimated to be gathering in surrounding areas.

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