Victor-Viorel Ponta (born 20 September 1972) is a Romanian jurist and politician who currently serves as Prime Minister of Romania since being appointed by President Traian Băsescu in May 2012. A member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and its leader since 2010, he was also joint leader (2012–2014) of the then-governing Social Liberal Union (USL), an alliance with the National Liberal Party (PNL). Ponta has been a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Gorj County since 2004. In the Emil Boc cabinet, he was Minister-Delegate for Relations with Parliament from 2008 to 2009.
Ponta began his time as head of government with a victory for his alliance in local elections, as well as criticism from civil society after several prominent Băsescu-associated figures in government-funded culture and history institutes were removed or resigned from their posts. Eventually, a political crisis broke out with the replacement of the heads of each legislative chamber and an attempt to dismiss Băsescu – an effort that ultimately failed when the subsequent impeachment referendum was invalidated by the Constitutional Court due to low turnout. Meanwhile, Ponta was the subject of controversy due to allegations of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis. Seven months after gaining office, Ponta helped lead the USL to a decisive victory in parliamentary elections, prompting his appointment to a full four-year term as premier. A little over a year later, the USL fell apart and Ponta formed a new cabinet with the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) as coalition partners...
Quotes by Victor Ponta
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