Allies criticize Romanian PM's absence amid corruption probe
Jun. 29, 2015
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's prime minister, who is facing a corruption probe, has been criticized by his own party members after saying he will stay in Turkey to recover from knee surgery for another two weeks.
Members of Victor Ponta's ruling Social Democratic Party say the party has been weakened by his prolonged convalescence from a knee operation he had on June 15 and have urged him to come back as soon as possible.
Marian Oprisan, a regional party leader, said Monday he "would have returned immediately" had he been prime minister.
Close aide Liviu Dragnea urged Ponta "to try and make an effort, however painful," to return, saying his absence had led to a feeling of "disorientation" in the party.
Ponta said in televised comments late Sunday he would be back in Romania in a maximum of two weeks.
Prosecutors say Ponta is suspected of forging receipts for work he did as a lawyer from 2007-2008. Ponta denies wrongdoing.
This story has been corrected to show that Marian Oprisan is a man not woman.