People wait in line to cast their vote as a higher than usual voter turnout is registered shortly after noon at 19.75 percent in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, May 26, 2019. Romanians vote in the European Parliament elections and a referendum called by Iohannis on judicial system laws.(AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
BUCHAREST, Romania – Romanians have voted overwhelmingly in support of anti-corruption initiatives in a referendum called by the country's president.
According to data released Monday by the Central Electoral Bureau, 80% of voters cast ballots in favor of two questions in the referendum seeking to pressure the governing coalition into abandoning efforts to water down anti-corruption laws and also to prevent amnesties and pardons for those convicted of corruption.
President Klaus Iohannis said that "Romanians voted so thieves and criminals stay in prison where they belong."
Numerous protests have been held in Romania in the past couple of years, sparked in part by government plans for a judicial overhaul critics see as weakening anti-corruption efforts.
Voter turnout was 41.3%, well above the 30% threshold needed to ensure the referendum's validity.