Government leaders in Timisoara, where Romania's 1989 revolution began, resigned in protest Thursday after nearly a month of strikes and demonstrations.
Local sources said Premier Petre Roman, whose government oversees all local authorities, rejected the resignations of the district governor, the mayor of Timisoara, police chief and their deputies. But there was no comment from government officials in Bucharest.Several hundred demonstrators gathered before administrative headquarters demanding District Gov. Florentin Cirpan withdraw his resignation.
By mid-afternoon thousands more Timisoara residents were streaming to the city center.
Cirpan's letter of resignation said his decision was "immediately effective and irrevocable."
"I consider myself . . . the one primarily responsible for everything in this district . . . and my resignation is a natural consequence of the circumstances," he wrote.
Mayor Liviu Borhan, Police Chief Viorel Oancea and six deputies also quit.
Timisoara, the western Romanian city of 200,000 people where the revolution began, also is a center of opposition to the National Salvation Front, which succeeded Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and won elections in May.
The resignations came after nearly a month of strikes and demonstrations by city workers and students demanding the resignation of the national government and speedier economic reforms.