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Romania ruling party boss gets 3 ½ years in prison for graft

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has sentenced the country's most powerful politician to 3 ½ years in prison for official misconduct in a graft case. Monday's sentencing of Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea comes after a 2018 conviction linked to the employment of two party members at a public agency.

Dragnea, already blocked from being prime minister because of a 2016 conviction for vote-rigging, is expected to be imprisoned within 24 hours. Dragnea's party suffered huge losses in European Parliament election on Sunday, falling to second place behind the opposition National Liberal Party.

Additionally, a non-binding referendum called by President Klaus Iohannis seeking to pressure the government into dropping efforts to water down anti-corruption measures won support from 80% of voters on Sunday.

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