AP Interview: Ponta to Romania lawmakers: Don't oust premier

Romanian Government General Secretary and former Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, adjusts his glasses during an interview with the Associa

Romanian Government General Secretary and former Prime Minister, Victor Ponta,gestures during an interview with the Associated Press in

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A senior government official in Romania has called on lawmakers not to oust the prime minister in a no-confidence vote this week called by members of his own party.

Government general-secretary Victor Ponta, a former premier, told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu is a guarantor of stability and predictability in the East European country.

Ponta said that Grindeanu is "the good option, the positive option, the option for the future."

The ruling Social Democratic Party withdrew political support for Grindeanu last week, saying he hadn't implemented the party agenda.

Grindeanu, in office since January, denies he underperformed and says party chairman Liviu Dragnea is seeking greater control over the party. Dragnea is barred from being premier because of a 2016 vote-rigging conviction.