Romania's centre-right Prime Minister Emil Boc resigned on Monday after days of street protests against his government, saying he wanted to "defuse political and social tension".
"I have decided to tender the resignation of my government", Boc told a cabinet meeting that was broadcast live. His government has been the target of protests over drastic austerity measures.
Romanian president Traian Basescu will designate a new prime minister tasked with forming a government to be presented to parliament for approval.
Boc, 45, called on lawmakers to vote for a new government rapidly to secure Romania's stability in a difficult global economic environment.
The president is expected to meet the country's political parties later Monday to discuss the European Union budgetary pact and the domestic political situation.
Analysts say he may choose a technocrat to run the country until general elections scheduled in November.
The social liberal opposition has repeatedly called for early elections.
Boc's resignation comes a day after a joint mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU praised his government for reforms implemented over the past months.