A former Romanian prime minister who was imprisoned on corruption charges has been released early from prison.

Adrian Nastase, the highest-ranking Romanian official to be sent to prison since 1989, shot himself in the neck in an apparent suicide bid when he was handed a two-year sentence in 2012 for illegally raising funds for a failed presidential bid. He sustained minor injuries only.

Nastase was sentenced again in January for illegally receiving goods.

A court ruled that the former leader could be released because he is 64 and because of his good conduct in prison.

Nastase, who was prime minister from 2000 to 2004, said Thursday Romania should hold early Parliamentary elections next year to make the legislature a stronger institution.

He is banned from holding office for nine years.