Romania’s center-right governing coalition fell on Tuesday (Oct. 5)after less than 11 months in office as the Parliament passed a no-confidence motion introduced by the opposition center-left Social Democrat Party (PSD).
The no-confidence motion titled “Stop poverty, price increases and the legally embattled. Down with the Citu Government!,” was backed by ex-coalition members from the Union to Save Romania (USR, formerly known as USR-PLUS) and Alliance for the Unity of Romanians (AUR) and passed with 281 votes in favor. Only 234 were needed. The lawmakers of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) and of the national minorities did not vote.
“While the lives of Romanians were becoming increasingly burdened by shortages, the PNL – USR PLUS – UDMR government had only one priority: the fight for power! Desperate to seize all state resources for their party companies, they completely abandoned Romania and the Romanians. In these conditions, the only solution for Romania to emerge from a continuous political, economic and social crisis is for the Citu Government to leave the country’s leadership urgently,” reads the text of the motion.
“Parliament is hereby voting for the motion of censure thus withdrawing its confidence in the government by the decision of the Romanian Parliament no. 31 of 2020. Under article 110 (4) in the Constitution, the government whose term of office ceases shall continue to fulfill only the acts required for the administration of public affairs, until the members of the new government take the oath,” Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Ludovic Orban announced.
(Romanian Parliament passed a no-confidence motion on Tuesday Video by Digi24)
The fall of Prime Minister Florin Cîțu’s administration deepens an ongoing political crisis that began a month ago when Citu, a 49-year-old U.S.-educated former banker, fired the USR-PLUS justice minister for not signing off on a EUR 10 billion regional development program.
Center-right President Klaus Iohannis will now consult lawmakers on naming a new prime minister under Romania’s constitution.
“The ball is in the president’s hands. The Constitution also says so,” PSD lader Marcel Ciolacu told reporters on Tuesday after the censure motion against the government was adopted by the Parliament.
Ciolacu also said that the solution proposed by his party to solve the political crisis is
a government of specialists until snap elections.
President Iohannis after the fall of the government told a press conference that “the word that suits Romania best today is crisis.”
“In order to give political parties time to convene their internal leadership bodies, I won’t summon consultation till next week,” the head of state added.
Despite the political turmoil, Bucharest Stock Exchange’s BET index closed up 0.02% to 12,613.43 points.
Meanwhile, over 80 percent of Romanians believe things in their country are headed in the wrong direction, according a survey conducted by INSCOP Research in partnership with market research company Verifield upon the commission of the Strategic Thinking Group think tank.
Political crisis continues
The government proposed by Prime Minister-designate, Dacian Ciolos was rejected in parliament on Wednesday (Oct. 20), after it has secured only 88 votes in favour of those 234 necessary ones. The vote was secret with tokens.
President Klaus Iohannis will convene new consultations with parliamentary parties and formations on Thursday (Oct. 21). Today at 17:30, he will have at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace a working session with government stakeholders regarding the management of the COVID-19. A day earlier, the head of state stated that urgent measures are needed to stop the “aggressive pandemic wave”, no matter how unpopular.
Meanwhile, faced with decade’s worst financial gridlock, more than 100,000 Romanian companies are currently at risk of shutting down amid significant increases in operating costs, increasingly difficult access to finance and growing mistrust in business relationships, a Sierra Quadrant survey warns.
Defense minister as PM designate
President Klaus Iohannis nominated interim national defense minister Nicolae Ciuca as prime minister-designate, tasked with forming a Government. Officially, Ciuca, has been proposed by the National Liberal Party. Ciuca said he would negotiate with all responsible parties to form a Government as soon as possible.
With reporting by Agerpres, digi24.ro, news.ro, hotnews.ro