Romania’s ruling coalition breaks as junior partner PNL decides to withdraw – official

By bne IntelliNews February 26, 2014

The junior partner in Romania’s ruling coalition - centre-right PNL, will pull out after failed negotiations with its senior partner - leftist PSD, PNL president Crin Antonescu announced in a broadcasted TV release after a decisive party board meeting.

PNL representatives in the central government, including ministers, will submit their resignations by February 26 at noon.

PNL will also publicly urge PM Victor Ponta [PSD] to resign. Nonetheless, PNL – the only party that has enough lawmakers to initiate on its own a non-confidence vote in parliament, will carefully decide on the timing of such a decisive move against the cabinet, Antonescu said. Each parliamentary group can submit only one such non-confidence vote request per legislative session.

Separately, even though repeatedly inviting PNL to remain in the ruling coalition, PSD has reportedly intensified negotiations with the ethnic Hungarians’ party UDMR with the aim of securing a reasonable support for a new cabinet in parliament. UDMR denied any negotiations can take place until the existing ruling coalition USL is formally dismantled – but this was however only an official disclaimer aimed at not involving the party into the USL’s collapse. UDMR president Kelemen Hunor admitted that immediately afterwards his party is ready for negotiations. Unnamed sources said that PSD has arranged the partnership with UDMR already last December.

Earlier this week, PM Ponta announced that a new cabinet would be nominated and submitted to lawmakers for endorsement on March 4.

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