Romanian opposition submits no-confidence motion

Romanian opposition submits no-confidence motion
Opposition leaders announce the no-confidence motion against Viorica Dancila's government.
By Carmen Simion in Bucharest December 16, 2018

The Romanian opposition filed no-confidence motion against the government led by Viorica Dancila on December 14. The motion, named “Enough! The Dragnea-Dancila government — a shame for Romania,” will be read in parliament on December 17 and a vote is expected to take place on December 20.

The chances the parliament will pass the motion are minimal. The ruling coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrtas (Alde), despite losing their majority in the lower house of the parliament, is usually supported by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the MPs representing ethnic minorities, which should allow it to survive the vote easily. The ruling coalition still has a majority in the upper house of the parliament, the Senate.

A total of 163 MPs from the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Save Romania Union (USR) and the Popular Movement Party (PMP), as well as unaffiliated MPS close to former prime minister Victor Ponta, have backed the no-confidence motion, according to g4media.ro. In order to pass, the motion needs to be supported by 233 MPs.

“We still need 65 votes. The MPs who are independent today and follow Victor Ponta are with us and support this no-confidence motion. It is important that others from the other groups should come: from the PSD group, from the Alde group, from UDMR and from minorities,” PNL leader Victor Orban said on December 15 during a TV show on digi24.

Meanwhile, the PNL will continue negotiations with UDMR, Orban said, according to g4media, adding that in case the government is dismissed, he is the PNL’s proposal for the position of prime minister.

The no-confidence comes at a time when the ruling coalition has lost its majority in the Chamber of Deputies after four members of the senior ruling PSD resigned to join Ponta’s Pro Romania party following tensions within the party. The PSD leadership announced a government reshuffle on November 19, which saw some critics of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea removed from their posts, although President Klaus Iohannis has delayed approving some of the nominations. 

Local media also reported on December 12 there are tensions between the PSD on the one hand and its junior coalition partner Alde and the UDMR on the other over next year’s budget. “There are tensions between the PSD and the UDMR and more recently between the PSD and Alde,” an unnamed source from PSD told Hotnews.

On December 16, PSD leaders met ahead of an important week for the party. Apart from the no-confidence motion, the ruling coalition is expected to pass an emergency decree on the criminal codes. According to hotnews.ro, Dragnea is expected to use the meeting to give a unity message to party leaders, considering there are still tensions within the PSD.

 

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