Romanian opposition leader claims party has votes to dismiss government next week in no-confidence vote

Foto: INQUAM/Sabin Cîrstoveanu

The leader of Romania’s Social Democratic Party says the party has enough votes to oust the minority Liberal government in a no-confidence vote on Monday.

Marcel Ciolacu, who is also parliament speaker, said Thursday that the government would fall even without support from the party that represents Romania’s ethnic Hungarians which are traditional allies.

„In this moment we have sufficient votes for the motion to pass,” he said. “We are having discussions with the UDMR” (the Hungarian party) but even without them, we have enough votes.

He says he has 205 signatures and can draw on the support of other political allies. The party, which is Romania’s biggest, needs 233 votes to dismiss the government.

Even if the motion doesn’t pass, Ciolacu said the party would consider submitting another one later in September.

The vote is scheduled for Monday when parliament is theoretically in recess. However, the Liberal Party has asked the Constitutional Court to declare the timing of the vote illegal as it was submitted during a parliamentary recess.

But Ciolacu appeared to ignore the detail, and said his party would press on regardless and oust the government.

The Constitutional Court is scheduled to rule on whether the motion is legitimate on September 1.

Ciolacu said the party had a premier, indicating that it wouldn’t be him, although as party leader he would be expected to take the job.

If the motion passes, Ciolacu said he expected President Klaus Iohannis to “understand the necessity of a government to organize elections impartially.”

Romania holds local elections on Sept. 27 and parliamentary elections at the end of the year.

The party wants to dismiss the minority government over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy which has been hit by the crisis.

But Prime Minister Ludovic Orban called the motion “an act of political irresponsibility” and said he was negotiating with lawmakers regardless of their political color” not to vote in favor.

The Social Democrats “only want to seize power and control the electoral process.”

The head of the prime minister’s chancellor, Ionel Danca, on Friday asked the Constitutional Court to rule on a conflict between Parliament and the government.

He said the timing of the motion was flawed, and it could only be submitted after parliament resumed its activity on Sept. 1 when the recess was over.

The court is to publish its opinion on the matter on Tuesday.


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