Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis says the country is facing a triple crisis after the government was ousted Tuesday in a no-confidence vote.
“The word that characterizes Romania today is ‘crisis,” he said. “The country is in a crisis and we need a new government rapidly.”
“The fourth wave of the pandemic has hit us badly and we have an energy price crisis,” he said in a short address. „And now some politicians had the (smart) idea to add a government crisis.”
Some 281 lawmakers voted to dismiss the minority government of Premier Florin Citu earlier Tuesday. Two opposition parties were joined by a centrist party that quit the coalition government last month after their justice minister was fired.
Romania is grappling with a acute fourth wave of the pandemic, with hospitals stretched to the limit and no more beds in intensive care wards. A record 15,037 new Covid cases were reported on Tuesday and 252 deaths.
Romanians face he energy bills this winter after gas and electricity prices were liberalized in July. Inflation is running at about 5%.
“It’s sad but true,” Mr Iohannis said in comments made Tuesday evening at the Cotroceni presidential palace.
He said the crisis had been generated by “cynical politicians wearing the mask of reform and others crying out that they care about Romanians.”
He was referring to the Save Romanian Party which has styled itself as the party of reform. The Social Democrats, the biggest party in Parliament, has had a mixed message about vaccines and restrictions, while the far-right AUR party has a populist anti-mask and anti-vaxxer message.
The president has 10 days to propose a new prime minister who then needs to be approved by parliament. If that fails, he will make a second pick. If lawmakers vote against the next proposal, the president can dissolve the legislature and call snap elections.
Wanting to avoid a prolonged crisis, the president said he would give politicians time to cool down and come forward with a reasonable response.
“Solutions are needed and it’s time for mature decisions from politicians and parties.”
He said he would invite Romania’s political parties which hold seats in the parliament for consultations next week.
The Romanian president will attend the EU-Western Balkans summit Wednesday in Slovenia. It will bring together leaders from EU member states and the six Western Balkans partners.
Leading Romanian doctor says dying Covid patients are ‘begging’ for jabs. ‘It’s hell’ in intensive care