Romania’s center-right Liberals likely to form new government after Social Democrats ousted in parliament vote


Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said the Liberals were the most likely group to form the next government following the overthrow of the Social Democrat government of Viorica Dancila in a no-confidence vote.

“We are moving toward a Liberal government, or one formed around the Liberal Party,” Iohannis said Friday after discussions with Romania’s political parties about how to move forward after Parliament dismissed the government which has faced claims of corruption and protests against what many see as its attacks on the rule of law.

“We need a government to be formed rapidly,” said Iohannis, chastising the Social Democrats for not coming for talks and for being „out of touch” with political developments and the public mood. „They played truant,” he said. He said he would propose a prime minister by Tuesday who then needs to be approved by Parliament.

The most likely candidate is Liberal Party leader Ludovic Orban who initiated the vote of no-confidence against the Social Democrats. The party lost its majority in Parliament after junior partner the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats quit the coalition.

Blasting the Social Democrats for a “failed and lost government,” Iohannis warned them not to spend public money in their final days in office.

The next government will be a transitional one, responsible for guaranteeing presidential elections and preparing next year’s budget, Iohannis said. Contrary to claims from the Social Democrats, the new government would not cut salaries and pensions, he said.

Romania holds presidential elections next month, and Iohannis is up for reelection. Although Iohannis came out again in support of early elections, he said the constitution makes that an unlikely scenario, at least for the moment. Snap parliamentary elections can’t be held during the final six months of a presidential term.

 Dancila refused to take part in Friday’s discussions with the president saying that the Social Democrats had been invited last despite being the biggest party in Parliament. She will face Iohannis in the presidential race, but her government’s dismissal has hurt her chances of getting into the runoff.


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