VIDEO | Tussle over who chairs meeting in Romanian parliament as political crisis spills into legislature

Foto: INQUAM/George Călin

Tensions from a political crisis spilled over into Romania’s Parliament on Thursday as lawmakers tussled over who should chair a meeting.

The deputy speaker Florin Roman would not allow Senate speaker Anca Dragu chair the session where a censure motion against the Liberal-led government was due to be read out.


He took the microphone and began to speak before he was interrupted and surrounded by lawmakers from a far-right party who are trying to oust the government. He was asked to leave but refused.

Tempers flared and one lawmaker threw his papers in the air. Two quaestors removed his chair, took him by the arms  and tried to physically remove him. He then voluntarily left.

Lawmakers from the nationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians yelled “You Mafiot!“ as he left the parliament floor.


Mr. Roman, a Liberal, had been delegated to chair the meeting by the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Ludovic Orban.

But he died not have the right to chair the meeting as he was outranked by the Senate speaker, Ms Dragu who is a member of the Save Romanian Union-Plus (USR-Plus). The centrist party is in an alliance with the nationalists to dismiss the government.

Ms Dragu said Mr Roman had attempted to unlawfully seize power.

Power grab

„I didn’t expect a power grab like this. He was holding on to the microphone,” she told Mediafax news agency. „The speaker is the one to chair the session. I was the only speaker there.”

However, the deputy speaker said he would file a complaint for “hooliganism” and called for Ms Dragu’s resignation. Liberal lawmaker Alina Gorgiu said the deputy speaker had been physically assaulted.

Romania’s parliament has repeatedly failed to set a timeline for the censure motion against the government led by Premier Florin Citu.

The standing bureaus of both parliament chambers have been unable to set the calendar for debates and the vote on the censure motion filed by two parties, the nationalist AUR and the Save Romania Union-Plus which recently quit the government.


The Liberals and the opposition Social Democrats have boycotted meetings to ensure that a timetable can’t be set due to a lack of a quorum.

The government has asked the Constitutional Court to analyze a potential conflict between the legislative and the executive because parliament did not inform the cabinet about the proposed censure motion the day it was filed.


The court has asked for the opinions of both parties by 15 September. It will then set a date for settling the dispute.

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