Romania faces turmoil as parties scramble to form govt
The Social Democrat government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila (pictured) fell on Thursday, opening the way for a temporary administration.
“We have stopped the Social Democrat Party from hurting Romania,” said Ludovic Orban, who heads the opposition Liberal Party, which tabled the motion.
Dancila might try to remain as a caretaker prime minister of one of the EU’s poorest countries, although opposition parties look likely to form an alternative government.
Orban’s National Liberals look poised to form an interim coalition after talks on Friday with President Klaus Iohannis.
He said the parties should try to form a stable coalition to last until the scheduled election in 2020.
A total of 238 MPs and senators in both houses – five more than necessary – backed the motion, accusing Dancila of incompetence and misuse of European Union funding.
A presidential election is scheduled for November.
Dancila accused Iohannis of “shameful superficiality” in supporting the no-confidence motion and of manoeuvring ahead of his attempt to secure a second term.
She plans to stand in the presidential election next month. Romania’s first female prime minister said: “I don’t blame myself for anything and the government will remain in history as a good government.”
Dancila’s government lost its majority in August when the junior partner of the ruling coalition, the Alde party, withdrew from the government.
The centre-left government has suffered from numerous accusations of corruption and Dancila is the third Social Democrat prime minister since 2016, after her two predecessors fell in an internal power struggle.
Liviu Dragnea, the Social Democrat’s disgraced former leader, who cannot now hold office because of corruption convictions, was jailed in May the day after the party received only 23 per cent of the vote in the European parliamentary elections.
The Social Democrats had moved to decriminalise corruption, sparking protests and the threat of legal action by the European Commission, which has kept Romania under special measures that probe its rule of law.
The fall of the Social Democrat government casts doubt over the Romanian European commissioner designate, Dan Nica.
Iohannis said agreeing on a new nominee would be on the agenda when opposition parties discussed how to form a government.
Viorica Dancila. Picture credit: Flickr