Romanian legislators topple PM Orban's government

Elias Hubbard
February 5, 2020

Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban's centrist minority government will face a vote of no-confidence brought by the leftist opposition on Wednesday, its first test of parliamentary support since taking power on an anti-graft ticket in November. Under the country's legislation, a no-confidence motion requires 233 votes or more to pass. "It's a very big step for Romanian democracy", said Marcel Ciolacu, leader of the opposition Social Democrats (PSD), which has been seeking his ouster since Orban's National Liberal Party (PNL) took hold.

"Frankly, I do not expect the PSD to be able to garner enough votes to topple this government", Orban said.

The PSD was vehemently opposed because it saw the move as a threat to their chances of success in local elections due in June.

The move was triggered by Orban's announcement that he would try to change the law for local elections. One of the most important changes is reducing the legal term for announcing the elections from 90 days to 50 days, although the Constitution provides a 3-month period for organizing the elections, according to G4Media.ro.

Two more changes target Romanian voters overseas. Moreover, the Government doubled the number of MPs that will represent Romanians overseas in the next Parliament.

These changes will likely favor the National Liberal Party (PNL) and their informal partners from the USR-PLUS alliance, given that the votes cast by Romanians overseas in the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019 largely went to these two parties.

The ruling party has reason to be confident of winning an early vote. "The government has fallen on its feet".

The former PSD-led government is still feeling the fallout from its attempted reforms to the justice system, which brought large protests across Romania.

The result of the no-confidence vote means President Iohannis will consult political parties to find a new prime minister. The Liberal Party said before the vote it would propose Orban again for the post.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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