Romanian senators and deputies on Monday evening voted for the investiture of Ludovic Orban’s government
For the first time in 30 years of post-Communist democracy, Romania has a national Liberal government. On Monday evening, gathering for a common session, Romania’s two-chamber Parliament voted for the investiture of a new government headed by the leader of the National Liberal Party- PNL, Ludovic Orban. The vote was expected with anxiety, given that nobody could know for sure if Ludovic Orban managed to gather the necessary 233 votes, that is half plus one of the total number of senators and deputies, which the new government needed to pass.
There were eventually 240 votes, in the context in which the Liberals hold only about 20% of the number of votes in Parliament. The most numerous group, the Social Democratic Party and its splinter group Pro Romania boycotted the vote. Voting for the investiture of the new government were the representatives of the Save Romania Union, the People’s Movement Party, the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, of the national minorities group as well as several MPs from Pro Romania party who disregarded the order of the their leader, the former Social Democratic PM Victor Ponta, not to vote.
Thus, a Liberal government will take over from the Social Democratic government headed by Viorica Dancila, dismissed on October 10 through a motion of no confidence. The motion was initiated by the Liberals and signed by MPs from the entire political spectrum. The signatories to the motion had labeled Dancila’s government as the most toxic government of the past 30 years and stated that, after its dismissal, they would adopt a responsible governing program focused on the country’s development and modernization and on the prosperity of each and every Romanian.
The emergencies of the new government are: managing the November presidential election in Romania and abroad, designating an acceptable candidate for the position of European Commissioner, a last budget adjustment for 2019 as well as the drafting of the 2020 budget. In comparison with the numerous Social Democratic government, the Liberals opted for a government formula consisting of 16 ministries.
Among the new ministers are personalities whose competence has been recognized by their very adversaries, namely the lawyer Catalin Predoiu who will take the justice minister seat, the diplomat Bogdan Aurescu who will be foreign minister and general Nicolae Ciuca who will serve as defense minister. The new government will also include ministers who received a negative vote in the special parliamentary committees such as Ion Ştefan, at the public works ministry, Violeta Alexandru, at the labor ministry and Florin Cîţu at the public finance ministry.
In a best case scenario, this composite team will govern Romania for one year, until the scheduled parliamentary elections in the fall of 2020. However, this government is very fragile, given that the small groups that voted for its investment have their own agendas and requirements, often diverging, and any motion of no confidence could pass quite easily, analysts say. (translation by L. Simion)