Incertitude is prevailing in Bucharest after yet another government was toppled by a no confidence motion
A move anticipated by many pundits, Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis has again entrusted the leader of the National Liberal Party, PNL, with forming a new government. His designation as prime minister came just one day after his cabinet had been toppled by a no confidence motion filed by the Social Democratic Party, PSD and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, UDMR, following the government’s assuming responsibility for the return to the election of mayors in two rounds of voting.
According to the Constitution, in 10 days the prime minister designate must submit the membership of his cabinet to Parliament. After another 15 days, the two-chamber Parliament must meet in joint session and cast its vote on the second Orban government. If the MPs turn it down, the head of state can designate a prime minister again and if the latter is turned down, then early elections must be held. That would be an all out first in 30 years of post-communist democracy because no matter how unsettled the political scene might have been since 1990, Parliament had never been dissolved.
According to experts, now such a denouement is not certain either; June 21 would be the deaddline for the early elections to take place because afterwards, the present Parliament has got its last six-month mandate and can no longer be dissolved. After Thursday’s consultations with the parliamentary parties, the president reiterated that his first option was the organization of early elections for the electorate to express its options. PNL, the Save Romania Union, USR and UDMR share the idea but the remaining political spectrum rejects it.
According to the latest polls on voting intentions, PNL is by far the most popular party with 47% of the intentions and the former ruling party,PSD would get only 20%. Jointly with its partners - the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party, PLUS – USR might reap almost 15% of the intentions. As usual, UDMR stands a little above the electoral threshold of 5%, while the People’s Movement Party, ALDE and Pro Romania would fall below the threshold.
Beyond calculations and procedures, it is a fact shown by analyst Cristian Parvulescu that “Romania is in a stage of political instability; in three and a half years there were three governments and Parliament majority has been shattered.” Furthermore, since 2012, as many as nine governments have taken office in Bucharest, right wing or left wing, one-colour or coalition governments, ideologically coloured or technocratic governments. In an interview on Radio Romania, Cristian Parvulescu said that a constitutional reform was needed to lend more coherence both to the administration and to political institutions.
Analysts believe that such a therapy would rehabilitate the image of the political class as a whole in the view of an electorate that is increasingly tired of and fed up with the backstage political games, with chronic instability and administrations taking over power and stepping down without leaving anything worthwhile behind.