A highlight of the week's main stories.
Dancila Government dismissed following no confidence vote
The Social Democratic Government headed by Viorica Dancila, that has been a minority government ever since August, when their junior partner, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) decided to join the opposition, was dismissed on Thursday.
Entitled "To rebuild Romania, the Dancila government must be urgently dismissed", the no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition was voted on Thursday by 238 deputies and senators, after being already endorsed by MPs from across the political spectrum, including the National Liberal Party, the Save Romania Union, the People's Movement Party, the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Pro Romania, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, the group of ethnic minorities, an independent MP and even Social Democrat MPs. 233 votes were enough for the motion to pass and for the government to fall. The signatories described the government as the most toxic in the last 30 years and said they would replace it with a responsible government and governing programme focused on developing and modernising the country and ensuring real prosperity for each Romanian citizen.
Cristian Seidler, an MP with the Save Romania Union, has said:” This no-confidence motion starts from a reality that cannot be denied: the Government no longer has majority in Parliament and politic legitimacy to govern the country. In every functional democracy, when the Government no longer has parliament’s support, the prime minister resigns and does not wait for a no-confidence motion to be tabled. The natural thing to do would have been for the Dancila Government to leave right after the vote on May 26, when Romanians taught the Government a lesson for having acted against the country’s interest and against Romania.”
In turn, the outgoing PM Viorica Dancila defended her governing programme and accused the Opposition of not having alternative solutions: “You do not struggle for a project, for a vision or for prosperity. You do not fight to do good for people, improve their every day life in any way. You fight against the Social Democratic Party, you fight with each other, against the Romanians and the country’s interest. You allied new people with zero political experience and zero governmental performance, who are unable to manage their own party with people who left the Government and people who brought poverty upon the country between 2010 and 2012. This is a temporary alliance that today wants to dismiss the government, a bunch of interests and amateurs. How can you assume Romania’s reconstruction when you do not know what you offer Romanians tomorrow or in a week? What is your plan? How will you handle things?”
Dancila has called on Romania’s right-of-center President, Klaus Iohannis, whom she blames for the current political chaos, to appoint a new government as soon as possible.
Talks for a new government
After the removal of Dancila's Cabinet by means of a no-confidence motion, president Klaus Iohannis summoned all parliamentary parties for consultations, pleading for a government with a clear mandate, which would provide a responsible and effective governing until the next parliamentary elections, no matter when they're to be held. As regards the political stability that Romania needs, the head of state said he supported the solution of early elections.
Klaus Iohannis: “I will listen to the parties’ opinions and I will propose a solution for a Government with a very clear mandate, able to ensure a responsible and efficient governing until the next parliamentary elections, no matter when they are held. The best solution to render Parliament legitimate is, of course, the citizens’ vote, that is early elections. This cannot be done in the absence of consensus between the parliamentary parties.”
But the opinions of the parties that ousted the Dancila govt were divided. The National Liberal Party, Pro Romania and Save Romania Union supported the idea of early elections. However, if this is not possible, the Liberals showed readiness to assume governing, the Liberal president, Ludovic Orban, offering to take the PM seat. The Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania firstly proposed a government around a PM of the Union, and secondly suggested the designation of an independent PM. The People’s Movement Party showed lack of confidence in relation to early elections and advised president Iohannis to consider appointing a prime minister from their party. Last but not least, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats said they did not intend to be part of a future government but that they will support a new government that should be assumed by the National Liberal Party which should also give the prime minister. In consequence, president Iohannis announced the urgent need for the formation of a new transitional government made up of the Liberal Party or around this party. Consultations are set to continue next week when a new PM will be designated.
The foreign media about the political situation in Romania
The international media has too analyzed the political situation in Romania. The New York Times writes that the opposition has accused the Dancila Government of bad economic management, of having deteriorated public safety and trying to bring the judiciary under its control. According to Le Figaro, the ousting of the Government opens the door to negotiations for the formation of a new majority, just one month before the presidential elections. President Iohannis will have to designate another prime-minister, who in turn will have to get Parliament’s support, reads the Spanish agency EFE.
As regards the option of early elections, which Romania has never resorted to before, Bloomberg reads that it’s unlikely, given the presidential elections due next month. According to Euronews, to many Romanians, this last confrontation between the country’s political forces is one more sign that politicians are not in contact with Romanian society.
(Translated by Elena Enache/ Mihaela Ignatescu) Update by Lacramioara Simion