The Social Democratic Party, the main party in the ruling coalition in Romania, retains leadership of the Chamber of Deputies. Liviu Dragnea’s successor is Marcel Ciolacu.
The position of speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, which had remained vacant when its occupant, the Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea, received a final prison sentence for corruption, was taken over on Wednesday, following a vote in the Chamber, by another Social Democrat, Marcel Ciolacu. A candidate for this position on behalf of the ruling coalition formed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), Ciolacu won 172 votes, overtaking the Liberal candidate Raluca Turcan, who won 100 votes, and the leader of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Kelemen Hunor, with 20 votes.
After being elected speaker, Marcel Ciolacu said he would have a different approach than his predecessor, who was also a party leader. "My approach will be very clear - I am not the boss of the deputies, I have a single role in the coming period - first of all, to go back to normality. Normality means respecting parliamentary rules and practices and for all agreements with the leaders of the parliamentary groups to be signed by everyone", said Ciolacu. He added that he wished to improve communication between the government and the Chamber of Deputies and with the media. He also rejected the idea that PSD may give up power:
"The party has made enough mistakes that have cost us, because the people are always right. This doesn't mean we can play with the word 'democracy', with the word 'majority' or that we can turn things over whenever we want. A government can only be overturned democratically, through a vote of no-confidence."
In the wake of the European elections, the National Liberal Party, the main party in opposition who won the largest number of votes, has called on the government to resign saying it no longer has legitimacy and threatening to file a no-confidence motion.