The first Liberal government in post-Communist Romania has been dismissed by means of a motion of no confidence
Three months after coming to power, the Liberal Government in Bucharest, headed by Ludovic Orban, was dismissed on Wednesday, by means of a no-confidence motion. In mid October last year, the National Liberal Party had successfully initiated a no-confidence motion against the Government then led by the Social Democratic Party, but on Wednesday it was the Social-Democrats' turn to do the same, supported by the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians.
For the Orban Government to fall, a minimum of 223 favorable votes were necessary, which is half plus one out of the total number of the elected MPs. 261 MPs voted in favour of dismissing the Government. They accused the Liberal Government of violating democratic principles by assuming responsibility for reverting to the two-round election of mayors only months ahead the upcoming local elections, and for political reasons, not for the benefit of the Romanian citizens. Also, "the Orban team violated the rulings of the Constitutional Court and the recommendations made by the international institutions", reads the motion titled 'The Orban/NLP Government' - the privatization of Romanian democracy'.
Supported by the USR and PMP partners, the Liberals had argued that resuming the two-round mayoral election system, would have rendered mayors more legitimate and representative and that the change was supported by 80% of the citizens. Previously, Ludovic Orban had stated it was unlikely for the motion to pass, but reality contradicted him. Still, in preparation for a defeat, one night before, the Cabinet adopted a record number of emergency decrees, 25. One of the aforementioned documents cuts the deadline for election calling down to 45 days. It also regulates national voting on supplementary lists and extends the period of voting for the Romanian voters abroad to three days. Under the same regulations, the number of MPs representing the Romanians abroad has doubled to 12.
The fall of the Orban Government under a no-confidence motion might be a first step towards early elections, as the Liberals and the country president want. However, for early elections to be held, Parliament should reject two proposals for prime-minister designate. The president of the Permanent Electoral Authority, Constantin-Florin Mituletu Buica has announced that the institution he represents has already started preparations for both local and parliamentary elections this year.