The first entirely Liberal government in post-communist Romania is facing its first litmus test, a censure motion tabled by the opposition Social Democrats
Three months since its coming to
power, the National-Liberal cabinet led by Ludovic Orban is today taking its
first major test against a censure motion tabled by the opposition PSD and
The interim head of the Social
Democrats (PSD), Marcel Ciolacu, has voiced his conviction the present motion
will be adopted by senators and deputies.
The document must be endorsed by
233 MPs, which means half plus one out of the total number of the elected MPs,
and the text has so far been signed by only 208 PSD and UDMR MPs.
Under the title 'the Orban/PNL
government - the privatization of the Romanian democracy', the document
initiators are accusing the government of violating democratic principles by
assuming responsibility for returning to the two-round election of mayors only
months ahead the upcoming election.
According to the leftist
opposition, the Orban cabinet should immediately step down for having violated
Constitutional Court rulings as well as recommendations from the European
institutions out of political reasons and not in the interest of citizens.
Backed by their USR and PMP partners, the Liberals say that coming back to the
two-round system increases the legitimacy and representation of the mayors and
is wanted by 80% of the Romanians.
Prime Minister Orban believes the
censure motion is unlikely to get Parliament endorsement. The cabinet has also
taken measures for a worst-case scenario. Last night they passed a series of
emergency ordinances, which a sacked government with limited prerogatives could
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.
According to analysts, right-wing
parties, already the main favourites in the opinion polling, are thus
increasing their chances because the Romanians abroad are usually voting against
the Social Democrats, as the latter had constantly hindered their voting in the
previous election rounds.
Sacking the Orban cabinet would be
a first step towards early election as the PNL, USR and president Klaus
Iohannis want but in order for these to take place, Parliament will have to
turn down two Prime Minister proposals. Analysts believe that a Parliament
reshuffle is necessary because the present configuration with 40% PSD and the
22% PNL no longer reflects the voters present options.
(translated by bill)