Reshuffled or restructured, Romania’s Government will seek a confidence vote in Parliament, next week.
The political battle in Romania is moving to Parliament. The stake is the minority government headed by the Social Democrat leader Viorica Dancila, whose fate is uncertain after the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), the junior partner in the governing coalition, decided to break the alliance. Strongly demanded by the head of state and the opposition, who argue that the change in the government’s structure requires, under the Constitution, a reconfirmation by Parliament, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) has decided to take the risk. PM Dancila has announced that she will ask Parliament to give her Cabinet a confidence vote, stating she is not worried that the result might be negative.
The PM has also said it has not been decided yet if the government will be restructured or reshuffled. In the first case, the new Cabinet would have a simplified makeup, of only 19 ministers and one PM. Proof of the fact that the Constitution does not provide clear solutions to political crises is the fact that, even if it fails to win Parliament’s vote of confidence, the Government will not leave. This is because a vote against restructuring does not trigger the Cabinet’s resignation. Therefore, it has to be confirmed by a censure motion, First Deputy President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Raluca Turcan, has said. She has also said the current Government dos not have legitimacy, does not know how to govern, it is unable to govern, has serious problems in terms of integrity and professionalism of its ministers, so it must be stopped.
Turcan has explained there is a firm commitment to signing the censure motion that the Liberals plan to initiate. They discussed this topic with the Save Romania Union (USR), the People’s Movement Party (PMP), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, Pro Romania, the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and with the representatives of national minorities and say they have received positive signals. USR and their non-parliamentary ally, PLUS, headed by the former technocratic PM Dacian Ciolos, says the Social Democratic government lacks the credibility and legitimacy needed to propose changes in structure or makeup. Ciolos and the USR leader, Dan Barna, insist on the idea of early parliamentary elections - instead of the regularly scheduled ones in the fall of 2020 - that could be held in the middle of next year, at the same time with the local elections.
The USR - PLUS alliance proposes the head of state, PNL, UDMR, the national minorities group, Pro Romania and ALDE a pact for early elections, Dan Barna has explained. In the almost three years since their coming to power, the PSD-ALDE government has survived all censure motions tabled by the opposition. An unprecedented political move in post-communist Romania, PSD ousted its own government for refusing to obey the former Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea, now serving a sentence for corruption. The current Government’s chances to survive the censure motion are slim, but yet, Romanian politics is full of surprises. (Translated by Elena Enache)