The Opposition is yet to get the required number of votes to bring down the Social Democrats’ minority government
After the divorce between the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, in late August, the fate of the Cabinet seemed sealed. But in spite of the declarations of war coming from the Opposition, the minority government of the Social Democrats is in no imminent danger. PM Viorica Dancila takes advantage of the hesitations of the opposition parties, and takes her time asking for a confidence vote in Parliament, as the Constitution requires whenever the configuration of the ruling alliance changes.
The leader of the National Liberal Party in opposition, Ludovic Orban, announced that the text of the no-confidence motion has already been agreed on with the Save Romania Union, People’s Movement Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians.
Ludovic Orban: “We stand by this plan of garnering support for this motion from all the MPs in the parties that do not back the government, and our goal is to get 233 votes in favour of the no-confidence motion, so as to make sure it passes.”
The motion must be signed by 117 MPs in order to be tabled. The Save Romania Union floor group leader, Stelian Ion, urged ALDE and Pro Romania to be clear about their position regarding the Dancila Cabinet:
Stelian Ion: “The only solution to this crisis is to table a motion of no-confidence and a vote on this motion, and those parties that claimed to have joined the Opposition must clearly define their position as to this censure motion. One cannot claim to be in opposition and still come up with all sorts of absurd conditions for signing and backing the motion. To be specific, I mean my colleagues in ALDE and Pro Romania.”
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats risks falling apart after having left the ruling coalition—a move that not all its members had agreed with. For this party, the immediate priority is therefore to prevent an implosion. On the other hand, PRO Romania MPs promise that they will back the no-confidence motion unless the PM comes up with a reshuffled Cabinet. Pro Romania leader Victor Ponta:
Victor Ponta: “We are waiting for PM Dancila to come up on Wednesday with a government reshuffle. If she doesn’t do that, and keeping in mind that on Wednesday or Thursday we will very likely no longer have an education minister, in addition to not having an environment minister, a minister liaising with Parliament, an interior minister and an energy minister, then obviously we will have no choice. We have done everything in our power to find a reasonable solution so all Pro Romania MPs will vote in favour of the no-confidence motion that the Liberal Party and Save Romania hopefully will introduce.”
The Chamber of Deputies Speaker, the Social Democrat Marcel Ciolacu, voiced confidence that the Cabinet will survive any scenario, whether a censure motion or a confidence vote:
Marcel Ciolacu: “I firmly believe that the no-confidence motion will not get 233 votes, and I also believe that we will have the half plus one of the votes required in order to change the political makeup of the Government.”
The leaders of the Social Democratic Party also expect a helping hand from the Constitutional Court. On Wednesday, the Court is to rule on the conflict between the Government and the President, who will not appoint interim ministers for the vacancies left behind by the Liberal Democrats.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)