Prime minister designate Ludovic Orban continues talks to form a new government following the collapse of the Social Democrat government in a no-confidence vote.
Looking at the numbers in the
Romanian Parliament at the moment, it appears to be easier to bring down a
government than to form one. On the 10th of October, the two
chambers of Parliament passed a no-confidence motion introduced by the Liberal
opposition against the Social Democrat cabinet led by Viorica Dancila.
Entitled "To rebuild Romania, the
Dancila government must be urgently dismissed!", the motion was passed with 238
votes after being endorsed by MPs from across the political spectrum: the National
Liberal Party, the Save Romania Union, the People's Movement Party, the
Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, Pro Romania, the Alliance of
Liberals and Democrats, the group of ethnic minorities, one independent MP and
even Social Democrat MPs. For the government to fall, the motion required only
233 votes. The signatories of the motion had described the current cabinet as
the most harmful in the last 30 years and promised to put in place a
responsible governing programme aimed at developing and modernising the country
and ensuring the prosperity of every Romanian citizen.
The Liberals now say they have
prepared a strategy to mobilise the MPs who have voted against the government
to also support the cabinet formed by the prime minister designated by
president Klaus Iohannis, namely the Liberal leader Ludovic Orban. 233 votes
will again be needed for the new cabinet to take office, that is half plus one
of the total number of senators and deputies. Orban said on Sunday that his
governing programme takes into account the measures requested by the parties
that might support a Liberal government.
These requests, however, often
contradict themselves. The Save Romania Union and the People's Movement Party
want a return to a two-round voting system for mayors, an idea categorically
rejected by the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, who are
trying to maintain their political dominance in certain towns and villages in
Transylvania. Most opposition voices request the dismantling of a newly
created special department in charge of investigating magistrates. The idea is
opposed, however, by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, who until not long
ago were in government together with the Social Democrats and who supported the
measures perceived by society as seeking to place magistrates under the control
of the government and to hinder the fight against corruption. Moreover, the
acting prime minister Viorica Dancila has voiced her confidence that no Social
Democrat MP will vote in favour of an Orban cabinet.
If Orban fails to gather enough
votes, there's also a possibility for the Dancila cabinet to remain in power,
although with limited duties, until next month's presidential elections, with
the president elect making a new appointment for prime minister. Early
elections are also a possibility if MPs fail to vote in a new government 60
days after the first proposed government is put to vote and two proposed
cabinets are rejected.