The political crisis that has been boiling in Romania over the last two months blew on Monday, August 26, as the junior ruling party – the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) decided to leave the governing coalition. This leaves the Social Democratic Party (PSD) alone in the Government, with very fragile support in the Parliament. Moreover, ALDE, which announced it would form an alliance with the party of former prime minister Victor Ponta, Pro Romania, could decide to support a no-confidence motion to be filed by the main opposition party – the National Liberal Party (PNL), according to political sources quoted by Mediafax.
ALDE decided on Monday that its ministers will resign from the Government led by PSD leader Viorica Dancila on Tuesday. Those who don't comply with the party's decision will be excluded, ALDE president Calin Popescu-Tariceanu announced after the party leadership's meeting. Energy minister Anton Anton, environment minister Gratiela Gavrilescu and the minister for the relation with the Parliament Viorel Ilie will likely leave the cabinet, but newly appointed foreign affairs minister Ramona Manescu said she would remain part of Dancila's team.
Meanwhile, prime minister Viorica Dancila said on Monday that PSD would continue to govern with whatever support it may get from ALDE and Pro Romania MPs. The PSD leaders already came with nominations for new ministers to replace the ALDE cabinet members who will leave. Economy minister Niculae Badalau will also take over as interim energy minister and the minister of waters and forests Ioan Danes will also act as environment minister.
ALDE president Calin Popescu-Tariceanu will step down as president of the Senate, a position he has held in the last five years. He also decided to withdraw from the presidential race as his party will make an alliance with Pro Romania, the party of former PM Victor Ponta, and support the candidacy of former MEP Mircea Diaconu, a Romanian actor who announced over the weekend that he would run in the presidential elections as an independent.
PSD decided over the summer to support PM Dancila for the presidential elections, which led to the conflict with ALDE, as ALDE president Calin Popescu-Tariceanu (opening photo, speaking at the PSD national congress this year) wanted to be the coalition’s single candidate in the presidential race.
Pro Romania, a party largely made of former PSD members who left due to conflicts with former leader Liviu Dragnea, already announced on Monday that it would support Mircea Diaconu’s candidacy, according to G4Media.ro. Pro Romania has pressured ALDE over the last weeks to leave the governing coalition if it wanted to enter a political alliance. In the elections for the European Parliament at the end of May, Pro Romania obtained a higher score than ALDE, which failed to pass the 5% threshold.
Romania holds presidential elections in November and two other election rounds next year (local administration - in summer and parliamentary - in fall).
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Adriana Neagoe)