Unstable majority forms against Romanian Liberal PM Citu
A volatile majority has lined up behind a no-confidence motion against the Romanian Government, reportedly filed on Friday (September 3), but the developments remain unpredictable as each of the three forces willing to overthrow Liberal prime minister Florin Citu (PNL) has a different target. Notably, the Social Democrats (PSD) insist on early elections, while reformist USR-PLUS wants to keep intact their coalition with the Liberals (minus PM Citu).
If this sundry ad-hoc opposition majority lives until the no-confidence vote and have the motion endorsed, it will certainly disintegrate, leaving behind a major political crisis and possibly early elections for the first time in Romania over the past decades.
Chances for another USR-PLUS/PNL/UDMR coalition, although fiercely backed by President Klaus Iohannis, depend on thorough changes within PNL, including Florin Citu losing the internal elections in September. It’s not impossible, but a high target.
Prime minister Florin Citu triggered the unexpected twist of fate. After dismissing the reformist minister of justice Stelian Ion on Wednesday (September 1), he approved the controversial EUR 10 bln public investment project on Friday. The tipping point had already been reached after minister Ion’s dismissal, and USR-PLUS eventually decided to minimise the losses at the cost of becoming part of an awkward coalition.
The calendar for debating and voting the motion was not yet announced by the Parliament on September 4, at a time when the Social Democrats (PSD, the biggest parliamentary party) were not yet decided whether to file their own motion or back the one drafted by USR-PLUS. PSD’s ambiguous position was seen by some as hidden support extended to the Liberal Party against a reformist coalition (USR-PLUS/AUR), while some still doubt their commitment to back USR-PLUS.
The PSD president unambiguously stated on Sunday (September 5) that the Social Democrats will vote for the no-confidence motion drafted and filed by USR-PLUS, “in case the motion will be voted in parliament," G4media.ro reported. Or else, PSD said it wants to cooperate with USR-PLUS and AUR to draft a joint motion - an uncertain scenario given the rivalry between the three parties.
There are circulated rumours about some bureaucratic irregularities in the draft of the motion, though.
The radical AUR party reportedly already signed (on Friday) the no-confidence motion filed by the junior ruling party USR-PLUS in its attempt to overthrow the Government. This prompted immediate reactions from President Klaus Iohannis, who blamed USR-PLUS for seeking support from a party that “does not accept the European values."
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Ovidiu Matiu)