A joint session of the Romanian Parliament’s two chambers approved on Monday the government of liberal (PNL) politician Ludovic Orban with 240 votes for and none against, seven more than the 233 votes required for a majority.
The previous Social-Democrat government of Viorica Dăncilă was relegated to a caretaker role after losing a vote of no confidence on October 10. Its MPs and senators did not attend the voting session of parliament, but some representatives of its allied social-liberal Pro Romania party did and voted for the Orban government.
Orban (56), an engineer by training with a post-graduate degree in political science, has been the president of PNL since June 2017. PNL was led by Iohannis until 2014 when he was elected president of Romania. Orban was minister of transport in 2007-2008 and a member of parliament from 2008 to 2016. Born in Brassó/Brașov to a Hungarian father and a Romanian mother, he has a basic command of Hungarian. He is married with one child.
On October 28, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania signed a cooperation agreement with Orban that the party of the ethnic Hungarian minority will support the government in parliament in any issue previously coordinated with it. For that reason, a weekly meeting between the two parties will be held.
Even so, the Orban government will have a difficult job assuring a majority for its bills – and it has promised not to govern via emergency decrees as its predecessor did. If it survives that long, the new government will have a year until the next legislative elections next autumn.
But before that, Romanians will vote in the first round of the presidential elections this Saturday. If none of the 14 candidates receives an absolute majority, a second round will be held on November 24.
Title image: A joint session of the Romanian Parliament’s two chambers voting on the new government of Ludovic Orban on November 4, 2019 (source: privesc.eu screen capture)