Highlighting the political instability that has dogged Romania since 2012, Ludovic Orban’s liberal (PNL) government was ousted today following a vote of no confidence. It ruled for only 93 days. The vote was led in Parliament by the Social Democratic Party, which was removed from power in the same way in early October, and it was supported by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, which had previously supported the PNL government.
The motion, put to a vote in a joint session of Parliament, was submitted by the Social Democrats and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, both of which are opposed to PM Ludovic Orban’s move to force a change in the local elections system to two rounds of voting instead of the current, single-round method.
The motion – which needed at least 233 supporting votes to prevail – was approved with 261 representatives in favor and 139 against, meaning that the social-liberal Pro Romania party, acting on a last-minute announcement before the session, also supported the motion. This means that whichever party manages to form a new government and get it approved by Parliament will be Romania’s 10th government in eight years.
In the next step, President Klaus Iohannis will hold consultations with the parliamentary parties and appoint the leader of one party to form a government. If two, consecutive attempts fail, the president has the power to dismiss Parliament and call for new elections.
In a recent exclusive interview for TransylvaniaNOW, RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen said his party considered the proposed change to a two-round voting system in local elections to be unconstitutional and that they had no choice but to back the Social Democrats in the vote. He said he did not expect early elections, as the PSD opposes them and the PNL is divided over the issue. The next, general elections should be held in December this year, but Romania will also hold municipal elections in June.
Title image: Nominal voting of the motion of censure in a joint session of the Romanian Parliament on February 5, 2020.