Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Ludovic Orban agreed to hold early elections, Orban announced on Friday, without specifying an exact time frame.
“The president and myself have decided that it is best to hold early elections. Romanians have clearly indicated at the referendum and elections that they no longer want the PSD in power,” Orban told the press after meeting Iohannis in the president’s office.
He was referring to the 2019 referendum held together with the EU elections on May 26, at which 85 percent of the voters said no to the two questions posed on the ballot. One was whether to prohibit amnesties and pardons for corruption offenses, while the other was whether to prohibit the government from passing emergency ordinances concerning the judiciary and to extend the right to appeal against them to the Constitutional Court. Both questions were aimed at the practices of the Socialist PSD, which was then in power and whose leader has since been sentenced to jail for misuse of official power and corruption.
While the PSD has been removed from power by a vote of no confidence last October, it still holds a majority in parliament.
“At the moment, parliament is dominated by the PSD acting as a brake, and it is absolutely necessary that power be returned to the people and citizens should elect representatives and a parliament that is a true mirror of Romanian citizens’ options, one that can reap the full benefits of Romania’s EU membership,” Orban said.
He also said that it would be handy to hold the early elections at the same time as the municipal elections – scheduled for June – or “at a date as close as possible to the municipal elections.”
Asked by the press about the legal means on how he plans to set things in motion for early elections, Orban said “I will not divulge the strategy.”
According to the constitution, the president can call for early elections if either the government resigns or is forced out of office by a motion of no-confidence and two subsequent attempts to from a new government fail.
Title image: Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban (L) and President Klaus Iohannis (R). (source: www.presidency.ro)