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South Eastern Europe

Romanian cabinet felled by no confidence motion

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Fri, Apr 27 2012 3067 Views
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Romanian prime minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu and his cabinet were not afforded even the traditional 100 days in office to begin implementing any policies and were ousted by a motion of no confidence in parliament on April 27.

The ruling coalition parties refused to take part in the vote, but a number of MPs representing ethnic minorities, who traditionally vote with the government, swung the vote. The motion passed with 235 votes in the country's bicameral parliament.

Following the vote, the two main opposition parties, the social-democrats and the liberals, who have entered an election coalition credited with about 50 per cent public support ahead of parliamentary elections due later this year, demanded that president Traian Basescu designated social-democrat leader Victor Ponta as his nominee to form the next government.

Basescu, who informally retains the reins of the democrat-liberals, the senior partner in the erstwhile governing coalition, has no legal restrictions on whom to nominate. He said he would hold consultation meetings with the parliamentary parties later in the evening of April 27.

Ungureanu, a close ally of Basescu, was nominated to form a government on February 6, following the resignation of deeply-unpopular Emil Boc, and his cabinet line-up passed the confirmation vote in parliament three days later. Basescu may yet choose to nominate Ungureanu or some other politician from the erstwhile ruling coalition to form the next cabinet.
Should Basescu's nominee fail the investiture vote in parliament, this would call for snap elections, but given parliamentary procedures, such a vote could not be possibly held before November, when regular elections are scheduled to be held, daily Romania Libera said. If this is the case, Ungureanu's cabinet would stay on in caretaker capacity until then.

Some voices in the opposition camp, including social-democrat honourary chairperson and former president Ion Iliescu, have said that the opposition alliance should not be too eager to form the cabinet until after winning the eletions, which would give them a much stronger majority in parliament, rather than the current razor-thin advantage conditional on ethnic minority MPs' support.

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