Romania: Social Democrat government loses no-confidence vote

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Romania: Social Democrat government loses no-confidence vote

Romania: Social Democrat government loses no-confidence vote
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s Social Democratic government on Thursday lost a vote of no-confidence in Parliament, which is expected to give the opposition parties a chance to form the next Cabinet.

Lawmakers voted 238-4 against Prime Minister Viorica Dancila’s minority government. The no-confidence motion needed m 233 votes to be approved. Most Social Democratic Party lawmakers abstained, and three votes were annulled.

Opposition lawmakers accused Dancila and her Cabinet of mismanaging Romania’s economy, letting public safety deteriorate and trying to bring the judicial system under government control. Dancila became Romania’s prime minister in late January 2018. Before the no-confidence vote, she said the motion would destabilize the country and argued that opposition parties had no viable alternatives to her government’s policies.

“How can you assume the reconstruction of Romania when you don’t know what to offer to Romanians for tomorrow or after a week?” Dancila said. An early parliamentary election is unlikely any time soon since Romania’s presidential election is scheduled for next month. Dancila said she intends to continue as the Social Democrats’ candidate for president.

The current president, Klaus Iohannis, may ask the Liberal Party, the leading opposition party in Romania, to form a new government. For now, Dancila’s Cabinet will continue governing but with limited powers.

The Social Democrats previously governed in a coalition with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, which broke up the alliance in August. Opposition lawmakers said they were convinced a new government would succeed.

Cristian Seidler, from the Save Romania Union, predicted ministers in the next Cabinet would be “competent people that showed professionalism and integrity and responsibility in their careers.” Ilie Viorica, a retiree who was outside Parliament protesting the government Thursday, echoed the frustration over corruption that inspired massive anti-government protests in past months.

“We are tired of this government of incompetents. We are tired of thieves,” Viorica said. “Look at Romania: they destroyed so many things.”

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