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Romania's Government braces for censure motion – a second in 4 months
Ludovic Orban, Foto: Agerpres
Ludovic Orban, Foto: Agerpres

Romania’s Liberal (PNL) government led by Ludovic Orban faces the parliament vote over a censure motion submitted by the opposition Social Democrats (PSD) on Wednesday, with both camps claiming they would win. The motion can lead to the dismissal of the PNL government only three months after taking over from the previous PSD government, which also fell in a censure motion.

Should the motion pass, it would allow the PNL and President Klaus Iohannis to organise early elections that they have been pushing for. Both Iohannis and his party want to use the current electoral momentum to improve their position and diminish that of the opposing PSD, which are the biggest party in the parliament despite losing massive political ground and leadership in the past several months.

PM Orban has been insisting he trusted to stay in office. Today, he said PNL was ready for any outcome.

But political rumors and conflicting information about behind the scenes moves by all interested parties – the PNL, the PSD, smaller parliamentary groups and President Iohannis – have been flourishing for days.

The PNL, despite claiming it trusted to overcome the motion, used a government session on Tuesday to pass two dozen emergency ordinances – a practice they have criticised in the past as a means to push through legislation without debate. Among the 25 ordinances – one that sets rules for the organisation of early elections.

And the PSD has claimed it had the necessary votes to bring the government down in today’s vote.

233 MPs would have to vote in favor of the motion for it to pass and the Orban government be dismissed.

Officially, PSD and their allies in pursuing the motion, the Hungarian Democrats, have 234 votes and claim to have a total support of 237 MPs. What is known is that the PSD has 200 MPs, UDMR – 30, and a smaller group also said its 4 members would vote along them. On Tuesday evening, another group said its 27 MPs might vote in favor of the motion.

According to the Constitution, the President may dissolve the Parliament if it fails to pass two proposals of new government teams within 60 days.

The Liberal strategy sees that, should the motion pass, current PM Ludovic Orban comes before the Parliament to ask for a vote again, but his own party’s deputies would vote against it.