Romania’s government falls after power struggle

June 21, 2017 10:30 pm

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu addresses the parliament during a no-confidence vote in Bucharest on June 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

’s government fell Wednesday after the ruling party took the unusual step of passing a no-confidence vote in its own prime minister following internal power struggles.
The left-wing Social Democrat party (PSD) filed the motion against premier Sorin Grindeanu barely six months after winning an election.
The PSD unexpectedly withdrew its support for Grindeanu on June 14, accusing him of “delays” in implementing reforms in the European Union’s second-poorest country.
Grindeanu however refused to resign and denounced powerful PSD boss Liviu Dragnea for seeking to “concentrate all the power in his hands”.

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, on the screen, addresses the parliament during a no-confidence vote in Bucharest on June 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The 54-year-old, who led his party to a thumping poll victory in December, is barred from running for office because of a voter fraud conviction.
Nonetheless he continued to pull the government strings behind the scenes once Grindeanu became premier in January.
At first Grindeanu complied but recently began asserting his independence, which reportedly led to the current crisis.
Wednesday’s no-confidence motion passed with 241 to 10 votes.
The PSD and its small ally, the ALDE party, are now expected to propose a new premier to center-right President Klaus Iohannis.
Once nominated, the incoming prime minister will then have 10 days to secure a vote of confidence in parliament for his cabinet and policy plans.
Ahead of the vote, Iohannis had urged the government to quickly resolve the crisis.
Romania’s economy has been doing well, enjoying the fastest growth rate — 5.6 percent — in the EU in the first quarter, while efforts to tackle corruption have begun to bear fruit.
But the country of 20 million inhabitants can ill afford political instability, with the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission warning more reforms are sorely needed.
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