Romania: Ruling party to introduce no-confidence vote

  • Romania: Ruling party to introduce no-confidence vote

Romania: Ruling party to introduce no-confidence vote

The fate of the Romanian government hung in the balance on Thursday with Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu refusing to resign in a political crisis that threatens to undermine a sweeping tax overhaul.

Another senior PSD member who declined to be named said a vote in parliament could take place as early as Monday.

Ponta said Dragnea is a party leader "who publicly executes the prime minister and government less than six months after elections with no objective reason" given to its voters and the public.

But analysts say the standoff is the culmination of a power struggle between the 43-year-old premier and Dragnea, the powerful PSD head who had been hoping to lead the government himself.

Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the leader of a junior party in the governing coalition, said his Alliance of Liberals and Democrats no longer supports the government and the party's three ministers have agreed to resign.

However, Grindeanu said on Thursday he will only step down once President Klaus Iohannis has appointed a successor from the ruling Social Democrats (PSD).

"The PSD leader and several party barons have justice issues, but Grindeanu is refusing to help them after Decree 13 [a decree created to pardon corruption related offences and was later withdrawn] led to the largest protests in Romania since 1989", Tan Tapalaga, who writes for Hotnews, said on Wednesday.

"As far as I know, we are still a member of the European Union and we need to respect the European Union sanctions [against Russia]", Grindeanu said. Grindeanu said the evaluation of his Cabinet was done unfairly.

Grindeanu said he would remain a member of the PSD and didn't regret becoming prime minister. Grindeanu said the party was unhappy that he'd failed to improve commercial ties with Russian Federation. "The country's future is at risk".

It is the second major crisis to rock the government since it won a thumping poll victory in December, barely a year after being forced from office over a deadly nightclub blaze. "Dragnea already has a strategy of being both the support and the opposition to the government, so there's no room for the actual opposition". Dragnea claimed he wanted to work out an agreement with the prime minister to ensure the delayed measures would be passed as soon as possible, but that Grindeanu refused to stay at a meeting of the party's executive committee to do so.

The party boss, 54, was barred from running for premier because of a voter fraud conviction and is now on trial for alleged abuse of power, a charge he denies.

Former PSD member Alin Teodorescu told the Agence France-Presse news agency: "Liviu Dragnea only wants one thing - amendments to the anti-corruption laws".

Nonetheless, the former communist state logged first-quarter economic growth of 5.7%, according to data released last month - the fastest rate in the EU.