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Romania Ruling Coalition Collapses as Junior Partner Quits Two Months Before Polls

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said she would try to form a new majority in parliament to rule the poor EU member state after the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) decided to quit.

AFP

Updated:August 27, 2019, 9:34 AM IST
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Romania Ruling Coalition Collapses as Junior Partner Quits Two Months Before Polls
Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. (Image: Reuters)
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Bucharest: Romania's ruling coalition collapsed Monday when the junior partner announced it was pulling out in the latest setback to the governing Social Democrats two months before a presidential election.

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said she would try to form a new majority in parliament to rule the poor EU member state after the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) decided to quit.

"We have a responsibility to those who voted for us in 2016, to maintain stability and to keep our promises," she told reporters.

But the future of her party — already weakened in May when its then leader was jailed for corruption and it suffered worse-than-expected EU election results — looks shaky with the opposition eager for fresh elections before the Social Democratic PSD's term ends in late 2020.

"The entire mayhem of the current government shows the necessity of having snap elections," Dacian Ciolos, leader of opposition party PLUS, said in a Facebook post.

"There's a need for a government that is clearly supported by the parliament, based on the citizens' vote".

Dancila said she would "obey the will of the parliament" if a successful no-confidence motion was brought against her.

Without ALDE's support, the PSD is left with 205 members of parliament, far short of the 233 needed for a majority.

ALDE, which holds four ministerial posts, decided to leave following a loss of trust in Dancila, its leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced after a party meeting.

"My confidence was badly shaken by a series of measures taken without consulting me," said Tariceanu, a former prime minister.

The disagreement between the PSD and ALDE arose after Dancila announced her decision to run in November's presidential elections, angering ALDE.

While the PSD has dominated Romanian politics for the last three decades it has not managed to win the presidency since 2000.

In May, it was thrashed in European Parliament polls — scoring 23 percent compared to 37 percent in 2014 — and its leader, Liviu Dragnea, was jailed for corruption, leaving Dancila to take over the leadership.

Thousands of people rallied in Bucharest earlier this month calling for the government's resignation, exactly one year after security forces and protesters clashed violently at a similar demonstration.

Romania will hold a presidential election on November 10, with centre-right incumbent Klaus Iohannis, a vocal government critic, to bid for re-election.

A second round is scheduled for November 24, with a run-off widely expected.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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