Romanian PM-designate fails to win parliamentary support

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Romania’s nominated Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Wednesday failed to win parliamentary support from lawmakers on a new cabinet proposal that risks prolonging the ongoing political crisis amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

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After failing to rebuild a governing coalition after the Liberal-led government was ousted in a no-confidence vote in early October, Ciolos, leader of the centrist USR party, presented a new governing program and a cabinet composed of USR ministers.

But Seolos’ minority fell far short of the 234 votes needed for the government’s motion to pass. Most lawmakers abstained from voting or voted against it.

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“Regardless of the outcome of the vote, regardless of the political struggle, we share with citizens good or bad results. We are in a time of deep crisis,” Siolos, who has previously served as prime minister, said on Wednesday.

If the two nominated prime ministers fail to form a government within 60 days, the president can dissolve parliament, paving the way for early elections.

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The political crisis began in early September when former National Liberal Party prime minister Florin Situ fired a USR justice minister for not signing a 10-billion-euro ($11.5 billion) infrastructure development programme.

The USR, which has expressed concerns over transparency of funding, reacted by leaving the three-party coalition and withdrew its support for CITU. The censure motion was filed by the opposition Social Democrat Party and supported by the USR and the far-right AUR party.

In a speech on Wednesday before the vote, PSD party leader Marcel Ciolacu acknowledged Romania’s bleak pandemic indicators and said the ongoing political struggle is “hurting everyone.”

“Selfish arrogance and lack of commitment have put us in this dramatic situation,” Ciolacu said.

Romania, the European Union country of about 19 million people, is currently battling an aggressive surge of coronavirus infections amid low vaccination rates. On Tuesday it hit an epidemic high in both infections and deaths. 574 patients died in a single day

Following Tuesday’s dangerously high toll, President Klaus Iohannes announced he has called government officials to a meeting on Wednesday to discuss a solution to the virus crisis.

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Bucharest

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