Ponta to Romania lawmakers: Don't oust premier

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 20, 2017

Romania's ruling party voted Thursday to introduce a no-confidence vote against its own government after it wit.

Ex-Prime Minister Victor Ponta, an ally of the prime minister, has called for talks with Dragnea to resolve the crisis.

The motion, which criticizes the government led by Sorin Grindeanu for failing to meet the aims of the governance programme, was read during an extraordinary session of parliament attended only by MPs of the left-wing PSD and centre-right ALDE. Grindeanu appointed Ponta secretary-general of the government on Friday.

Grindeanu, in office since January, denies he's underperformed and says party chairman Liviu Dragnea is seeking greater control over the party.

The ruling Social Democratic Party withdrew political support for Grindeanu last week, saying he hadn't implemented the party agenda. If it fails, Grindeanu remains prime minister. Dragnea is barred from being premier himself because of a 2016 vote-rigging conviction.

But Sorin Grindeanu has refused to quit, sparking a political crisis.

The move to oust Grindeanu gained momentum Monday after the chairman of the ethnic Hungarian party, Hunor Kelemen, said the Social Democrats should be allowed to "change ministers and governments" if they wished. He has described the no-confidence vote as "an atomic war between the Social Democrats and the Social Democrats". If it passes, the ruling coalition will propose a new candidate for premier who is then nominated by President Klaus Iohannis. It has 247 seats.

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