The Romanian government of liberal Prime Minister Florin Situ was brought down by a no-confidence vote on Tuesday, threatening to plunge the country into fresh political instability.
The result of the vote showed 281 Members of Parliament voting in favor of the motion of no confidence, without any opposition, as the government and its allies boycotted the vote.
The crisis comes as Romania, one of the EU’s poorest countries, battles a deadly fourth wave of the coronavirus and as Romanians risk huge bills due to spiral energy costs in the coming winter.
Florin Situ, a 49-year-old former banker, has been prime minister since December after the last parliamentary election, but has already been sacked by his centre-right coalition partner and heavily criticized by the left.
The centre-right Save Romania Union (USR) party withdrew from its liberal coalition last month, complaining about CITU’s “autocratic attitude”.
The left-wing opposition Social Democrats (PSD) accused his government of “making the Romanians poor and increasing the country’s debt”.
The vote came after just two hours of debate between members of parliament, with CITU asking its detractors: “What will you gain by throwing the country into chaos?”
However, SITU may still remain in place – initially on an interim basis but possibly for a longer period.
Under the constitution, centre-right President Klaus Iohannes must name a new prime minister.
However, there is speculation that Iohannis may simply re-nominate CITU, challenging other parties to provoke new elections, which, according to current opinion polls, would only favor the left-wing PSD.
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