Romania's Liberal Democrats (ALDE), who are a minority member of the governing coalition with the Social Democrats (PSD), are forming a new political alliance with Pro Romania, a new party formed by ex-PSD leader and ex-PM Victor Ponta, ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced on Facebook on Wednesday. He later changed tone and modified his message, saying only talks in this regard have taken place.

Tariceanu si PontaFoto: Facebook
  • UPDATE Pro Romania's Victor Ponta reacted shortly by saying that no decision was made, but "we talked and progressed" towards a joint political project, suggesting that ALDE was about to leave the governing coalition. He recalled that in late July he voiced support for joint project with ALDE, should ALDE leave the government.

Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who serves as Senate Speaker, announced that the new alliance would have joint parliamentary groups and would thus become the third political force in the parliament, after PSD and the opposition Liberals (PNL).

A political project of the new alliance and a collaboration protocol are still to be decided, according to Tariceanu.

The announcement comes in a time of tense relations between the PSD and ALDE, with ALDE leaders failing to exclude the possibility to leave the governing coalition.

The alliance is formed as Romania braces for a long series of elections - a presidential poll later this year, to be followed by local and general elections in 2020.

A recent poll has shown Tariceanu second to President Iohannis in voter's preference for presidential elections, though Iohannis leads the pack by a wide margin. Pro Romania leader Victor Ponta, who lost the 2014 presidential elections against Iohannis and was forced out as PSD prime minister in 2015, following a fire tragedy blamed on corruption, comes third in preferences for presidential elections.

Tariceanu's ALDE party (different from the European movement ALDE) failed to enter the European Parliament in European elections earlier this year, but Pro Romania did.