The Liberal Democrats (ALDE), a minority member of the governing alliance, are due to split up with the majority party, the Social Democrats (PSD), converging political sources said on Monday as the leadership of the two parties held last minute talks on how to move on. Sources told Mediafax news agency that ALDE's exit from the governing alliance was due to be decided in the afternoon, with ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu expected to resign as Senate speaker soon. PM Dancila, leader of the PSD, said her party would stay in government.
- UPDATE ALDE has made the decision to leave government, sources told HotNews.ro later in the afternoon. ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu nnounced the decision shortly. He said ALDE would join the opposition.
- UPDATE 2 Tariceanu said that the government couldn't go on with unsustainable budget planning; that ALDE could not caution measures they did not agree with; that ALDE members should support the presidential candidacy of Mircea Diaconu, a former actor and MEP who announced his interest to run for president later this year this weekend; that ALDE ministers who'd refuse to resign would be ousted from the party; in case of a censure motion ALDE would not vote in favor of the government.
The split comes as the political scenery is changing in Romania in the wake of the EP elections - where the governing PSD and especially ALDE suffered heavy losses - and before presidential elections later this year and general and local elections next year.
ALDE moves to split with the PSD started several weeks ago, when leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu hinted at a new alliance with a different group, Pro Romania, formed by members who had left the PSD and led by a former PSD leader, Victor Ponta. Information about a split started circulating again recently.
By Monday afternoon, political sources told news agency Mediafax that the split was imminent. They said ALDE ministers were expected to resign on Tuesday and Calin Popescu Tariceanu to drop the seat of Senate speaker as the parliamentary session starts in September.
Opposition Liberals (PNL) said they were ready to submit a censure motion against the PSD government. On this, political sources said ALDE - who claims the PSD has been moving away from the governing program agreed in the coalition - considers a vote in favor of the motion.
ALDE holds the mandates of Foreign, Energy, Environment and Parliamentary relations ministries.
As political leadership talks were in full swing on Monday afternoon, PM Dancila said her party would retain government. She claimed that "some members" of ALDE who would not understand the situation would lose terribly.
Should the governing coalition split up, PM Dancila would have to come before the Parliament for a vote of confidence in a minority government. She would have to provide replacements for the ministerial portfolios vacated by ALDE's people and get parliamentary support for a new parliamentary formula.
The situation gets complicated for the PSD as the party lost its majority in the Senate as four more members left it in order to join Pro Romania. In order to secure a majority in the Parliament, Dancila would need 29 votes beside those of her MPs.