Romania's Social Democratic (PSD) government of PM Viorica Dancila faces the Parliament on Thursday in a censure motion vote that may see it leave power. While the opposition, which tabled the motion, has been saying it has the necessary votes to let Dancila go, the PSD has a different view.
- UPDATE MPs have started the debate on the censure motion, with a vote expected at noon. The leader of the opposition Liberals said there were "100% chances for the motion to pass"
- UPDATE 2 Speaking before the Parliament, PM Viorica Dancila accused the opposition of "carrying fight launched by the most irresponsible president Romania ever had" and of becoming "a gathering of interests and opportunism".
- UPDATE 3 Voting has ended. With PSD abstaining, some 244-245 votes were cast, more than the necessary number for the motion to pass. But it was not clear early if all were in favor of the motion
233 votes are needed for the motion to pass and the government be dismissed. The main opposition party, the Liberals (PNL) say they have them, while the PSD says otherwise.
- The motion comes as Romania gets ready for presidential elections in November. President Klaus Iohannis, who is seen as a favorite to be re-elected and is running for the PNL, has focussed his campaign against Dancila, as a symbol of the bad government he has condemned throughout his first term in office. Dancila is also running, but with marginal chances. Until the elections, nobody has voiced any sort of interest in taking over the government, should Dancila fall.
The PNL claims it has secured 239 votes in favor of the motion. The PSD says the opposition wouldn't even get 230. Negotiations have been going on until the very last moment, as the parliament session is due to begin on Thursday morning.
The PSD government earlier this week promised a series of supplementary funds for local authorities, in an attempt to appease MPs of their own party who may break party lines and side with the opposition.
The secretary general of the PSD Mihai Fifor claimed that about 35-40 MPs will turn the balance and help reject the censure motion.
On Wednesday evening, President Iohannis said he wanted very much to see the motion pass and said that should it succeed he would have one last battle to carry against the PSD - to solve the issue of a special judiciary section which was established by the PSD and has been criticised as an attempt to subdue the judiciary politically.