Monday, March 26, 2007

Romania's coalition heads towards collapse

Monday, March 26, 2007

BUCHAREST, Romania: Romania's feuding coalition government headed closer to collapse on Monday when Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said relations between its two main parties had broken down.

"We are witnessing the death" of the center-right Justice and Truth Alliance, said Tariceanu, who heads the Liberal Party after he held meetings with leaders of the Democratic Party.

Tariceanu said he blamed the Democratic Party, which President Traian Basescu used to head, for the breakdown in the alliance which came to power in 2004. Without the Democratic Party, Tariceanu would head a minority government.

Tariceanu said he was "thinking seriously" what kind of government he would lead. A party representing Romania's 1.4 million ethnic Hungarians is the other coalition partner.

Feuding in the government has been going on for months. Relations between Tariceanu and Basescu deteriorated in June after the prime minister said he wanted to withdraw Romania's troops from Iraq and Basescu disagreed.

A Parliamentary commission on Wednesday recommended suspending and impeaching Basescu for violating the constitution and interfering in the government.

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