Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Romanian Main Opposition Party Asks for Vote to Oust Government

By Adam Brown

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Romania's opposition Social Democrat Party, the largest in parliament, put forward a no-confidence motion aimed at ending the minority government of Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu.

``We could have a debate and vote as early as next Wednesday,'' Social Democrat spokesman Titus Corlatean said in a news conference today. ``We have ample support for the no- confidence motion, more than we need.''

The Social Democrats, formed by ex-communists after the anti- communist revolution in 1989, have about 150 seats in the 465-seat parliament and would need to ally with other opposition parties to get the motion passed.

Infighting between the main political parties since Romania joined the European Union on Jan. 1 has delayed programs meant to speed up the absorption of EU funds and fight corruption, a key EU demand. Tariceanu and President Traian Basescu, former allies, split early this year amid mutual accusations of corruption.

Some prominent Social Democrats, including former Romanian President Ion Iliescu, said they oppose the motion, which could force elections a year earlier than scheduled.

In April, Tariceanu ousted the Democratic Party, which supports Basescu, from the government, firing all ministers loyal to Basescu. The Democrats joined the opposition with their 100 seats in parliament, leaving Tariceanu's supporters with about 100.

Basescu has repeatedly called for Tariceanu's resignation and has indicated his party may support a no-confidence motion although he has rejected any possibility of a governing alliance with the Social Democrats.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Brown in Bucharest at abrown23@bloomberg.net

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