Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Romania Ex-Ruling Party to Back Opposition No Confidence Vote

By Irina Savu

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Romania’s Social Democrats, which last week resigned from the ruling coalition to protest the dismissal of a minister, will back an opposition call for a vote of no confidence in the minority government.

The Social Democrats will join the main opposition party, the National Liberals, Social Democrat leader Mircea Geoana said today in a televised speech. The move guarantees a parliamentary majority in favor of removing the government from office.

“This government is no longer legitimate, so we will back a no-confidence vote,” Geoana said. “We will start talks with all the opposition parties to coordinate our actions.”

The leu rose 0.2 percent against the euro to trade at 4.2641 at 1:37 p.m. in Bucharest.

The political instability comes as Romanians prepare for Nov. 22 presidential elections. The second-poorest European Union member risks a credit-rating downgrade, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s said last week, as political commitment to the terms of a 20 billion-euro ($29.2 billion) International Monetary Fund-led bailout is put in question.

National Liberal party leader Crin Antonescu said today his party will complete the text of the no confidence motion this evening and will collect signatures tomorrow to file the bid in parliament.

The National Liberals hold about 19 percent of parliamentary seats and need 25 percent to file the vote. The Social Democrats hold about 34 percent in parliament, while the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
have 6 percent of parliamentary seats.

The Social Democrats and the Liberal Democrats formed a governing coalition with a two-thirds parliamentary majority on Dec. 14, after a tie in Nov. 30 elections. The parties will compete again in the November vote, as they must each nominate their own candidate for a five-year presidential term.

President Traian Basescu, who enjoys the backing of Prime Minister Emil Boc’s Liberal Democrats, said this weekend that he intends to seek another term. The Social Democrats said they will nominate Geoana to run for president, while the Liberal Party said Antonescu is their presidential candidate.

Boc dismissed Interior Minister Dan Nica on Sept. 28 after Nica accused the premier’s party of trying to steal votes ahead of the ballot. Boc said Nica didn’t have evidence to back his claims. The Interior Ministry manages elections in the country of 22 million people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest isavu@bloomberg.net.

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