Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Romanian Opposition Calls Vote to Oust Minority Government

By Irina Savu

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Romania’s opposition parties asked parliament to hold a vote of no confidence in the minority government of Prime Minister Emil Boc less than a week after the two-party ruling coalition collapsed.

The Liberal Party and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania called the vote today after the Social Democratic Party resigned from the coalition, leaving behind an “inefficient” minority government, Liberal party official Calin Tariceanu said in a televised speech. The two parties hold 25 percent of the seats in parliament, which is enough to put forward the no confidence motion.

“This is a signal that this minority government is illegitimate,” Tariceanu said in the speech in the capital Bucharest. “We filed the motion against the government amid the political situation and the social, economic and moral crisis we’re facing.”

Romania risks credit-rating downgrades as the political commitment of the second-poorest European Union member to the terms of its 20 billion-euro ($29.2 billion) International Monetary Fund-led bailout comes into question, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s said last week.

The leu has lost 1.7 percent against the euro in the last week, and was little changed to trade at 4.2637 at 3:32 p.m. local time.

The Social Democratic Party, which had been the junior member of the coalition with Boc’s Liberal Democrats, left on Oct. 1 to protest the dismissal of a minister. Party leader Mircea Geoana has said his lawmakers will back the no confidence vote. That guarantees a majority in favor of removing the government from office.

Presidency

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 the Liberal Democrats, has said that he intends to seek another term. The Social Democrats will nominate Geoana to run for president, while the Liberals are backing party leader Crin Antonescu for the presidency. Sorin Oprescu, the mayor of Bucharest, also announced yesterday he intends to run as an independent.

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

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