Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Romania's PM easily defeats no-confidence vote after EU poll win

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's Social Democrat government easily defeated a no-confidence vote by the Liberal opposition on Monday, as was widely expected, just hours after winning the most votes in an European parliament election at the weekend.

The motion needed 286 votes to topple the government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, but it got support only from a total of 176 deputies in both houses of parliament.

Ponta's coalition took about 38 percent of votes in Sunday's election. Its former ally, the Liberal Party, which split from the government earlier this year and is now the country's main opposition, trailed in second place with 15 percent.

The Liberals had called for the no-confidence vote earlier in May on the grounds that the government was too soft on corruption. Ponta dismissed the move as a political stunt before the European elections.

The Liberals ended up doing badly in the weekend voting and party leader Crin Antonescu quit earlier on Monday. That is likely to improve Ponta's prospects of winning a presidential election that will be held in November.

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