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Romania’s new cabinet fails to secure majority in Parliament

Bucharest : Romania’s Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos has failed to secure majority support in Parliament for his new cabinet proposal.

As expected, his cabinet line-up was supported by only 88 deputies and senators, most of them from the centre-right Save Romania Union (USR) led by Ciolos, reports Xinhua news agency.

A minimum of 234 votes in the bicameral Parliament with over 460 seats were needed for Ciolos’s proposal to pass.

“Through the irresponsible vote against the USR cabinet, lawmakers rejected the only solution for Romania to have a functional government today and decided that it is more important to prolong the political crisis than to solve the health crisis,” with the USR, which holds 80 seats in Parliament, said on social media.

Last week, President Klaus Iohannis proposed 52-year-old Ciolos as a candidate to form a new government after the centre-right coalition led by Florin Citu was toppled in a no-confidence vote.

The USR’s withdrawal from the three-party coalition, amid rows with the prime minister, caused the eventual collapse of Citu’s cabinet.

On Monday, Ciolos, former Prime Minister between November 2015 and January 2017, presented his pick for the new cabinet made up entirely of USR members, as he lacks the support of the two largest parties, the National Liberal Party (PNL) led by Citu and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), as well as most of the other smaller groups in Parliament.

The ball is now back in Iohannis’s court, who will have to nominate another candidate to replace Citu.

Local analysts believe that the President will Now pick a PNL candidate.

“The solution for Romania is the restoration of the USR-PNL-UDMR (Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania) coalition,” the USR said after the vote in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the party insisted on its position of supporting any PNL Prime Minister other than the incumbent.

The current situation is bound to extend the period of political uncertainty in the country, affecting its efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and respond to the economic challenges, local analysts said.

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