The Romanian Parliament passed a censure motion against the Social Democratic (PSD) government led by Viorica Dancila on Thursday. The motion passed with 238 votes in favor, several more than the minumum of 233 needed, meaning the government is dismissed.
The leader of the main opposition party, the Liberals (PNL), Ludovic Orban said just after the vote that "the nightmare Romania has been living for three years is over". He said that the vote put an end to "a period of destruction, hate and division". Asked if he would be available to take over as prime minister, Orban said that "should we be called to govern, the proposal would be the president of the PNL, which is me, Ludovic Orban".
- UPDATE 2
Viorica Dancila said shortly after the vote that she was leaving with all duties fulfilled and that the motion could pass because of the "betrayal" of some of her PSD colleagues. She said she would still run in the presidential elections next month.
- UPDATE 3
Romanian President Iohannis welcomed the vote in a statement on Thursday afternoon. He said that "today Romania won" and that "the fall of the PSD government is the natural result (...) against the abuses of this government. This process is called the PSD becoming history". He said he would start consultations with political parties tomorrow, with the goal of an efficient government until the next general elections. He said he saw early elections to be the best possible solution.
- UPDATE 4
THe leader of the opposition USR party, Dan Barna, said his group opts for early elections and this is what they would call for in consultations with the head of state.
The PSD Government came to power after a landslide victory in the 2016 general elections. Under the leadership of former PSD strongman Liviu Dragnea, currently convicted under corruption charges, the prime minister changed repeatedly. Dragnea himself could not stand for the position of prime minister due to a suspended sentence under corruption-related charges. Viorica Dancila was the third to become PM of the PSD-led government and lasted the most. But it lost ground and parliamentary stability with the withdrawal of a minor governing partner, ALDE, earlier this fall.
Most of the PSD members of the Parliament attended the procedure on Thursday but did not vote. The motion was supported by all other parties and several of the PSD MPs. Only 4 votes were cast against the motion.
The law lets the Dancila Government stay in office and only run administrative business, without promoting new policies or adopting ordinances and other bills, until a new government is sworn in.
The President has to call for consultations with parliamentary parties and designate a new candidate for the seat of prime minister. Within 10 days, the nominee would then have to come with a government team for a vote of confidence in the Parliament.
The Dancila government is dismissed as Romania prepares for presidential elections in November. Both incumbent President Klaus Iohannis, as a favorite, and Viorica Dancila as leader of the PSD are running for office in these elections.