Romania: PSD files motion of censure against the Orban administration – What follows

Romania: PSD files motion of censure against the Orban administration – What follows

PSD filed alongside UDMR a motion against the government, entitled “Orban/PNL Government – Privatization of the Romanian Democracy”. The 208 lawmakers and senators who signed the proposal argue that the Orban administration should be urgently sacked, not only because the change in the electoral system is not in line with European standards, but also because the changes were adopted unilaterally, without consultation, with the party in power assuming responsibility.

The House and Senate Presidencies decided a few minutes ago that the motion would be read in plenary on Monday, February 3 (2 pm) and that they would meet again to determine the timetable for the speeches and the voting procedure.

Digi24.ro reports in an article, according to information from Mediafax, the composition of Parliament before submitting the motion of censure: out of 465 Members and Senators, PSD has 198, PNL 105, USR 40, UDMR 30, Pro România 27, PMP 19, ALDE 19, the group of national minorities 17, while 13 are independent. Consequently, Digi notes, PSD, UDMR and Forța Națională (formerly ALDE) garner 232 votes with one more vote left to be found, either by minority members or by one of the independents; perhaps by Pro România.

The right wing in Parliament, consisting of PNL, USR, PMP and ALDE, are expected to unite in order to oppose the Orban government’s sack.

ALDE will not vote against the government, but Călin Popescu Tăriceanu thinks the motion is likely to be approved and the mayoral election in two rounds will remain simply a wishful thinking.

The transitional president of PSD has already announced that, in the event that the no-confidence motion does not go through, his party will appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, for his part, stressed that, based on current evidence, the censure proposal would be dropped. Speaking on Realitatea Plus, he stated that, in the event that the judges of the Constitutional Court found the law unconstitutional, he would be ready to issue an emergency government decree on the election of mayors in two rounds.

He explained that the emergency decree is issued by the government without anyone’s permission and without consulting Parliament, clarifying that he had chosen the method of assuming responsibility, as it is much more democratic and Members could propose amendments. Indeed, he stated that he had accepted four of them.

In the method of assuming responsibility, Mr. Orban continued, constitutional scrutiny could take place and, unlike the emergency decree, the main opposition that does not agree could suspend the application of the law by submitting a motion of no confidence. It constitutes a much more democratic process, Mr. Orban concluded.

Meanwhile, the PLUS party has called on Parliament to “immediately replace” the chairman of the Permanent Election Authority, Constantin-Florin Mitulețu-Buică, due to his meeting with the Russian Ambassador to Bucharest Valery Kuzmin on Unification Day, 24 January, with whom he had talks on “developing a cooperative relationship between autonomous administrative authorities specializing in the organization of electoral processes in the two countries, in order to exchange experiences and best practices”.

Mr. Mitulețu-Buică, who was appointed head of the Election Authority on a proposal by PSD in February 2019, is the last official of the ‘Dragnea regime’ to remain in office.

Both sides duly announced the meeting. /ibna