Support independent journalism in Central & Eastern Europe.
Donate to TOL!

× Learn more
No, thanks Photo: Abbas Atilay
 
back  |  printBookmark and Share

Romanian Ruling Party Turns on Own Man

Premier Grindeanu has refused to step down ahead of no-confidence motion next week.

16 June 2017

The turmoil in Romania’s government reached bizarre levels yesterday, as the ruling party will call for a vote of no confidence against the government headed by one of its own members.

 

The crisis began Wednesday when the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) withdrew support for Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu (pictured)’s cabinet. When Grindeanu refused to resign, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea yesterday said the party would file a motion of no confidence on Monday. PSD’s executive committee also voted to expel Grindeanu from the party, SeeNews reports.

 

Many observers read these events as a power struggle between the prime minister and Dragnea, the powerful party leader whose conviction on vote-rigging charges, which he contests, barred him from becoming prime minister after elections last December.

 

Late yesterday Grindeanu said he will resign only if Dragnea gives up his party leadership by Monday.

 

President Klaus Iohannis said he will only appoint a new prime minister if Grindeanu resigns or loses the no-confidence vote next week, Business Insider quotes his spokeswoman as saying.

 

Asked how the National Liberals, the largest opposition party in parliament, would vote on the no-confidence question, acting party chair Raluca Turcan said, “There still is a long way to go. Let us not forget that Mr. Dragnea further uses all levers at hand to put pressure and even blackmail Mr. Grindeanu,” Nine O’Clock reports.

 

Former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said the ruling PSD-Alliance of Liberals and Democrats coalition “is cannibalizing its own government, consumed by the eternal passion of the struggle for power. Unfortunately, an irresponsible, sad and painful spectacle for Romania.”

 

Ciolos headed a technocratic government formed in 2015 after scandal engulfed the PSD-led cabinet of Victor Ponta over a deadly nightclub fire in Bucharest.

 

Under Grindeanu, the party again faced huge protests and international condemnation, this time when Grindeanu drafted a decree to decriminalize most official bribe-taking. He also proposed an amnesty for all those sentenced to prison terms of less than five years – such as Dragnea, who is serving a suspended sentence for election fraud.

 

As protests against the proposals mounted in February, Grindeanu rejected calls for his resignation, saying a no-confidence vote was the only democratic way to oust a serving prime minister. Next week, he may sorely regret his words.

 

 

  • At their peak, last winter’s anti-government demonstrations attracted an estimated half-million people in what some observers called the biggest protests since the 1989 revolution.

 

  • The government rescinded the decree in the face of domestic and international criticism, and days later Grindeanu survived a no-confidence motion in parliament when the PSD and its allies abstained.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

back  |  printBookmark and Share

TOL PROMOTION

Announcement

  

Going on Assignment in Prague – January 7-15, 2018

Do you have a passion for foreign reporting? Would you like to develop your skills further or simply gain more confidence? This course is aimed at university students, freelance journalists or activists who would like to gain some practical skills in this field. You’ll learn the best tricks of the trade from storytelling and interviewing techniques to locating your sources and incorporating multimedia.

Throughout the course you will be guided by experienced foreign correspondents from media such as Reuters, the BBC, the Financial Times, and the New York Times. You’ll leave equipped with a publishable story to add to your portfolio. Early bird fee available until September 1, 2017. Apply now! or see more info.


MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS

Moldovan diaries

The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.

This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes. 

It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.

RELATED ARTICLES

© Transitions Online 2017. All rights reserved. ISSN 1214-1615
Published by Transitions o.s., Baranova 33, 130 00 Prague 3, Czech Republic.