Censure motion against Orban Cabinet adopted by 261 votes

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The Parliament has adopted the censure motion filed by PSD and UDMR against the Liberal Cabinet led by Ludovic Orban, three months after it had been sworn in. The motion passed by 261 votes.

423 MPs attended the plenary session and 400 votes were cast. 261 votes were for the motion and 139 against it, so the Orban Cabinet is dismissed. There were no abstentions or invalid votes.

Among those who voted against the Orban Gov’t there was also a Liberal senator, Eleonora-Carmen Hărău, who would have voted the motion “by mistake”.

Once the Cabinet is dismissed, the draft law on electing mayors in two rounds is also considered rejected, meaning the mayors will be elected as so far, in one round of elections.

However, the adoption of the censure motion is a first step to kicking off early elections.

Under the Constitution, the Parliament can be dissolved by the President if two proposals for a new Government are rejected within 60 days.

The Liberals’ strategy is for Ludovic Orban to come before the Parliament to ask for a vote of confidence and the Liberal MPs to vote against.

In case all legal steps were met, Liberals want snap elections to take place at the same time with the local elections, due in June.

PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu said he will talk to the Pro Romania chairman Victor Ponta, to agree on a joint proposal for the PM position.

In response to the motion’s success, PM Orban said he “is proud” of what his Cabinet has managed to do in just three months in power. He said the current parliament “is dominated by retrograde forces”.

I  was judged by a toxic parliamentary alliance. We only lost one battle, but we’ll win the war for Romania”, Orban said, adding that the Government “has landed on its feet”.

 

Rows and personal attacks before the vote

Previously in the morning, PSD chairman Marcel Ciolacu had said “there were enough votes to topple down” the current Liberal Government, PM Ludovic Orban said the motion has not chances to pass unless “some political actors” are regrouping.

PM Orban told PSD from the Parliament’s tribune: “I see you have some reading problems, so I am sympathetic about you. You are MPs born out of Dragnea’s pen”. When PSD leader warned the premier to endorse the Government’s stance and to avoid political attacks, Orban continued: “I don’t give a damn on your statements about democracy, for all that you’ve done is to mock Romanians (…) In 2016 you were disguised in bees promising honey and after that you turned into wasps giving venom”.

Orban also said he won’t allow to be judged by Dragnea’s servants. He argued his government is forced to take loans because of the deficit inherited from PSD. “You have indebted the country with RON 225 billion without starting any project for a highway, just to cover the budget holes that you caused.”

If initially he said Pro Romania will not vote the motion, yesterday, Victor Ponta, the party leader, changed his mind and said they will vote it.

When hearing that Ponta will eventually vote against his Cabinet, PM Orban slammed him, saying Ponta “is critical against private hospitals, but where did he go for his knee surgery? ( e.n.referring to the surgery Ponta underwent while he was prime minister, in a private hospital in Turkey”.

Ponta said that only those from USR did not realize yet that “there is a deal between PSD and PNL,” while also retorting to Ludovic Orban: “One more thing, dear Ludovic!  You know, at least I had a knee injury, I was not in rehab”.

On the other hand, ALDE, the former PSD’s ruling partner, announced through the voice of its chairman, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, that they will not vote the motion, for ALDE is in favour of electing the mayors in two rounds and because “ALDE does not want to pave the way to early elections”.

In their turn, USR announced they will not vote the motion, as well as PMP.

According to the Social Democrats’ calculation, there are enough votes on paper to topple down the Orban Gov’t. 233 MPs need to vote for the motion in order for it to pass.

Dan Barna, the USR chairman, has attacked both PSD and UDMR in the plenary session. “The Parliament could have debated today about the money needed for pensions or the Union Motorway, but you, gentlemen from PSD and UDMR, you wanted to discuss about Middle Ages, about coward barons (…) you’ve been mocking democracy for 3 years, in those 3 years all that you’ve done is to try to save Dragnea from jail”.

As for UDMR, Barna said: “Mr. Kelemen Hunor (UDMR leader), how long will you be playing this game of the selfish virgin, when will you stop being a bilingual PSD?”.

In retort, Kelemen Hunor replied that “Orban Government must be stopped from this dangerous adventure”. “This vote doesn’t mean a new majority (…) Dear Mr. Barna, I am glad you have no mayor and  that you want to change the rules during the game”, said Kelemen Hunor, calling Barna “this immaculate gentleman of the Romanian politics”.

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