Update3: Dancila Government has been dismissed after the censure motion filed by the Opposition had passed in the Parliament by 238 votes.
There have been 399 MPs attending the plenary session, and 245 votes cast. 238 votes was in favour, four against, 0 abstentions. The motion needed at least 233 votes to pass.
By the law, if a Cabinet is toppled down by a no-confidence vote in Parliament, it remains in office to carry out just the needed normative documents to manage the current public affairs, but without promoting new policies, until the new ministers swear in. During this time, the Government is also banned from adopting ordinances or initiating draft laws.
Romania’s President must call parliamentary parties for consultations and designate a candidate for the Prime Minister office. Within 10 days since the designation, the premier-designate must come before the Parliament with a proposed Cabinet, for the confidence vote.
Viorica Dancila has stated after the motion’s success that her Cabinet will remain in history “as a very good one” , while voicing hope President Iohannis will name today a new premier for form the government.
“As you see, all parties have joined forces so that the motion should pass. There have been colleagues from PSD who betrayed, it’s no problem, we are leaving mission accomplished. We managed to achieve many things in the ruling programme,” Dancila said.
PNL chairman Ludovic Orban announced after the vote that the party’s National Political Bureau will convene on Friday morning to establish the strategy and the team that will represent the party and the mandate Liberals will have at the consultations with President Iohannis, to form a new Government. Orban added that “the nightmare Romania has been living for 3 years has ended”.
On the other hand, PLUS chairman Dacian Ciolos considers that early elections are next right step to follow. Ciolos asks President Iohannis to hold consultations with all responsible political parties in Romania and to advance a time frame to trigger early elections after dissolving the current Parliament. “The censure motion is a first step to organise early elections and “not an opportunity to take over ruling without legitimacy through non-transparent backroom games“, Ciolos argued.
USR leader Dan Barna also thinks the snap elections is the solution and that this will be the proposal the USR-PLUS Alliance will be made during talks with President Iohannis.
“Early elections is the key, to turn for the citizens’ vote. During the last meeting we had with President Iohannis, he told me he also supports the idea of early elections. It is the natural, fair solution. Any other option will only extend this barter we have been seeing these days, to try to buy and invent majorities,” Barna underlined.
In his turn PMP chairman, Eugen Tomac said that “officially, Dragnea era is over”, adding that the motion’s success is a proof that “politicians with different views can join forces for the benefit of the country”.
Update 2: 245 votes have been cast in Parliament for the censure motion. For the time being, the votes are being counted.
Update: The secret vote has started. PSD deputies Marius Bota and Gabriel Petrea, but also former SocDem Mihaita Gaina have voted the censure motion. On the other hand, the MPs from the national minorities group, including the leader of the group Varujan Pambuccian, have put the balls in the ballot boxes.
However, sources told Digi24 that PSD deputy Sorin Bota had just pretended to vote, but he had actually taken the balls with him.
PM Viorica Dancila and the party leaders were carefully monitoring the vote.
The censure motion filed by the Opposition and signed by 237 MPs is debated today in the plenary session of the Romanian Parliament.
The motion was signed by PNL, USR, PMP, UDMR, Pro Romania and ALDE senators and deputies, but also by four PSD lawmakers and by one representing the national minorities.
The Opposition needs 233 votes to topple down the Dancila Cabinet. The vote is secret.
PM Viorica Dancila began her speech by attacking the Opposition and President Klaus Iohannis, saying the Opposition would link to anything to invalidate the current ruling and that it follows the example of President Iohannis, whom she named “the candidate-president”, and “the anti-Constitution president”, who “used the tragedy in Ialomita to slam PSD”.
“I am looking around in the room and I see the same amateur and irresponsible people. You haven’t changed too much in the past months since we were in the same situation. I thought you learnt something, that you cannot come and topple down the government with your homework undone, you need to propose a government team and a ruling programme”, the prime minister argued.
“Your fooling around with the ruling. Your are the only Opposition in history that managed to file the no-confidence motion and then run away from the vote (…) Don’t underestimate the Social Democratic Party! Don’t you think we’ll ever stop, from the government or from the opposition, from fighting against you, those who want to divide Romania and to see it in poverty again. Personally, I don’t think you really want to govern this country, I urge you to imagine the scenario of the elections next year with PSD in opposition and with you, in power, the alliance of amateurs. You have been crushed before, you know how it is”, Dancila stated.
Dancila did not miss the opportunity to slam her former ruling partner, ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu, but also Victor Ponta, ex-PSD premier and chairman, currently leader of Pro Romania.
“We have her Mr Tariceanu who helped with this action that is doomed to fail. With all Mr. Tariceanu’s experience, he has shamefully fallen into Mr. Ponta’ strap and has pathetically ensured an end of his political career. This is what happens to all those who join Ponta, the premier who resigned on Facebook, the master of lies and the expert of the backstage games with no finality”.
In his turn, PSD senator Titus Corlatean said this is “the worst no-confidence motion” ever, and that it looks like a “song of lament from the 1800”. He accused PNL, USR and UDMR that they want to sack the state employees, to cut salaries and pensions and to tax the IT businesses.
Moreover, Corlatean has harshly attacked USR, calling them “intelligence people” and announcing “that neo-Marxist voices in USR plan to impose the obligation of abortion for women without income”.
PSD deputy says he will vote
However, a PSD deputy announced o the homestretch he will vote the motion, although the Social Democrats are banned from the party leadership to cast their votes. Gabriel Petrea, leader of the PSD Youth organisation and former minister of Social Dialogue, said he will vote.
PNL: The motion will pass
The leader of Liberal deputies, Raluca Turcan has retorted to Corlatean: “Let’s be very clear for the PSD propaganda. PNL will not cut nothing from honest people in Romania. The only ones fearing now is the usurpers here”.
PNL chairman Ludovic Orban stated the no-confidence vote will pass 100% and that all Liberal MPs are attending the plenary sitting and will vote in the open.
“PSD must be stopped from harming Romania anymore. The motion will pass, 100%. Despite the villain assault of the PSD jerks who resorted to all filthy crimes, over 233 MPs will vote the motion and Dancila Government will go home“, Orban underlined.
Liberal deputy Corneliu Olar, who is seriously ill and has missed work for a long time, has been seen today in the plenary hall, especially to vote the motion.
Barna: PM Dancila was a mistake
“Today, Romania’s Parliament is having its political Baccalaureate before the citizens. Today, we have the chance to pass this exam (…) Your nomination as premier was a mistake. We did not endorse you back then, we are neither endorsing you now. You run by far one of the most incompetent governments in the past 30 years”, USR leader Dan Barna told the premier, while also accusing Dancila that “she has swept 50 years of diplomatic history in the Middle East”.
UDMR: This Cabinet ran out
“The political situation is rather simple, but we, the politicians, are making it very complicated. On one hand, it is clear this government has not more resources or necessary fuel to go on. It is not something personal, but we just see this ruling has run out. We have been trying for 2 years and a half to charge the battery of this government, but it is in vain, as you are are consuming too much energy in the wrong places”, said UDMR chair, Kelemen Hunor.
PMP senator came to the vote by the ambulance
A premiere has been registered in the Romanian Parliament on the occasion of the no-confidence vote, after a PMP senator had come to the Parliament by ambulance to vote for the motion.
PMP senator Cristian Lungu was to undergo a surgery in Cluj-Napoca today, but he delayed it by one day to be able to vote.
“Chairman Tomac told me it’s no need for me to come, but, as there were some voices saying I would find the disease as an excuse to betray the party, I decided to come”, he said, adding he is suffering from kidney abscess caused by a pinch in the spine.
Tariceanu, Ponta retort to PM Dancila
“Mrs. Prime Minister, dear Viorica, I had no slightest intention to take the floor today, we have been partners for two years and a half. If I was to disclose things from the house, be sure I had much more things to say than PNL and USR, but I didn’t want to. Mrs. Prime Minister used to tell us at the beginning of the summer that it wasn’t her, that she did not feel comfortable, and did not identify (editor note: referring to Dancila’s statements after the PSD defeat in the EP elections and after Liviu Dragnea had been imprisoned that she acted against her will during Dragnea’s mandate as PSD chairman),“ Calin Popescu Tariceanu replied.
ALDE leader told PM Dancila that if she feels she is being kept hostage at Victoria Palace, she can ask for help. “You don’t have to say nothing, just blink twice and we set you free“, Tariceanu said, paraphrasing a famous slogan during the anti-corruption protests against the emergency ordinance to amend the criminal codes in the winter of 2017, when protesters used to wave banners targeting the premier back then, Sorin Grindeanu: “Sorin, if you want us to save you, blink twice“.
“We are in front of a very strange motion (…) Mrs Dancila is upset that all her advisers called me the other night to talk about the motion. If you are upset that a man is turning you down it is not normal to say it on the mic. I give you one word to look for its meaning on Google: tautology“, Victor Ponta said in his turn.
Protest in front of the Parliament, people ask for the Gov’t resignation and snap elections
Tens of people are staging a protest in front of the Parliament’s building while MPs are voting the censure motion. Protesters ask the Government’s resignations and snap elections.