The Grindeanu government was dismissed by censure motion (no-confidence vote) on Wednesday by 241 votes in favour. The information was delivered by PSD MP Mircea Draghici after the ballot and confirmed officially. Cast ballots – 251, no cancelled votes, 10 ballots against.
“The censure motion was adopted. The government is dismissed,” Senate Speaker calin Popescu Tariceanu said after the official announcement of the results.
According to presidency spokeswoman Madalina Dobrovolschi, the talks between President Klaus Iohannis and the majority coalition PSD-ALDE on a new government will begin on Monday.
The sitting of the Parliament plenum, to debate and vote on the motion of censure ‘Romania cannot be confiscated. We defend the democracy and the vote of the Romanians’ was held on Wednesday after 11.00h.
The motion of censure was initiated by PSD and ALDE lawmakers against the government led by… social-democrat Sorin Grindeanu.
In order to be adopted, the censure motion needed at least 233 votes ‘for’.
The vote will be secret with balls.
PSD and ALDE lawmakers claim in the no-confidence motion that two of the 27 members of the government share ministerial posts and launch ridiculous attacks.
At the beginning of the sitting only two ministers sat in the banks reserved for the members of the government to read the censure motion: Premier Sorin Grindeanu and the Minister of Communications, Augustin Jianu. The other ministers, who have resigned, sat in the PSD’s stands. Grindeanu and Jianu were joined by Victor Ponta, the Secretary General of the government.
Ponta: Dragnea has all power now
Former PM Victor Ponta, who teamed up with Sorin Grindenau against PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea, stated after the censure motion had been passed that now Liviu Dragnea “has all the power”, while advising him to use it “better than he did it in the past six months”. “At this moment, Mr. Dragnea is PSD,” Ponta said.
He also referred to Sorin Grindeanu, stating that the dismissed premier “has very much potential for the future”.
“He has tried to induce a break between past and future, which was needed in PSD,” Ponta also commented.
The former premier voiced his disappointment that his former party fellows were happy that “the censure motion against PSD had passed”.
Before the votes were counted, Ponta slammed that the PSD lawmakers had been compelled to vote in plain sight out of “fear”. “I haven’t seen such control and fear in people before. You saw, if someone dared not show the balls, they took him back,” Ponta said.
PM Grindeanu: I don’t understand why we are here today
In his opening speech, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said on Wednesday that he accepted the request to become prime minister as some of the ministers, who now left him now, asked him to accept but also because Liviu Dragnea promised him to be his friend.
“Then, after less than six months, I find out that the government is not doing its job, that the ministers are good, but not really and everything comes from an analysis considered by many colleagues as incorrect. I don’t understand why we are here today. I don’t understand why this scandal within PSD, as we have won the elections. I understand that many of you also do not understand,” PM Grindeanu said.
Grindeanu added that he hasn’t resigned because PSD risks losing governance.
“It’s strange that up to the end of May, Mr Liviu Dragnea was saying: I thank to all ministries. At the same time I heard that we should be under a thorough, deep analysis. Part of my minister colleagues told me they feel the pressure and that people throughout the country do not understand. On the other hand, the statistics institute and Eurostat were saying economy is going well,” PM Grindeanu said.
The Premier added: “If the censure motion passes, the President (Klaus Iohannis – our note) will say ‘no’ to a new premier. Who guarantees that if this motion passes, Klaus Iohannis will appoint a prime minister from PSD?”
“I have been closely following Mr. Dragnea’s speech, I realized that anyone who could have become prime minister has no chance to carry out his PM position (…) You know, there are about 5 prime ministers and 50 ministers here in the hall. This has been debated in the past days. If there is confidence, why don’t you trust a secret vote? (…) I hope this adventure ends well and PSD stays in power”, Grindeanu said before the vote.
“Second thing, the one related to the system. What fight has Mr. Liviu Dragnea had with the system in the past months, except for the famous GEO 13? Has anyone here played tennis with them? Has anyone patted the system’s plaster to get rid of files? Please, everyone answer these questions,” he concluded.
Chamber Speaker Liviu Dragnea: I never wanted to reach this situation
Chamber of Deputies Speaker Liviu Dragnea (PSD leader – our note) has said he never wanted to reach this situation, however the vote for the censure motion means the governance will continue according to the vote received by PSD-ALDE in general elections.
“Today is not a happy day for me, after hearing Mr. Grindeanu’s speech, especially. I never wanted to reach this situation. By adopting the censure motion it means the PSD-ALDE governance will continue according to the vote given by Romanians in December. (…) We’ve been honest to Romanians, to the party instead of pretending we are still together. Not everything was all right, the Premier and the government to which we’ve handed the most ambitious programme after 1989, have not performed as we had hoped. No one expected our former colleague to act in such stubbornness,” Dragnea said.
Dragnea’s speech was preceded by a protest staged by USR MPs, who raised placards written: ‘Shame on PSD’, ‘Down with PSD’ and ‘Grindeanu=Dragnea’.
PNL, USR, critical, will not vote
PNL’s representative Raluca Turcan told Sorin Grindeanu: “clarify all the incorrect issues Dragnea asked for, for the public opinion. This is a mafia account setup.” Turcan draw the attention on the negative evolution of the national currency.
“PNL will not vote the censure motion,” she added.
In turn, USR representative Dan Barna confirmed his party will not vote the censure motion. “We believe this is an account setup. PSD should assume this failure together with Sorin Grindeanu,” he said.
ALDE’s Varujan Vosganian: It’s strange the opposition refuses to vote
ALDE representative Varujan Vosganianhas commented on the fact that a majority coalition wants to change its government and to file a censure motion against it. “On the other hand, it’s strange that the opposition refuses to vote. We live in a Romania of moral imponderability,” he said.
Vosganian said all ALDE MPs are present and will vote in favour of the censure motion.
Minorities’ representative: Everyone will vote as he thinks fit
The minorities’ MPs will vote as thinks fit, stated before the vote the group’s leader Varujan Pambuccian, who claimed the group has negotiated nothing.
“It’s not our war at all. We didn’t start it, we are not interested,” Pambuccian said. He added that initially the minorities’ representatives did not want to vote, “however we realised that by not taking part to the ballot means taking sides.”
More to follow