The censure motion filed by the Opposition parties will be debated and voted in Parliament’s joint plenary session today. 233 votes are needed to topple down Dancila Cabinet. At this point, PNL, USR and PMP have only 153 MPs altogether, to which some votes will probably come from the ex-Social Democrats who joined ex-PM Victor Ponta’s ‘Pro Romania’ Party. UDMR has announced it would not vote the motion and will leave the plenary session. Liberals still hope to convince lawmakers of the ruling coalition in the last stretch.
After some hints on Tuesday, UDMR has officially announced on Wednesday morning that they would not vote the censure motion and that they would leave the plenary hall after the debate.
UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor stated that PSD and ALDE have a majority that could be hardly knocked down. “The parliamentary majority can change by censure motion, but in order for it to happen something more than criticism is needed, a vision about the future, a leader, a ruling programme are needed, as well as a list of ministers with which you can move forward, which is missing right now,” Kelemen Hunor argued.
In retort, Liberal chairman Ludovic Orban said he was surprised by the UDMR’s decision not to attend the vote, saying “there are probably some negotiations behind”.
Security measures tightened up in Parliament, journalists’ access also banned
On the other hand, amid announcements for protests in front of the Parliament building, the security measures inside the Palace of Parliament have been tightened up on Wednesday. Everyone, including journalists, was banned to use main elevators of the parliament, except for the lawmakers. The ruling power wanted to make sure that no surprise guests might show up on the parliament’s halls, particularly after USR had launched an appeal for protests.
Social democrat deputy Eugen Nicolicea has warned the journalists, suggesting they should stay in the press room on level P, not on the floor where the plenary hall is.
Asked why these access restrictions are also targeting the mass media, Nicolice replied: “Well, they are not targeting just you, but everyone, to prevent incidents like the one last week in the future. So, mind you conduct in the future (…) You have all the equipment int he press room down on level P, you have all that you need there. And you are sprawled here as if you were at the bus station.”
The leader of the PSD Group in the Chamber of Deputies, Daniel Suciu, explained the unprecedented security measures are a consequence of the spontaneous protest staged by the USR supporters last week, but are not meant to affect the journalists.
“It is possible a clerk of the lower chamber might have been overzealous and ordered this measure (…) Neither me nor my party fellows would want to restrict the journalists’ access,” Suciu said.
However, parliamentary parties were getting ready for the no confidence vote in Parliament since early this week, with both ruling and opposition party leaders mobilizing their followers on the day of the motion’s vote.
After Liberal National Party and Save Romania Union from the opposition camp urged their supporters to take to the streets and attend the rallies on Wednesday, the day the motion is voted in Parliament, PSD-ALDE followers were also called to come in front of the Parliament’s building.
Asked on TV if there are chances that ruling PSD-ALDE coalition’s supporters might come in front of the Parliament on Wednesday, PSD senator Claudiu Manda has replied: „Yes, they might come”.
Questioned on what might happen at the Parliament if the opposition’s supporters will also come to protest, Manda said: „There are two versions, we can either compare them in numbers or a conflict might emerge (…)”.
He added that the censure motion has no chances to pass and argued that opposition MPs might not be present to vote the motion as well. PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea announced a day ago that the Social Democrat lawmakers will attend the plenary session to provide the quorum during the no confidence vote but they will not cast their votes.
In retort to a potential PSD’s counter-manifestation in front of the Parliament during the motion’s voting procedure, the chairman of the National Liberal Party, Ludovic Orban asked the ruling coalition’s supporters to choose another location to show their endorsement for things might take a bad turn.
“I have nothing against their manifestation, but they should protest in another place than the location where the Opposition’s rallied had been announced I advice them to not do a silly thing for things might turn out badly out there. If Dragnea’s clan comes up with this kind of challenges, nobody will be able to control what might happen,” the PNL leader said.
Orban has previously launched a message to the Liberal followers, urging them to take to the streets to the rallies staged on the day of the censure motion, in Bucharest and countrywide as well.
„After the Government is toppled down, PNL is open to negotiations to all civilized and decent political forces, which want what is good for Romania, for shaping a beneficial solution for Romania (…) We asked the PNL sympathizers to attend all rallies to support the censure motion, both in Bucharest and in other cities as well, on the day of the no confidence vote and we asked them to join the Romanian citizens who want Romania to get back on the right track,” said Orban.
In his turn, USR chair, Dan Barna, announced that USR MPs are on white armlet strike and will have white armbands on Wednesday. Moreover, USR has called on people to take to the streets during the no confidence vote.