PM Grindeanu struggles to stay in power as pressure mounts

Ovidiu Posirca 19/06/2017 | 09:15

Romania’s PM Sorin Grindeanu might be forced out of office this week as he faces a vote of no confidence in Parliament.

Left without the political support of the Social Democractic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), Grindeanu has started to fire some of the government officials that have been backed by the coalition. For instance, the PM decided on Sunday to fire all the state secretaries in the ministry of development, days after he submitted to president Klaus Iohannis the resignation of the minister of development of Sevil Shhaideh, a close ally of PSD head Liviu Dragnea.

Meanwhile, Grindeanu got ex-PM Victor Ponta in his team as general secretary of the government. He is also working with the minister of communication, Augustin Jianu. The PM wants Jianu to act as deputy PM and has asked president Iohannis to approve this move.

While president Iohannis said that the PSD should solve this crisis fast, Grindeanu, who has kicked out of the party, has accused Dragnea of leading the party as a dictator. He was joined by the mayor of Iasi, Mihai Chirica, who claimed that the atmosphere in the PSD was compared to the one in former Soviet Russia.

Commentators say that Grindeanu and Ponta are looking to get the support of social democrats that are disgruntled with the current leadership of the party and somehow split the PSD.

In short, Grindeanu and Ponta want to make sure that the motion of no confidence falls in Parliament and the government is able to survive.

The motion of no confidence got 222 signatures from MPs and 233 votes are necessary for it to get through.

“The vote on Wednesday is important, which will be massive,” said Dragnea.

On the other hand, Grindeanu warned that if he is removed from power, the PSD might lose its control of the government as president Iohannis might refuse to appoint the new PM from the ranks of the social democrats.

The opposition parties have kept their distance from the current crisis, claiming that it’s a problem of the PSD. It is not clear what the liberals, for instance, will do during the vote of no confidence.


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