Ludovic Orban’s National Liberal Party-led government came to power in October 2019 after lawmakers passed a motion of no-confidence vote against the centre-left government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.
Romania’s liberal-led government collapsed on Wednesday after just four months in office, with 261 of the country’s 465 MPs voting in favour of a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Ludovic Orban.
319 lawmakers took part in the vote. Under the country’s legislation, a no-confidence motion requires 233 votes or more to pass.
“This government is now dismissed by parliament by a large margin,” opposition Social Democrat Party leader Marcel Ciolacu said following the vote, which his party initiated. The Social Democrats’ initiative was supported by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, an ethnic minority party.
The vote is expected to expedite the country’s legislative elections, previously scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021, to June at the latest.
Orban’s government fell just months after the dismissal of the Social Democrat-led coalition government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, which was toppled in a no-confidence vote in October after losing its parliamentary majority in the summer of 2019 and forming a coalition with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats.
— AGERPRES (EN) (@agerpres_en) February 5, 2020
The collapse of the Orban government is the fourth in as many years. Romania has faced unrest in recent years centred around amendments to the penal code aimed at reducing the force of the country’s anti-corruption laws.
Ahead of the vote, Orban said he was “prepared for any outcome,” adding that his party’s objective was to win the upcoming elections “so we can assure stable and solid governance with wide parliamentary support.”
According to recent polls, the National Liberal Party’s favourability ratings are over 47 percent, while those of the Social Democratic Party stand at only 20 percent.
Commenting on the vote later Wednesday, the prime minister said defiantly that although his government had fallen, “it has fallen on its feet.”
What are Joe Biden’s dealings in Romania, invoked by Donald Trump’s lawyer?
US president Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani dragged Romania’s name into the scandal between Trump and former vice president Joe Biden but left everyone guessing what could be Joe Biden’s controversial connection to Romania.
“I haven’t got to Romania. Wait until we get to Romania,” Giuliani said in a Fox News interview over the weekend, without going into details.
Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who is now under scrutiny for his dealings in Ukraine and China during his father’s term as US vice president, apparently also had business interests in Romania, according to the local media. Hunter Biden was involved in real estate business in Bucharest and allegedly tried to lobby in favor of local real estate tycoon Gabriel Popoviciu in 2017, before and after he was sentenced to jail in a high-profile corruption case, sources close to Popoviciu told local G4Media.ro.
In May this year, reports by Fox News and the New York Times mentioned Hunter Biden’s connection to Gabriel Popoviciu.
“In addition to his work in Ukraine for the energy company Burisma, Hunter Biden advised a Romanian businessman with ties to the United States, Gabriel Popoviciu, whose real estate dealings had come under investigation, according to people familiar with the arrangement, which has not been previously reported. The investigation, which came as the United States and its allies were pushing Romania to clamp down on corruption, led to Mr. Popoviciu’s conviction and a prison sentence,” reads an article in the New York Times.
However, there is no evidence so far that Hunter Biden tried to leverage his father’s influence to help Popoviciu or any other wrongdoing.
Giuliani drags Romania into Trump-Biden scandal
US president Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said in a TV show on Fox News that he had proof about former vice-president Joe Biden’s alleged dealings in Romania. Giuliani accused news outlets in the US of failing to investigate corruption allegations against the former vice president and purposely ignoring them.
When the anchor told Giuliani that the interview was nearly over, he insisted he had more revelations to make. “I haven’t got to Romania. Wait until we get to Romania,” he said waving his tablet, suggesting that he had the information there.
Giuliani’s intervention on Fox News comes as president Donald Trump and his allies are trying to deflect negative media coverage related to the president allegedly trying to get the new Ukrainian president and his government to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for military aid.
“Giuliani has accused Hunter Biden of improper activity related to his business dealings with energy company Burisma Holdings, and claims that then-Vice President Joe Biden used his office to pressure the Ukrainian government into firing top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma,” Fox News reports.
Biden acknowledged that he pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin, but denied that it had any relation to his son’s business dealings in the country and was in line with pressure from other foreign leaders to fire the prosecutor.
Trump now risks impeachment for using his power to get dirt on a political opponent. Joe Biden is the most likely opponent of president Donald Trump in the presidential elections next year.
Is that right?
“We haven’t even got to Romania yet, just wait till we get to Romania.” – Rudy BIG WIGGA Giuliani