Romania’s crisis continues as latest PM-designate throws in the towel

Romania’s youngest Prime Minister-designate has given up plans to form a new government. Nicolae Ciucă resigned after it appeared he did not …

Romania’s youngest Prime Minister-designate has given up plans to form a new government.

Nicolae Ciucă resigned after it appeared he did not have enough parliamentary support to approve his cabinet proposal.

The former army general was nominated by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis last month to help resolve the country’s political crisis.

However, Ciucă’s National Liberal Party (PNL) was expected to fail to achieve the required majority support after the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the junior-centrist USR party declared that they would not support the proposal.

The deputy defense minister said he had decided to step down after discussions within his party.

“I was hoping to find a political solution (…), but the mathematical reality is the one we all know,” Ciucă told reporters on Monday evening after a party meeting.

The Romanian MPs had already failed to support a centrist cabinet proposed by former Prime Minister-designate Dacian Cioloș.

The political crisis in Romania began in early September when former PNL Prime Minister Florin Cîțu dismissed his USR Justice Minister.

Cîțu fired the minister for not agreeing to a regional infrastructure development program, but his PNL-led government was soon overthrown in a vote of no confidence.

President Iohannis is expected to convene the parties represented in parliament on Tuesday to decide on a third prime minister-designate.

The PNL, together with its allies of the ethnic Hungarian party UDMR, currently controls only 163 parliamentary seats, 71 seats missing the majority.

The crisis comes as Romania faces a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the daily death toll reaching a record 591 people on Tuesday.

The political crisis has also threatened Romania’s economic recovery during the health crisis.

“I am convinced that all party-level activities must be based on dialogue and understanding of the country’s situation,” Ciucă said on Monday.

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