Prime Minister Florin Citu and his government was removed on Tuesday after a majority of MPs backed a no-confidence vote. The motion was filed a week previous by the main opposition Social Democratic Party, PSD.
A total of 281 lawmakers backed the motion, far more than the 234 required. It was the largest majority to support a no-confidence motion since the fall of Communism in Romania in 1989.
“The parliament adopts the motion of censure and withdraws the trust granted to the government,” announced the president of the Chamber of Deputies, the ruling National Liberal Party’s (PNL) Ludovic Orban, following the end of the voting process.
The no-confidence vote came on the back of the breakdown of the ruling PNL’s coalition with the Save Romania Union and the Party of Liberty, Unity and Solidarity, USR-PLUS.
USR-PLUS withdrew from the coalition after Prime Minister Citu dismissed the party’s Justice Minister Stelian Ion from the cabinet in September over escalating tensions related to a 10 billion euro development program. At the same time, the party called for negotiations to name another prime minister.
Citu hit back at the group of MPs following the no-confidence vote.
I should have fired them [from the cabinet] long before. Instead, I tolerated a team of incompetents more than necessary. Eventually, they realized they couldn’t do their jobs and left on their own,” he charged.
“All options are on the table, including negotiations on a project-by-project basis with everyone. But we won’t leave, we won’t surrender. We won’t let the country fall into the hands of the greedy,” Citu continued.
President Klaus Iohannis is now set to hold talks at the Cotroceni Palace with party representatives before announcing a nominee for the next prime minister. Former prime minister of the PNL, Ludovic Orban, has denied reports that he will be nominated by his party for the role of premier.
Citu’s removal comes after he won, with the support of President Iohannis, against Orban in an internal PNL vote for leadership on 25 September.
Romania’s next appointed premier will be the country’s tenth in a decade.