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Romanian premier ousted in confidence vote after less t...

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Romanian premier ousted in confidence vote after less than year

Romania's Prime Minister Florin Citu.
By Bloomberg
05 Oct 2021 0

(Bloomberg) --Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu and his government were toppled in a no-confidence vote, intensifying political tensions that have already sent the national currency to a record low.

By Andra Timu and Irina Vilcu
Oct 5, 2021, 6:00 AM – Updated on Oct 5, 2021, 1:51 PM
Word Count: 286

Rivals and former allies joined forces Tuesday in parliament to sink Citu, who’s been in power for less than a year but fell out with his main coalition partner.

That leaves the European Union member of 19 million people searching for a 10th premier in as many years, with Covid-19 infections surging at their fastest pace since the pandemic began and the country’s investment-grade credit rating hanging by a thread.

While investors have grown used to seeing governments come and go, they’re more jittery this time around. The Finance Ministry rejected all bids at a local-debt auctions on Monday amid low demand.

President Klaus Iohannis will now have to nominate a replacement for Citu, a 49-year-old former investment banker. Beyond that, little is certain, with several scenarios possible:

  • Iohannis proposes another prime minister from the ruling Liberal Party. The candidate must then seek to build majority support in parliament to avoid early elections
  • To handle the pandemic, a national unity government is formed, led by a politician or independent, though the biggest two opposition parties are at opposite ends of the political spectrum
  • A technocratic government takes over. Romania has done this before — from 2015-2017
  • Iohannis pauses, leaving in place an interim cabinet that would probably be led by Citu

Indeed, with no clear end to the political deadlock, Iohannis may take his time determining the best course of action. Citu, who he’s backed so far and who’ll remain for now in a caretaker role, has indicated he’d like to stay on.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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