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Romania's parliament toppled the government of Prime Minister Florin Citu by a large majority in a vote of no-confidence on Tuesday.
Romania's coalition government led by Prime Minister Florin Citu collapsed on Tuesday after it lost a no-confidence vote initiated by the main opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) and supported by all opposition parties in Parliament.
The motion was passed by 281 votes, much more than the required minimum of 234 or 50 percent plus one in the 467-seat bicameral Parliament.
Citu's cabinet was toppled ten days after he was elected leader of the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL) and less than ten months after his cabinet took office on Dec. 23, 2020.
Under the Constitution, the current cabinet shall continue to fulfill only the acts required for the administration of public affairs, until the members of the new government take the oath, Ludovic Orban, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, said after the vote.
The PSD has only one decision to make right now -- early elections, party leader Marcel Ciolacu stressed, arguing that a technocratic government could lead the country until the eventual elections.
Dan Barna, co-chairman of the liberal, centrist USR PLUS party, said that the USR is willing to continue in the coalition with the PNL if the latter proposes a prime minister other than incumbent Citu. The USR PLUS voted against Citu and withdrew from the coalition after Citu dismissed Stelian Ion, the party's justice minister, from the cabinet.
"If this government is ousted in Parliament today, we will form another one, also around liberal values," Citu said on Tuesday during the debate on the censure motion.
According to him, "all the options, after today's vote, are on the table ... We will negotiate on projects with everyone."
Yet, referring to the possibility of a new coalition with the USR PLUS, Citu recalled an earlier decision of his party's leadership, which ruled out cooperation in a coalition with those who supported the censure motion against the PNL.
The collapse of the government is bound to usher in a period of uncertainty in the country's political arena and the ball is now in the court of President Klaus Iohannis, a staunch ally of Citu's.
Under the Constitution, the head of state will consult the parliamentary parties and name a new prime minister-designate. Within ten days, the candidate will have to present a new team and a program to Parliament for approval.