Romanian prime minister ousted by own party

George Tzokas
By George Tzokas
June 21, 2017World News
Romanian prime minister ousted by own party
Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu addresses the Romanian Parliament during a no-confidence vote in Bucharest on June 21, 2017. Romania's left-wing government fell after lawmakers overwhelmingly backed the no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu following power struggles within his party. The ruling Social Democrat party (PSD) filed the motion, which passed with 241 to 10 votes, barely six months after winning a thumping election victory. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel MIHAILESCU (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

In an overwhelming majority vote, Romania’s Parliament voted June 21 to oust the current prime minister and his Cabinet in a no-confidence vote.

In the Chamber of Deputies, 241 approved the motion, put forward by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu’s own party, the Social Democratic Party (PSD). This was above the 233 votes required.

His party charged that he had not carried through with the goals of the party, and while the government was doing well, “This is not enough if we consider what have we promised,” PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said before the vote, according to

Dragnea, who would be an obvious replacement for Grindeanu, was convicted in 2016 for vote-rigging and is not eligible for the position.

Grindeanu, who was brought to power after his party won 46 percent of the votes in the December election, refused to resign last week after his party pulled its support of his leadership. He said that Dragnea is attempting to increase his power by replacing him with someone more loyal to the Party.Twenty-five of the 26 members of his Cabinet have already resigned.

Now the country’s president, Klaus Iohannis, has to nominate a new candidate. Once chosen, the new prime minister has 10 days to win the approval of Parliament.

This is the second major upheaval for the current government since it assumed power in January.

Hundreds of thousand of protesters took to the streets in February after the government quietly passed a watered down graft bill.

The bill, which was passed late on New Year’s Eve, decriminalized certain types of graft offenses with the excuse that the jails were overcrowded and the law was out of sync with recent constitutional court rulings.

The country’s justice minister, one of the architects of the bill, resigned after public outcry over the bill.

By Holly Kellum

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