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Romania's center-right government toppled after losing confidence vote
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 10 - 2021

Romania's government has been toppled after a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Florin Citu was passed with a huge majority in parliament.
The motion was passed by 281 votes, far more than the 234 required, with Citu's National Liberal Party (PNL) MPs boycotting the vote. It was lodged by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) after an earlier no-confidence motion by the far-right Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) was blocked.
The two parties were supported by the PNL's former coalition partners, the centrist USD Plus, which broke with the government over the sacking of Justice Minister Stelian Ion, on Sept. 2.
Citu, 49, was appointed less than a year ago but has come under fire for the handling of the COVID-19 crisis, with Romania currently the second-worst vaccinated country in Europe.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has exposed serious deficiencies in the country's healthcare system, with three deadly hospital fires in the last year alone.
The result was expected, with opposition parties telling Euronews on Monday that Citu had little chance of surviving the vote.
George Simion, the president of the AUR, told Euronews that his MPs had been offered bribes in return for abstaining.
Citu is also facing opposition from within the PNL from supporters of Romania's former prime minister, Ludovic Orban, who stood down after the party's poor showing in the 2020 elections.
He is expected to remain at the helm in a caretaker capacity until President Klaus Iohannis appoints a new prime minister. — Euronews

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