Romanian PM Orban resigns after election result, but may still head the next government

Minority center-right government the most likely outcome of the elections

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Dénes Albert

Despite coming in second at Sunday’s Romanian elections, incumbent Prime Minister Ludovic Orban still looks the best positioned to form the country’s next government, conservative Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet reports .
The Social Democratic Party (PSD), which has been in opposition so far, won the extremely low 32 percent turnout in the Romanian parliamentary elections by nearly 30 percent of the vote, based on Monday’s partial results. In second place was Orban’s National Liberal Party (PNL) with 25 percent, and in third place was the Liberal Save the Romania Alliance (USR-PLUS) with 15 percent support.
The biggest surprise of the election was caused by the ultra-nationalist, radical Association for the Unification of Romanians (AUR) with its result of almost 9 percent. RMDSZ, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, the ethnic minority’s biggest political representative body, placed fifth with 6.2 percent, a result that will ensure the Hungarian minority’s continued presence in legislation.
As the two biggest parties have both excluded teaming up with the other, the decision on whom to hand the mandate to form the next government lies with President Klaus Iohannis. Romania, whose constitution is base on the constitution of the French Fifth Republic, has a semi-presidential system, with executive functions held by both the government and the president.
Iohannis reiterated on Monday that although the PSD received the most votes, he still sees a center-right governing coalition as a guarantee of political stability and development in the country led by the PNL.
According to press reports, the head of state, himself a former liberal politician, who is seen as the one controlling the national liberals from the background, was extremely dissatisfied with the results of the ruling party in the elections, so he called on Orban to leave.
The prime minister announced Monday night that he was resigning.
On the same day, RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen already said that he expects the next government to be a center-right formation composed of three parties.
“The RMDSZ would join the government with the PNL and the USR-PLUS,” Kelemen said in a radio interview on Monday. The party chairman reiterated his position that Romania needs a center-right government.
That, however, would only give the new coalition about 46 percent of the seats in legislation, requiring outside support for the new government to be approved by legislation and also in voting key laws such as the budget, which in theory should be done before the end of the year.
Title image: Romanian President Klaus Iohannis wearing a mask for protection against the COVID-19 infection waves as he arrives at a voting station in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. Voting started in Romania’s legislative election expected to restore some measure of stability after five years of political and social turbulence with more than 18 million Romanians registered to vote for a new legislative body. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)


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