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Romania Loses Second Prime Minister In Less Than Seven Months

Mihai Tudose speaks to the media after was designated as the new prime minister at the parliament in Bucharest in June.

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose says he is stepping down after losing the backing of his party.

"I am leaving with my head held high," Tudose said after leaders of his Social Democrat Party (PSD) voted to withdraw political backing for him.

One member of the PSD's leadership said the vote to dismiss Tudose was overwhelming.

Development Minister Paul Stanescu would serve as interim prime minister, according to party officials.

Tudose is the second prime minister to be ousted by the PSD in less than seven months.

His resignation comes after he called on Interior Minister Carmen Dan to resign, accusing her of lying.

Dan, a close ally of PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea, refused to step down.

Last year, the Social Democrats ousted the government in a no-confidence vote due to a rift between Dragnea and the previous prime minister, Sorin Grindeanu.

Dragnea himself cannot become prime minister due to a conviction for vote rigging.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters