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Romanian Junior Partner To Quit Coalition, Clear Way For No-Confidence Vote

Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu
Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu

The ministers for a junior grouping in Romania's centrist coalition will resign on September 7 in a move that opens the door to a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Florin Citu's government, according to a party leader.

Citu sacked his justice minister late on September 1 over a $12 billion community development plan, plunging the EU member’s governing coalition into crisis.

"Tomorrow morning, our ministers' resignation papers will sit on the premier's table," Save Romania Union (USR) leader Dan Barna said on September 6. "This is a tough decision and...we're not going to have a negotiating night."

Crisis talks last week reportedly failed to achieve a deal to support Citu, the National Liberal Party's candidate for prime minister in December 2020.

The current coalition is made up of Citu's Liberal Party, USR-PLUS, and the ethnic Hungarians group, which jointly control 56 percent of parliament.

Lawmakers are expected to debate a timetable for a no-confidence vote on September 7.

A no-confidence vote would require support from the leftist opposition Social Democrats.

The USR's Barna has said his grouping will seek to revive the current governing coalition "without Citu, as he lost our trust."

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Romania was struggling with a widening budget shortfall from years of political instability and fiscal largesse.

Based on reporting by Reuters

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