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Romania's new govt. wins confidence vote

November 4, 2019

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban's new government has won a confidence vote, ending a crisis that has held up the formation of the new European Commission. Romania's previous nominee was rejected by European lawmakers.

Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban
Image: picture-alliance/AP/V. Ghirda

Romania's Parliament has passed a vote of confidence in the minority government of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, ending a political standoff that had delayed the formation of a full European Commission team.

The new centrist National Liberal Party-led government replaces the Social Democrat government of former Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, who was ousted in an October 10 no-confidence vote.

In Monday's vote, 240 lawmakers supported the new government, seven more than needed.

Delayed start for new EU team

One of the new government's first tasks will be to nominate Romania's candidate for a commissioner at the European Commission, after the European Parliament rejected a previous nomination.

The political crisis in Bucharest has delayed the formation of the new European Union executive arm, to be headed by incoming European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

Romania: 30 years after the Iron Curtain

Orban said he would also roll back some fiscal and judicial measures implemented by the Social Democrats. The previous government's legislation has been criticized by Brussels for undermining the rule of law, and expansionary fiscal policies have worried investors. 

"We must assume the responsibility of making the justice system ... independent in Romania, without interference from politicians and other institutions," Orban told lawmakers.

The new Cabinet will govern until parliamentary elections sometime next year. Romania also holds presidential elections on November 10, with incumbent Klaus Iohannis expected to win.

cw/cmk (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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