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March 28, 2023

Censure motion: low chances of success

National Liberal Party (PNL) has repeatedly announced that it wanted to overtake the Government in the parliamentary season starting on February 2. Liberals want to submit a censure motion and have started preparations for an alternative governing program but also for a shadow cabinet.

Yet the plans made by Liberals to overturn the Ponta Government are presently challenged by mathematical calculations. For the last 25 years, political parties had 30 such initiatives to submit censure motion against Government, yet the Parliament only voted for two of them: one against the Emil Boc Government in 2009 and one against the Mihai Razvan Ungureanu Government. A basic mathematical calculation shows that the chances that the censure motion would successfully be adopted reach approximately 6.6 per cent.

Even supported by the rest of the opposition parties and by Social-Democrat members of the Parliament who allied with Mircea Geoana, there are still insufficient votes for a censure motion.

At the time being, PNL has 171 MPs. For the success of a censure motion, it needs at least 287 votes. The first ones approached by the Liberals for support are the 26 MPs from UDMR.

Liberals think that the 13 MPs of PMP will also vote for dismissing the Ponta Government but they claim that they will not negotiate with these MPs. Even so, they need 64 more votes so that the censure motion would be adopted. UDMR President Kelemen Hunor says that the initiators of the motion are expected to explain what happens if it is passed, what government will follow and what would be their program.

On the other hand, the Government relies on its majority of 348 votes, that includes MPs from PSD, PC, UNPR and MPs who joined Calin Popescu Tariceanu. This will happen if the 48 MPs of UNPR do not give in to the Liberal invitation to change the Government.

“It is really difficult to gain a majority that would lead to the adoption of a censure motion without being supported by the MPs of the present UNPR”, Ludovic Orban, Prime-Vice-President of PNL has recently declared.

“As far as I know, during the 25 years of Romania’s democratic history, dozens of censure motions were submitted – one for each season and sometimes even more, in certain given circumstances – but only two of them passed: one against Boc in 2009 and one against Ungureanu. So, one makes censure motions even when they know they have no actual chances, as a political statement”, Victor Ponta declared at the beginning of January.

Until the motion is voted, the Liberals are already establishing an unofficial cabinet. The only known name is that of Catalin Predoiu, proposed as Prime Minister. Also, Liberals say that they are working on a governing program that should be ready by the end of January.

Mircea Geoana, the former President of PSD expelled from the party at the end of last year is convinced that the censure motion will be adopted by the Parliament. Mircea Geoana thinks that, after the fall of the Ponta Cabinet, a national union government should be installed.


PM Ponta voices confidence in the preservation of the current parliamentary majority


Prime Minister Victor Ponta voiced his confidence in the preservation of the current parliamentary majority.On Sunday evening he qualified as ‘an institutional declaration’ President Klaus Iohannis’s assertion of his wish to work with a government of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and with a different premier.

Asked by Antena 3 TV station how certain he was, on a scale from one to ten, that the present majority will resist, Ponta answered: ‘In the end, it’s a subjective appreciation. I’d say nine.’

‘So far, after one month of important media and political efforts, Mr.  Vanghelie and Mr. Geoana got together, which are not actually counted among us, anyhow, to be honest; I know neither of them voted directly or through representatives on December 15. On December 15, I have asked for a confidence vote; I got 377 votes, there were 143 [votes] against, and besides some very small permutations, I think it’s a solid majority that will govern until the parliamentary elections,’ Ponta said in a phone call to Antena 3.

As regards the President’s affirmation of his wish to have a new prime minister and a PNL government, Ponta asserted it was ‘an institutional declaration.’

‘I’ve seen what Mr. Iohannis declared and beyond that… what some journalists interviewing him wished has no connection whatsoever with these statements. He made an institutional declaration, a very clear one. He said: it’s not the President’s job to change majorities; and thank God he said that,’ the PM pointed out, quoted by Agerpres.


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