The joint plenary sitting of the Senate and Deputies’ Chamber on Friday rejected the censure motion initiated by the National Liberal Party (PNL), called “Victor Ponta – dismissed for excess of power by blocking elections. Elective franchise is not a slogan!,” by 194 votes to 13.
A number of 417 MPs of 554 were present. A number of 214 MPs cast their votes and 7 votes were annulled.
The vote was secret, using balls. In order to pass, the motion needed to garner 278 votes in favour.
The first MP called in the roll call who has voted was Prime Minister Victor Ponta, whereas the rest of the members of the Government did not vote.
The MPs from the Social Democrat Party (PSD) and the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) have announced they will not vote, preferring to stay in their seats during the vote.
Third motion of censure after those from May and September 2014
The motion of censure regarding the vote by correspondence and snap polls was signed by 183 Deputies and Senators from the PNL, the popular and democratic group and the Romanian Socialist Party (PSRO) MPs.
PNL has a total of 174 MPs, while PSRO has 12. Thus, in order for the motion to have been adopted, 92 votes would have been needed.
The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) head, Kelemen Hunor, said that the party members who are MPs will participate in the vote on Friday, following each of them to vote according to their conscience, but not against this anti-governmental action.
Also, the Liberal co-chairman Vasile Blaga said before the ballot that he discussed about the motion with the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) leader, Vice Deputy Gabriel Oprea, and that it is most likely that this party vote for the Government.
In order for the motion to have been adopted, it needed to collect 278 votes in its favour.
Most of the Deputies, as the Chamber is made up of 387 people, are from the Social Democratic Party (PSD- headed by Victor Ponta), the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR), the Conservative Party (PC), the Liberal Reformist Party (PLR) and from the national minorities group. Representing the Opposition, therewere the PNL Deputies, the ones from the democratic and popular group and the ones from the UDMR. The only independent Deputy is Elena Udrea, who could not vote this time because she is under house arrest.
The PSD Group, including the Deputies from the UNPR, has 182 members. 29 MPs from other parties have joined the UNPR from the beginning of the mandate until now and eight joined the PSD.
The PC-PLR group has 26 members and the minority group 17 members.
The PNL Deputies group numbers 112 members, the UDMR group numbers 17 members and the People’s and Democratic group numbers 14 members.
The Senate is made up of 167 senators, 161 of whom are part of four parliamentary groups and six Senators are independent.
The PSD has 79 senators, including the former independent Mihai Neagu who was reinstated on June 8 in UNPR, although his transfer to the PSD-UNPR group has not yet been made official on the Senate website. The Liberal – Conservative group consists of 12 senators.
The group of Liberal senators has 62 members, and the UDMR has eight Senators.
The Liberals’s motion is a non-confidence one against the Government.
“The main reason for which we consider that you have now to give a non-confidence vote against the Government is the fact that it mocked what is the most sacred in a democracy”, the signatories of the motion wrote, while indicating the right to vote.
According to the PNL, “the Ponta government violated the Constitution and committed unimaginable abuses.”
The PNL also stated that the motion of censure could have also been focused on Victor Ponta’s and his ministers’ incompetence, on the “bad” governance, giving as example the health card management and the “tip operation.”
Moreover, the Liberals believe that the only solution to unlock the introduction of the vote by correspondence is to change the governmental team.
The motion was filed Friday, June 5, and read in Parliament on Monday, June 8.
Victor Ponta has faced two censure motions so far – one in May 2014 and the other one in September 2014, Agerpres informs.
Ponta: Talks about new majority are over, let us get down to business, as the county has to be governed
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Friday that the vote cast on the motion of censure against him and talk about a new parliamentary majority are over and the Government should continue its activities.
“You have the outcome. What else is there to add? Ask Mr Blaga. There is one thing: the talk about a majority is over, they’ve failed to mount a majority. Let us get down to business because the country has to be governed,’ Ponta said upon leaving the plenary vote session of Parliament after finding that the motion was defeated.
PNL’s Blaga to PM Ponta: Learn from Moldova’s PM and step down
Co-chair of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) Vasile Blaga on Friday before the ballot said an eye for the motion of censure against Prime Minister Victor Ponta is a solution of utmost urgency to the national interest of Romania, telling to Ponta that he should learn from Moldova’s prime minister and step down.
“Moldova’s prime minister stepped down saying that all citizens are equal before law. Romania is today in the throes of a crisis generated and amplified by the prime minister, whose legitimacy is undermined each day by him. The Romanian Government is in full process of dissolution. Mr prime minister defies everybody, the voters and supporters of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) alike, while refusing to make a normal gesture in any democratic country: resign office,’ said Blaga.
He claimed that ‘Ponta and the justice minister are resorting to threats against the citizens who want to protest.’ Blaga mentioned that the Liberals gave up on creating a human chain around Parliament.
“Mr Ponta looks like a desperate politician who only has one care, power preservation and only one thought: clinging to his office at the Government House no matter the costs,’ Blaga added.
The PNL co-chair argued that the prime minister blocked the overseas Romanians’ right to vote in the presidential election of 2014.
He added that the current situation is murky, with devastating effects on Romania’s credibility.
“We find ourselves in the surreal situation in which Prime Minister Victor Ponta says the right to cast ballots is sloganeering, while clinging to the vote of Romanians in order to stay in office. It would have been better for the county if this motion had had no sense because Mr Ponta would have resigned, but he did not. Resignation from a public office when you harm the country would be a gesture indicating responsibility and strong volition, and we sow yesterday such a situation in his Cabinet, but Romania’s good to Ponta is not some unit of measures he is only interested in how long he remains in office. Given the circumstances, a vote for the motion of censure becomes a matter of utmost urgency, a solution in favour of Romania’s national interest, Learn from Moldova’s prime minister, Mr prime minister!’ said Blaga.
PM Ponta: Political crisis again in Chisinau; I am certain you do not wish same for Romania
Prime Minister Victor Ponta has stated on Friday, to the plenum of the Parliament, that Romania needs stability in order to avoid a political crisis such as that of the Republic of Moldova.
“A distinguished colleague had issued a very bad piece of news from my point of view (…): that in Chisinau, our most important neighbour, there is again a political crisis. He was actually glad that the Prime Minister resigned, [Prime Minister] from the EPP [European People’s Party], by the way. The problem is that our most important partner, Moldova, [has been] for months and still, apparently, will be in political instability, in financial and economic crisis, lacking prospects of European integration, [thus] an easy prey for those in the East who want to harm it. I am convinced that you do not want the same for Romania. I believe we can shelter Romania from a storm that has but one origin: the desire and hunger for power of those who have lost power through popular vote”, said Ponta, in Parliament, at the end of the debates on the motion of censure.