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Romanian PM Cîțu plans to re-negotiate coalition with USR PLUS


Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu who was elected as chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) plans to re-negotiate the government coalition agreement with the centre-right bloc of Save Romania Union (USR) and PLUS parties, under certain conditions, according to See News.

Cîțu said in a televised statement aired by local TV station Digi24 that he is ready to conditionally resume talks with former government coalition partner USR PLUS.

“It has always been my intention to negotiate with USR PLUS, under one condition: they need to break their coalition with AUR and stop looking for Social Democrat Party (PSD) votes,” stated Cîțu.

Cîțu won over 60% of the votes at the PNL congress on Saturday, receiving around 1,000 votes more than his opponent, party chairman Ludovic Orban, results of the voting showed.

USR PLUS co-leader Dacian Ciolos said the centre-right bloc does not accept Cîțu as Prime Minister. “We will only return to power under the conditions we already announced: another prime minister and a clear timetable for reforms,” said Ciolos in a Facebook post on Sunday.

USR PLUS and opposition right-wing nationalist party AUR filed a censure motion against Cîțu on September 3, after he dismissed justice minister Stelian Ion. On September 7, all five USR PLUS ministers in Citu’s coalition cabinet that also includes the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) resigned.

The prime minister filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court regarding the existence of a legal conflict of a constitutional nature between parliament and the government, alleging an unconstitutional conduct, both unfair and abusive towards the executive branch.

The Constitutional Court will rule whether the censure motion is valid or not on September 28.

In order to pass, the motion needs the support of at least 234 MPs in the 465-seat parliament. PNL and USR PLUS hold 134 and 80 seats, respectively, PSD has 157, AUR controls 43, while UDMR holds 29. The remaining seats are held by 18 MPs representing minorities, and 4 independents.