Romanian prime minister, gov’t ousted in no-confidence vote

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Romanian prime minister, gov’t ousted in no-confidence vote
Romanian prime minister, gov’t ousted in no-confidence vote

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – Romania’s prime minister and his government were ousted Wednesday in a no-confidence vote submitted by members of his own party.

A total of 241 lawmakers approved the motion, more than the 233 votes required. The governing Social Democratic Party filed the motion to oust Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, saying that he had failed to implement the party’s political agenda.

Grindeanu, in office since January, had refused to resign and rejects the assessment of his performance. He claims powerful party leader Liviu Dragnea wants to replace him with a party loyalist.

“This is a sad day for us. The premier did not perform,” Dragnea told lawmakers before the vote Wednesday. “It didn’t go badly, it went quite well, but that’s not enough.”

Dragnea himself is barred from being prime minister because of a 2016 conviction for vote-rigging.

Speaking from the government offices, Grindeanu later said he would remain in office until a new government is installed.

He said it was “important we get out of this blockage and send a message to investors and governments all over the world that Romania remains a stable and predictable environment.”

After the vote was announced, some Social Democrats hugged each other. The party will now choose a candidate for prime minister who needs to be nominated by President Klaus Iohannis. Talks with the president are scheduled for Monday and Iohannis has the right to refuse a candidate. Parliament then votes to approve the new government.

Luxembourg Premier Xavier Bettel, right, looks at Romanian counterpart Sorin Grindeanu, during a welcoming ceremony in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, June 16, 2017. The prime minister of Luxembourg has urged Romania to speedily resolve a political crisis sparked when the ruling party withdrew support for the prime minister who then refused to step down.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Luxembourg Premier Xavier Bettel, right, walks with Romanian counterpart Sorin Grindeanu, during a welcoming ceremony in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, June 16, 2017. The prime minister of Luxembourg has urged Romania to speedily resolve a political crisis sparked when the ruling party withdrew support for the prime minister who then refused to step down.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The president of Romania, Klaus Johannis talks during a joint media conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Monday June 19, 2017. (Maurizio Gambarini/dpa via AP)
Head of the Ruling Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea waves to supporters at the Romanian parliament in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Romania’s Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu and his government were ousted Wednesday in a no-confidence vote submitted by the ruling Social Democratic Party. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Head of the Ruling Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, left, prepares to deliver a speech as Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, right sits at the Romanian parliament in Bucharest, Romania, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Romania’s Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu and his government were ousted Wednesday in a no-confidence vote submitted by the ruling Social Democratic Party. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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