Ponta to Romania lawmakers: Don't oust premier

Romania's ruling lawmakers seek to oust prime minister

Romania's ruling lawmakers seek to oust prime minister

Ponta has called on lawmakers not to oust the prime minister in a no-confidence vote this week called by members of his own party.

Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) and its coalition partner, the Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE), filed a censure motion against the government on Sunday, a day earlier than initially announced.

Government general-secretary Victor Ponta, a former premier, told The Associated Press in an interview that Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu is a guarantor of stability and predictability in the East European country.

The Social Democrats and their political allies need 233 votes out of a total of 465 seats to remove the government.

The motion, which criticizes the government led by Sorin Grindeanu for failing to meet the aims of the governance programme, was read during an extraordinary session of parliament attended only by MPs of the left-wing PSD and centre-right ALDE. He claims the powerful party chairman, Liviu Dragnea, who can't be prime minister because of a conviction in 2016 for vote rigging, wants to install a party loyalist as premier.

Chairman of the Social Democratic Party Liviu Dragnea wipes his eye during a press conference in which he said prime minister Sorin Grindeanu, in office since January, failed to implement the party's governing program, in Bucha.

"From this moment. the conflict started, the (party) leader irrevocably can't be prime minister and the prime minister.then said we have a long-term government that is stable", he said.

But Sorin Grindeanu has refused to quit, sparking a political crisis.

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