International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Tensions Rising Inside Ruling Coalition in Romania

First major misunderstandings put at stake the solidity of center-left ruling coalition in Romania.

The National Liberal Party, PNL, a junior member in the center-left ruling coalition in Romania, is to announce on Monday if it will take any measure against one of its leader who did not respect the coalition agreement.

“We are waiting from PNL to take very serious in consideration our concerns. Liberals have to prove their commitment to remain inside the ruling coalition”, Prime Minister Victor Ponta, also head of Social Democrat Party, PSD.

PSD, together with the centre-right Liberals and the Conservative Party, is forming the ruling Social Liberal Union, USL.

Ponta gave PNL until Monday to take measures against Sorin Rosca Stanescu, a PNL member, who recently accused the PSD of being on a mission to bury an investigation into the activity of a judge. Stanescu earlier resigned from a Parliamentary commission set up to investigate the judge.

Prime Minister cited the USL agreement, which does not allow public conflicts between members of the parties in the Union, nor public attacks against colleagues or the other alliance party.

So far, PNL leaders said whoever clearly breaks the ruling coalition protocol will have to part ways with USL and the party in the future, but Ponta asked for a more drastic approach, as the culprit had not been sanctioned in any way.

Media reports have mentioned in the past troubles within the Union, but so far its leaders found a way to continue. “This is first main crisis inside the ruling coalition. Not sure if it will lead to a break up, but it is a clear  sign of deepening feuds among the major parties”, says journalist Cristian Andrei.

The Social Liberal Union coalition won around 60 per cent of the votes in last December's parliamentary elections and holds two-thirds of the seats in parliament.

Disputes inside the USL come shortly after a period of political turbulence, with disputes between PM Ponta and President Traian Basescu.

Ponta’s battles with Basescu resulted in a referendum on the impeachment of the President and had have caused concern in Brussels about Romania’s continued commitment to the rule of law.
Marian Chiriac

Source: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/tensions-rising-inside-ruling-coalition-in-romania


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