The Romanian government of liberal Prime Minister Florin Citu was brought down by a no-confidence vote on Tuesday, threatening to plunge the country into fresh political instability.
The result of the vote showed 281 Members of Parliament voting in favour of the no-confidence motion, with none against, as the government and its allies boycotted the poll.
The crisis comes as Romania, one of the poorest countries in the European Union, battles a deadly fourth wave of coronavirus and as Romanians risk huge bills over the coming winter due to spiralling energy costs.
Former banker Florin Citu, 49, has been prime minister only since December after the previous parliamentary election, but has already been abandoned by his centre-right coalition partner and heavily criticised by the left.
The centre-right Save Romania Union (USR) party last month withdrew from his liberal coalition, complaining about Citu’s “dictatorial attitude”.
The left-wing opposition Social Democrats (PSD) accuse his government of “impoverishing Romanians and increasing the country’s debts”.
The vote came after just two hours of debate among Members of Parliament, at the beginning of which Citu asked his opponents: “What do you have to gain by plunging the country into chaos?”
However, Citu could yet remain in place — initially on an interim basis but possibly longer-term.
Under the constitution, centre-right President Klaus Iohannis would have to name a new prime minister.
There is speculation, however, that Iohannis may simply re-nominate Citu, daring other parties to provoke fresh elections, which according to current opinion polls, would likely favour only the leftist PSD.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)