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ALDE decides to leave government, endorse Mircea Diaconu in presidential elections

The standing delegation of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE – minor at rule) on Monday voted to exit the coalition government and endorse Mircea Diaconu's candidacy in the presidential elections this November, ALDE leader Calin Popescu-Tariceanu announced.

He also announced he would resign from his office as Senate President.

"This morning I had a meeting with Mrs PM, Viorica Dancila, in her capacity as Chairwoman of PSD (Social Democratic Party – major at rule) (...) to discuss a way out of this situation - whether we should stay in or leave the ruling coalition. I also expected Mrs PM to tell me if she had any plans to relaunch governing by considering several components (...) I expected favourable answers to all of these questions, so that we could have continued to govern. (...) Unfortunately, I received no counter-proposal (...) My colleagues decided thus to leave the coalition government that we have made together with the PSD," said Tariceanu.

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The split comes as the political scenery is changing in Romania in the wake of the EP elections - where the governing PSD and especially ALDE suffered heavy losses - and before presidential elections later this year and general and local elections next year.

ALDE moves to split with the PSD started several weeks ago, when leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu hinted at a new alliance with a different group, Pro Romania, formed by members who had left the PSD and led by a former PSD leader, Victor Ponta. Information about a split started circulating again recently.

By Monday afternoon, political sources told news agency Mediafax that the split was imminent. They said ALDE ministers were expected to resign on Tuesday and Calin Popescu Tariceanu to drop the seat of Senate speaker as the parliamentary session starts in September.

Opposition Liberals (PNL) said they were ready to submit a censure motion against the PSD government. On this, political sources said ALDE - who claims the PSD has been moving away from the governing program agreed in the coalition - considers a vote in favor of the motion.

ALDE holds the mandates of Foreign, Energy, Environment and Parliamentary relations ministries.

As political leadership talks were in full swing on Monday afternoon, PM Dancila said her party would retain government. She claimed that "some members" of ALDE who would not understand the situation would lose terribly.

Should the governing coalition split up, PM Dancila would have to come before the Parliament for a vote of confidence in a minority government. She would have to provide replacements for the ministerial portfolios vacated by ALDE's people and get parliamentary support for a new parliamentary formula.

The situation gets complicated for the PSD as the party lost its majority in the Senate as four more members left it in order to join Pro Romania. In order to secure a majority in the Parliament, Dancila would need 29 votes beside those of her MPs.



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