Romania PM Ludovic Orban resigns after narrow election defeat to left-leaning populists
Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban has resigned, following a narrow election defeat to the left-leaning populists.
Orban, a centre-right leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), announced his resignation on television following disappointing election results for his party.
However, with 95% of votes counted from Sunday’s election, the oppoisition Social Democrats (PSD) have around 30% o the vote, which may not be enough to let them form a government.
Earlier on Monday Orban said that coalition talks with the Social Democrats were out of the question but he did not provide a clear explanation for how his party hoped to reach a new governing majority in the 465-seat bicameral parliament.
“I want to be very clear, we will never negotiate with the PSD, we will not let the PSD harm Romania,” Orban said.
Orban has been at the helm of government for just over a year, and is one of five prime ministers Romania has had in as many years.
He was named prime minister following the collapse of the Social Democrat government, which had been heavily criticised by the EU for its interference in the judiciary and for corruption scandals.
Only 33% of potential Romanian voters went to the polls on Sunday, compared with nearly 39.5% in 2016. Observers blamed the historically low turnout on voters’ fears of infection by COVID-19, but also on general disillusionment with Romania’s political class.
Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available.