Ministers Resign from Romanian Govt as Political Crisis Deepens

Ministers from the USR-PLUS party resigned from the cabinet on Tuesday after Prime Minister Florin Citu dismissed Justice Minister Stelian Ion, an USR PLUS member.

"We have registered and submitted the resignations, together with the USR-PLUS ministers, at the premier's office. We are moving forward,' Dan Barna, the co-president of USR-PLUS, wrote on Facebook.

Ion's dismissal was the second of a USR PLUS minister by Citu, who sacked the party's Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu in April. At the time, USR-PLUS warned that a similar incident would be the end of its involvement in the governing coalition.

Ion was sacked because he opposed a proposal to provide local mayors with over ten billion euros for infrastructure, a scheme that USR-PLUS regarded as dubious. He was also about to appoint the new chief of the Anti-Corruption Directorate, the Romanian that has the power to investigate graft among officials.

USR-PLUS has now initiated a motion of no confidence in Citu with the help of the right-wing nationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians, AUR party.

USR-PLUS wants Citu to step down and for the National Liberal Party, PNL, the main party in the ruling coalition, to propose another premier in his place.

However, the motion of no-confidence cannot be debated without a meeting of the permanent bureaus of parliament, which the PNL, Social Democratic Party and Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania boycotted on Monday, trying to block the USR-PLUS move.

The PNL has accused USR PLUS of allying itself with the 'extremists' of the right-wing AUR.

Romanian political analysts have alleged that President Klaus Iohannis ordered Citu, his close political ally, to dismiss Justice Minister Ion last week.

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