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Nov 22, 2017 13:29 EEST
November 22 (SeeNews) - The censure motion filed by opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and Save Romania Union (USR) against Romania's leftist government will be put to the vote at 1000 CET on Thursday, the country's parliament said on Wednesday.
The censure motion was announced on November 8 by PNL's leader Ludovic Orban after the government filed an emergency ordinance introducing controversial fiscal changes. A few days later, USR, which has backed PNL before in similar situations, announced that it too will support the motion.
On November 8, Romania's governing coalition comprising the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and centre-right Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE) approved an emergency decree to change the country's fiscal code starting January 2018. The changes, which have drawn fire from businesses, stipulate that workers will have to pay the social security contributions currently paid by employers, while income tax will drop from 16% to 10%.
PNL said it intends to challenge the decree before the Constitutional Court.
On Sunday, a couple of thousand people rallied in Bucharest and other Romanian cities to protest against an emergency decree introducing changes to the fiscal code that was issued by the government at the beginning of November as well as against government plans to appoint Romania's chief prosecutor without the consent of the president.This was the third straight Sunday of protests in Romania.
The censure motion has little chance to pass as PSD controls 220 of 465 seats in parliament, while their government coalition partner ALDE holds a further 23.
Centre-right PNL has 99 MPs, while the centre-right USR and the centre-right Popular Movement Party (PMP) have 43 and 24 MPs, respectively. The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, which usually backs the PSD-ALDE coalition government, has 30 seats. National minorities have 17 seats and independents hold nine seats.
On February 8, a censure motion against Romania's cabinet led by Sorin Grindeanu failed as opposition lacked enough votes and the governing coalition did not vote.
PNL and USR filed the censure motion against the government last Wednesday over a decree alleviating or eliminating penalties for corruption offences that has sparked massive protests all over the country and abroad.
(1 euro = 4.6497 lei)
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