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Nov 23, 2017 15:01 EEST
November 23 (SeeNews) - A censure motion against Romania's cabinet led by Mihai Tudose failed on Thursday as opposition lacked enough votes and the governing coalition did not vote.
Opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) and Save Romania Union (USR) filed the censure motion last week over a decree introducing controversial fiscal changes that has sparked protests across the country for three Sundays in a row this month.
The censure motion was approved by a total of 159 MPs from right-wing PNL, centre-right USR, centre-right Popular Movement Party (PMP) and by some members of the national minorities group, according to figures presented in a televised statement by the spokeswoman of the lower house of parliament.
Out of 317 MPs present, three voted against the motion, while 23 abstained. In order to pass, the motion needed to be approved by 233 MPs.
The coalition government comprising left-wing Social Democrat Party (PSD) and centre-right Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE) and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) ensured the necessary quorum but did not vote.
PSD controls 220 of 465 seats in parliament, while their government coalition partner ALDE holds a further 23. PNL has 99 MPs, while the USR and PMP have 43 and 24 MPs, respectively. UDMR, which usually backs the PSD-ALDE coalition government, has 30 seats. National minorities have 17 seats and independents hold nine seats.
On November 8, the governing coalition 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 the decree introducing changes to the fiscal code 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.
(1 euro = 4.6497 lei)
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