Ponta to Romania lawmakers: Don't oust premier - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Romania's ruling lawmakers seek to oust prime minister

Romania's ruling lawmakers seek to oust prime minister

Parliament will hold the no-confidence vote Wednesday.

The Social Democrats and their political allies need 233 votes to remove the government.

Romanian Premier Sorin Grindeanu gestures during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, June 15, 2017.

Ponta said on Friday he would try to convince PSD lawmakers not to vote against their own government, warning that the party risked following in the footsteps of France's Socialist Party, which has performed dismally in this year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Grindeanu, in office since January, denies that he has underperformed. If it fails, Grindeanu remains prime minister.

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has refused to resign, despite the resignations of all but one of the 26 ministers in his cabinet, and accuses Social Democrat (PSD) party leader Liviu Dragnea of a power grab. Dragnea is barred from being premier himself because of a 2016 vote-rigging conviction.

The move to oust Grindeanu gained momentum Monday after the chairman of the ethnic Hungarian party, Hunor Kelemen, said the Social Democrats should be allowed to "change ministers and governments" if they wished.

"Starting a no-confidence vote is a nuclear war between PSD and PSD", Ponta told reporters before the no-confidence motion was read in parliament on Sunday. If it passes, the ruling coalition will propose a new candidate for premier who is then nominated by President Klaus Iohannis. They now have 247 seats.

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