By Ana Maria Luca
Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose announced his resignation of Monday night, after six months in office, after the ruling Social Democrat Party leadership withdrew its political backing.
Romania plunged into a major political crisis for the second time in seven months after the party leadership of the ruling Social Democrat Party voted Monday to withdraw their political support for Prime Minister Mihai Tudose.
Tudose said he will submit his resignation by no later than Tuesday morning and will not stay in office as interim prime minister.
“I have no regrets,” he told journalists before he left the Social Democrat leadership meeting on Monday night. “The Social Democrat Party wanted a different cabinet,” Tudose added.
The Social Democrats turned on Tudose after several weeks of growing tensions with leader Liviu Dragnea after the latter came out against Tudose’s push to reshuffle the cabinet and fire several ministers as well as state secretaries that he deemed incompetent.
An open row between Tudose and Interior Minister Carmen Dan, one of Dragnea’s closest allies, over the way the latter handled a pedophilia case in the police force aggravated internal party skirmishes. Dan refused to resign at the Prime Minister’s request, saying she would leave her post only if the party demanded her ouster.
The Social Democrats went through a similar situation in June 2017, when they dismissed their own cabinet after Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu refused to resign from office after his own party withdrew its political support.
The recent tensions have split Romania’s ruling party, with many members worried about its stability and ability to govern.
Ionut Vulpescu, a former culture minister who was in office until June of last year, wrote on his Facebook account Monday that he was worried that the Social Democrats “cannot manage their own political victory” after winning the 2016 elections. The party has been in a perpetual crisis due to double standards in dealing with some dignitaries.
“The interests of some members are above the interests of the group. And we want to govern successfully,” he said.
The Social Democrats are scheduled to meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the appointment of a new prime minister, which needs to be approved by the president.