Bucharest (dpa) – Romania’s bourgeois prime minister Ludovic Orban resigned his position as head of government on Monday evening. As a reason he cited the defeat of his party PNL in the parliamentary elections, in which the opposition party PSD (Social Democrats) took first place on Sunday. “I don’t cling to an office,” he said. However, as chairman of the PNL, he wanted to participate in the upcoming negotiations for a governing coalition.
The media speculated that President Klaus Iohannis Orban had urged to resign. Iohannis, who has the exclusive right to nominate a head of government to parliament, is seeking a coalition led by the PNL with the small eco-liberal USR-Plus and the Hungarian party UDMR. With Orban’s departure, USR-Plus in particular would have to form an alliance with the PNL digestible, especially as this small party had explicitly criticized the prime minister personally, observers said.
Neither party received an absolute majority in the elections. According to projections in the House of Representatives, the PSD will be 29.79 percent, followed by the civil government party PNL with 25.01 percent. USR plus reached 14.84 percent and UDMR 6.63 percent. The central polling station in Bucharest announced this on Monday after the votes had been counted in 84.84 percent of the polling stations. In the Senate, the distribution of votes was comparable: PSD 30.18 percent, PNL 25.38 percent, USR plus 15.29 percent, UDMR 6.80 percent.
Surprisingly, the new ultra-national party AUR (Alianta pentru Unirea Romanilor – Alliance for the Union of Romanians) became the fourth largest power in the parliament. AUR was only founded in September 2019 and has been ignored by the country’s leading media outlets. According to the last count, she received 8.17 percent of the votes for the Lower House and 8.48 for the Upper House.
AUR stands for clerical-mystical, anti-Western and homophobic views. AUR politicians have occasionally been noted as initiators of smaller street protests against the corona mask requirement. AUR co-chair, George Simion, was also known as the leader of violent football hooligans. The second co-president, Claudiu Târziu, runs a publishing house, an association and an online newspaper called “Rost”, defending the Romanian fascists (“legionaries”) of the first half of the 20th century.
Voter turnout was 31.84 percent, the lowest in Romania since the fall of communism.