Florin Cîțu: Romania PM holds onto party leadership after internal battle

Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu has been re-elected president of the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL).

Cîțu held off a challenge by former PM Ludovic Orban at the party’s congress in Bucharest on Saturday.

The current prime minister was backed by around 60% of the nearly 5,000 delegates, while Orban received around 40% of the vote.

Orban, who was prime minister from November 2019 to December 2020, announced after the defeat that he would resign as speaker of parliament.

Major tensions have led to the break-up of Romania’s governing coalition and piled pressure on Cîțu to resign as the country’s leader.

In September, ministers from the USR-PLUS alliance resigned from the government over their opposition to a €10 billion investment package for local governments.

Cîțu has said that the scheme would upgrade dilapidated infrastructure in one of the EU’s poorest member states.

But the centrist party claim that it was aimed at winning the support of regional barons ahead of Saturday’s PNL presidency contest.

USR-PLUS have tabled a motion of censure against the government, which will be voted on in parliament if the country’s Constitutional Court gives the green light on its legality.


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