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Romania to hold parliamentary elections

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Romania to hold parliamentary elections

romanian elections
Photo: Andreea Alexandru/ AP

Romania will hold parliamentary elections today.

Voters will decide if the National Liberal Party (PNL), which holds power in a minority government, will stay and pick up seats. The PNL took office last November after a no-confidence vote ended the Social Democratic Party’s (PSD) three-term tenure. Public support for the PNL has waned in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on Romania. The party had committed itself to undoing justice reforms and reducing the public deficit, but the plans for economic reform were derailed by the pandemic and the government’s COVID-19 fiscal stimulus has contributed to the 2.5-fold year-on-year increase in the public deficit. Support for the party declined from 45% in January to below 30%.

The PNL is highly likely to win majority support today. The PSD could capitalise on low voter turnout and the inability to collect votes from the diaspora due to COVID restrictions, but optimistically the PSD will receive 25% of the vote to the PNL’s 30%. PNL is likely to form a coalition with the pro-European USR-PLUS opposition alliance. This coalition will focus on managing the pandemic and avoiding economic collapse. However, the coalition is likely to have trouble enacting long-term legislation because of clashing reform goals.

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