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Romania's new cabinet wins confidence vote in parliament

Updated: 06 30 , 2017 15:51
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BUCHAREST, June 29 -- Romania's new cabinet, headed by Social Democrat Mihai Tudose, won a vote of confidence in parliament on Thursday.

A total of 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) -- 42 more than the minimum threshold of 233 -- voted in favor of the new government, while 102 MPs voted against.

There was no suspense in the confidence voting in the parliament, as the main ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), along with its junior partner Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), have a majority in the 465-seat assembly.

About half of Prime Minister Tudose's 27-member cabinet is made up of ministers from the previous cabinet headed by outgoing prime minister Sorin Grindeanu, which was overthrown last week after a no-confidence motion in parliament.

The government structure remains almost unchanged, with the exception of the addition of a third deputy prime minister instead of the current two. The newly established post of deputy prime minister will not have a portfolio, while the original two are also in charge of the ministry of regional development and ministry of environment respectively.

Tudose, 50, was designated as the country's new prime minister on Monday by President Klaus Iohannis, who accepted the candidate proposed by the parliamentary majority.

Tudose was the acting economy minister in the government led by his predecessor Grindeanu and had been in the same position from December 2014 to November 2015 in a previous Social Democratic government.

The ruling coalition toppled its own cabinet on June 21 amid a tense relationship between the leadership of the major ruling PSD and the prime minister who refused to resign even after his party withdrew political support for him and expelled him from the party.

The PSD leadership claimed they removed Grindeanu over his failure to pass most of the party's legislative program, which includes measures like tax cuts, salary increases for public servants and a sovereign-wealth fund of 11.2 billion U.S. dollars to promote infrastructure investment.

Grindeanu's cabinet entered into office in January after the Social Democrats won more than 45 percent of the votes in the December 2016 parliamentary elections.

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