BUCHAREST, Romania – Romania’s ruling party is expected to decide the fate of Premier Sorin Grindeanu and his Cabinet on Wednesday after the party’s leader said he lost confidence in the government.
Social Democratic Party chairman Liviu Dragnea has reportedly asked Grindeanu to resign several times in recent days, but the premier has refused. The premier later said he had been asked to resign by senior party members, but not directly by Dragnea.
“I didn’t ask anyone to resign; it’s an act that depends on an individual’s will,” said Dragnea, going into the meeting where the Social Democrats will decide whether to withdraw support for the government. “But in the same time, we can’t let things go on as they have so far.”
Dragnea has said he is dissatisfied with the government’s performance, except in ministries headed by his political allies. Dragnea himself cannot be prime minister because he was convicted last year of vote-rigging.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the leader of a junior party in the governing coalition, said his Alliance of Liberals and Democrats no longer supports the government and the party’s three ministers have agreed to resign.
Former Premier Victor Ponta, a Social Democrat, accused Dragnea of sparking a futile crisis and suggested he was envious of Grindeanu’s relative popularity.
Grindeanu moved to decriminalize official misconduct in January, sparking huge protests that led him to withdraw the decree. Critics said Grindeanu’s government was backtracking on its anti-corruption campaign.