Romania is to hold parliamentary elections on 6 December, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced Thursday (3 September), with the vote set to determine whether the country turns the page on recent political instability.
The polls, which Orban’s pro-EU National Liberal Party (PNL, EPP-affiliated) are tipped by analysts to win, are set to go ahead despite the risks of coronavirus.
“Given our legislation, the only date available to hold the election is 6 December,” Orban, the 57-year-old head of PNL, said at the start of a government meeting on Thursday.
Relatively unscathed at the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, Romania has suffered a spike in infections recently to around 1,200 new cases a day on average, with pollsters unsure about how the disease will impact voting in December.
The economy of one of the poorest members of the European Union contracted by 12.3% in the second quarter of the year due to the impact of Covid-19 on business and consumption.
The historically dominant Social Democratic Party (PSD) won the 2016 parliamentary election with a landslide — but its government was thrown out last year after being tarnished by corruption allegations and mass street protests over controversial judicial reforms.
On Monday Orban’s minority government survived a no-confidence motion in parliament by PSD due to lack of a quorum.