Romania to hold elections on 6 December, says PM

Romania's Prime Minister Ludovic Orban (C) makes a media statement shortly after a no-confidence vote procedure was cancelled, at Parliament Palace in Bucharest, Romania, 31 August 2020. The opposition Social Democratic Party pushed a no-confidence motion two weeks ago, accusing the government of incompetently managing the situation during the pandemic. [Robert Ghement/EPA/EFE]

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.

Subscribe to our newsletters