BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's ruling party moved Thursday to introduce a no-confidence vote against its own government after it withdrew support for Premier Sorin Grindeanu but he refused to resign.
The chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, said Grindeanu, in office since January, failed to implement the party's governing program.
Grindeanu said he'll resign only after President Klaus Iohannis nominates a replacement from his party. Iohannis, a rival of the Social Democrats, said through his spokeswoman Thursday he'll only start the process once Grindeanu quits or loses a confidence vote.
The Social Democrats and a junior partner will submit a vote of no-confidence on Monday, and it will be voted on later in the week.
The Social Democrats also voted Thursday to expel Grindeanu from the party.
The premier claimed the dispute is politically motivated. "The only answer I could find is the wish of a certain man to have all the power," he said in reference to Dragnea, who is known for keeping a tight rein on the party.
Grindeanu also said Dragnea had "acted against the interests of the country."
Grindeanu on Thursday was set to appoint a political ally, former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, as interim secretary-general, an influential post. Ponta, who has criticized Dragnea's authoritarian management style, declined to comment.