Romania's government survives confidence vote

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2011 6:32 AM
Romania's government survives confidence vote

Romania's government survived a no-confidence vote Thursday in Parliament over election law changes.

The government wanted to hold local and parliamentary elections simultaneously. Prime Minister Emil Boc says that would save at least euro20 million ($26 million) and would generate more interest in the elections.

Critics said the new law would make it easier to commit election fraud.

The government had planned to pass the bill through a speedy procedure without a parliamentary debate, but opposition had criticized that move as undemocratic.

Just 199 lawmakers voted against the government, short of the 233 votes needed.

Before the vote, Boc was booed by members of non-governmental organizations, some of whom yelled: "Shame on you!"

"This is an attempt to strike at the heart of the democratic system ... the government has decided what is good and we have to stand in line," said Crin Antonescu, leader of the opposition Liberal Party.

Having survived the vote, the law will be adopted and next year's elections will be held on the same day instead of months apart.