Ally of ousted cabinet to back new Romania government

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 29, 2012 6:53 AM

By Radu Marinas

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A former ally of Romania's toppled government said on Sunday it would back a new left-led alliance in a confidence vote expected in the next 10 days, saying political stability was crucial as the country seeks to emerge from an economic crisis.

Eugen Nicolicea, vice president in the National Union for Romania Progress (UNPR), said his party had attached no strings to its support in a confidence vote that could take place as early as May 7.

"We want political and economic stability, we did not put any condition in exchange for backing," Nicolicea, whose party has 27 seats in parliament's two chambers, told Reuters.

"We haven't asked for any government posts."

Romania's centre-right coalition government fell after just two months in office when it lost a no confidence vote on Friday organized by the opposition Social Liberal Union (USL).

Ousted Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu's cabinet has faced a wave of public anger over plans for spending cuts and tax hikes designed to ensure aid from the International Monetary Fund and help Romania emerge from a two-year recession.

The collapse of the government prompted the International Monetary Fund to postpone its review of a 5-billion-euro precautionary aid deal with Romania, the European Union's second-poorest member.

Prime Minister-designate Victor Ponta, the USL leader, says he plans to unveil his government lineup on Tuesday, quickly restart talks with the IMF and be subject to a parliamentary vote of confidence a week later.

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The IMF has extended two loan packages to Romania along with the European Union and the World Bank, and the precautionary deal is key to Bucharest's efforts to maintain investor confidence.

Ponta said his cabinet would be made up of USL officials with government experience. The new cabinet will serve until November at the latest, when a parliamentary election is scheduled. Opinion polls give the USL more than 50 percent.

(Editing by Jon Boyle)