Romanian lawmakers toppled the Social Democratic Party (PSD) government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila Thursday, just weeks before a presidential election and amid controversy over the country's nominee for EU commissioner. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila lost her parliamentary majority in August when the junior coalition partner of her PSD withdrew support, citing major disagreements. That followed hard on the heels of shock losses for the PSD, Romania's biggest party, in May's European Parliament elections and the jailing of its once all-powerful leader, Liviu Dragnea, on corruption charges. The opposition says the no-confidence motion has the support of at least 233 members in the 465-seat parliament, just enough to pass it, although some might yet side with the PSD, leaving the outcome in the balance. "This motion won't pass. The opposition hasn't understood that it needs a team and a program" to govern, Dancila told parliament at the start of the motion's debate.
Dancila, whose PSD has been in power since late 2016 but has seen massive protests over controversial judicial reforms, is also due to run in presidential elections with the first round scheduled for Nov. 10. Incumbent center-right President Klaus Iohannis already looks set to be reelected for a second term, and an overthrow of Dancila's government would weaken her chances even further.