Romanian PM Mihai Tudose informed the leadership of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) on Monday evening that he would resign, according to Agriculture minister Petre Daea. Political sources quoted by TV news channels had previously said a resignation was submitted at a party leadership meeting. Sources have also told HotNews.ro that several of his ministers would also resign.
PM Tudose has confirmed his resignation, saying he would not serve as interim head of government until a replacement was found.
Minister Daea made the announcement as he was the first to leave the PSD leadership committee late on Monday evening.
PM Tudose's decision is said to have come after the PSD leadership, convened in a special meeting today, decided to withdraw its politicial support for his government, according to sources. Deputy PM Paul Stanescu, who has been serving as Development minister as well, is said to become interim prime minister, according to the sources quoted by TV news stations.
The meeting was convened as PM Tudose was involved in a power struggle with PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, who serves as House of Deputies speaker. Until recently, many political pundits would bet that the struggle would lead to Dragnea's ousting as party leader, as he was criticized by increasingly more PSD barons - the name given to influential local leaders of the party.
Political sources have told HotNews.ro that several ministers - deputy PM Marcel Ciolacu, European Funds minister Marius Nica, Transport minister Felix Stroe, others - would also announce their resignation along Mihai Tudose.
It is the second time the PSD has ousted its own prime minister after the party came to power in the 2016 elections. PSD's first prime minister, Sorin Grindeanu, was removed from office last summer, at the peak of a power struggle with Liviu Dragnea. And Grindeanu himself was not the first nomination of the party for the seat of prime minister, after the party won the elections: the first was a close crony of Dragnea's, Sevil Shhaideh, who's nomination was rejected by President Iohannis, who forced PSD to nominate Grindeanu in early 2017.