Romania's largest opposition party on Tuesday filed a no-confidence motion against the government as the country with one of Europe's lowest vaccination rates sees a spike in coronavirus cases.
The motion, to be voted on in parliament next Tuesday, threatens to overthrow Florin Citu's liberal government with his former junior coalition partner USR-PLUS and another party already announcing they would support it.
"We filed a censure motion today so that we cand send home this government", Sorin Grindeanu, first vice-president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), told reporters.
The party has accused the government of having "impoverished Romanians, heavily indebted the country and botched the vaccination campaign".
The EU member on Monday recorded more than 11,000 new infections in the last 24 hours, a record high since the pandemic started, and 208 new deaths.
Only a third of the country's 19 million people is vaccinated, the second lowest rate in the bloc after Bulgaria.
PSD — together with USR-PLUS and nationalist party AUR — have 284 MPs in the 465-seat parliament. A no-confidence motion needs at least 234 votes to succeed.
"In the parliament we see a competition among those willing to blow up the country and to destabilise Romania… We are governing", Citu told reporters on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old economist, who has been prime minister since December, on Sunday became PNL president after triumphing in the party's internal elections.
He benefits from the support of centre-right President Klaus Iohannis, who will have the job of nominating a new prime minister if Citu's cabinet falls.
In early September, USR-PLUS ministers resigned from the cabinet after Citu abruptly sacked their justice minister in a row over a controversial development plan for local communities.
The nationalist party AUR and USR-PLUS at had already filed a motion of no-confidence against Citu's government at that time, but it was postponed on procedural grounds.