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Romania's president calls for early elections

Traian Basescu renewed calls for early elections, saying the centrist government's weak parliamentary majority is stalling reforms.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 18:56 IST

Romania's President Traian Basescu renewed calls for early elections, saying the centrist government's weak parliamentary majority is stalling reforms, local media reported on Monday.

The Black Sea state's coalition has been marred by disagreements over policy issues and government posts, as well as by opposition from its own deputies in parliament, since taking power from the ex-communists in late 2004.

"Early elections are still the best solution for Romania," Basescu told the daily Jurnalul National.

"The lack of parliamentary support for the government will be affecting decisions for another two years from now."

Romania has made vast progress in reforming its economy and institutions and will join the European Union in January 2007, but analysts warn its reform drive could slow down next year when it is no longer motivated by EU entry preparations.

"I would have wanted a more dynamic government. I would have liked a government with a larger vision than day-to-day survival," the paper quoted Basescu as saying.

Some observers say early elections are unlikely, because several of the government parties and the main opposition grouping stand to lose parliament or government posts after new polls.

The grouping which surveys show could benefit the most is the Democratic Party, linked to Basescu and one of the two main parties in the coalition.

For months, Basescu has been at loggerheads with Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu, who runs the coalition's Liberal Party.

Last week, a senior Liberal party politician and speaker of the lower house told Reuters that he expected an "unenthusiastic" coalition to serve a full term.

Romania and its smaller southern neighbour Bulgaria missed the EU's first wave of enlargement into eastern Europe in 2004 because their pace of reform was too slow for them to catch up with their more developed neighbours.