BUCHAREST, March 4 Romanian Prime Minister
Victor Ponta won a confidence vote in parliament as expected on
Tuesday, giving him a new mandate to push through a series of
IMF-backed reforms aimed at speeding up growth in the European
Union's second poorest country.
Ponta's Social Democrat (PSD) led government won a vote in
both houses by a combined 346 votes to 192, having partially
restored its majority with new allies following the departure
last week of the Liberal party after a series of rows.
The Liberals' exit had sparked worries about Romania's
ability to implement commitments it made under a 4 billion euro
aid deal with the International Monetary Fund, including
cleaning up loss making state companies, in an election year.
Having won the vote, Ponta faces a new threat to his
government from his arch rival, President Traian Basescu, who
has questioned Ponta's constitutional right to form a new
administration and threatened to mount a challenge in court.