Romanian MPs have given Ludovic Orban’s interim cabinet a vote of confidence – following a speedy appointment and teleconferenced hearings in a process the country has never witnessed before.

The self-quarantined PM and almost all cabinet members did not attend the parliamentary vote after a senator from the ruling party was confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus.

Ending a political stalemate which began early February when lawmakers toppled Orban’s minority Liberal government, parliamentary parties voted for Orban with near-unanimous support on Saturday (14 March), giving now the former interim cabinet full powers to address the coronavirus epidemic.

The emergency parliamentary session took place in a disinfected room, where MPs, wearing surgical masks and disposable gloves, entered one by one to cast their votes.

„I voted as if I were in a contaminated area, wearing protective gear and with the conviction that it is my duty to invest the government with full powers so that it can help citizens fight the coronavirus pandemic,” Vlad Alexandrescu, Romanian parliament senator, told EUobserver.

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