Liberal Party quits Romania's ruling coalition amid tensions; gov't still has slim majority

The junior party in Romania's ruling coalition has withdrawn from the alliance ahead of presidential elections later this year.

The Liberal Party voted to quit the alliance late Tuesday, citing disagreements with Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Ponta's Social Democratic Party retains a slim majority in Parliament without the Liberals.

Earlier Tuesday, he was negotiating with another party to join the coalition, which would give his government a comfortable majority.

Last week, two Liberal ministers resigned after Ponta refused to accept the Liberals' nomination of Klaus Johannis, the popular mayor of Sibiu city, as interior minister to replace another Liberal Party official. The Liberals had 10 of the 28 ministers in the Cabinet.

Parties are struggling to find viable candidates for the November presidential ballot.