Romania's ruling party goes to Parliament to remove premier

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Romania's ruling party submitted a no-confidence vote against its own government Sunday after it withdrew its support for the prime minister.

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has refused to quit, sparking a political crisis.

Mihai Fifor, a Senator of the center-left Social Democratic Party read out the motion against Grindeanu, who is accused of not implementing the party's program. Parliament will vote Wednesday on whether to dismiss the government.

The motion accuses Grindeanu of "contempt for democratic rules... immaturity and political irresponsibility."

Grindeanu, in office since January, denies that he has underperformed. He claims the powerful party chairman, Liviu Dragnea, who can't be prime minister because of a conviction in 2016 for vote rigging, wants to install a party loyalist as premier.

Grindeanu called the crisis "bizarre" citing growth of 5.6 percent for the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2016.

Ex-Prime Minister Victor Ponta, an ally of the prime minister, has called for talks with Dragnea to resolve the crisis. He has described the no-confidence vote as "an atomic war between the Social Democrats and the Social Democrats."

Ponta said the party in-fighting would only benefit President Klaus Iohannis, a political rival, who has the power to nominate a premier who is then approved by Parliament.

The Social Democrats and their political allies need 233 votes out of a total of 465 seats to remove the government. They currently have 247 seats.