One reason that Romania's government is getting back into office is that the opposition parties can't work together. The Democratic Alliance can't abide PRM, Partidul Romania Mare, the nationalist Party of Greater Romania. And this is understandable. PRM is pretty odious. But what if they weren't? (Here follows some completely random, uninformed political speculation.)
An Alliance-PRM coalition would be just as big as the current PSD/PUR -UDMR union. It would control a clear majority in Romania's Senate, and would be just a few votes short of one in the Chamber of Deputies. A PSD-PRM coalition would be even better. "Drop the Hungarians, and those silly minority members in the Chamber. We're your natural allies. Join with us, and govern with a clear majority instead of one that's vulnerable to random defections." It would be great, from PRM's point of view. They'd be kingmakers. Except it can't happen, because they're just too hated. Right? The Alliance has said it won't ally with them under any circumstances. PSD/PUR hasn't said that in so many words, but there would be heavy European pressure on them against taking PRM as a partner. It has been made quietly but firmly clear that PRM is just not acceptable as a member of government. And this is not a time for Romania's governing party to be offending Brussels. But what if PRM could purge themselves? A lot of odious nationalist-populist parties have managed to get into government following a makeover. It's a Europe-wide phenomenon. To give just an obvious example, consider the Freedom Party in Austria. Far-right, xenophobic, nativist, anti-immigrant, and inclined to be just a little too upbeat about some of the nastier aspects of Austrian history. Four years ago, when they first got into government, it was a major diplomatic issue. But that was then. By now the Freedom Party has been in government twice. Nobody even notices them any more. So the thing is possible. And the easiest way for PRM to do a makeover would be to dump Vadim Tudor. Think about it. He's the public face of the party, and he's almost universally despised outside of it. Former court poet to Ceausescu. He's arrogant and pompous. Eccentric. Used to be a loud anti-Semite; now claims he loves the Jewish people. Has said that Romania "can only be governed through the mouth of a machine gun". Dump Tudor, and the PRM would have a chance to rebrand itself. Still nationalist, still populist, but within acceptable limits. Is this plausible? I have no idea. Comments by Romanians welcome.