(Bloomberg) -- Romania’s two ruling parties agreed to form a political alliance and field joint candidates in some of this year’s rounds of elections in an effort to limit the rise of an ultra-nationalistic party. 

After forming a governing coalition in 2021, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu’s Social Democrats and the Liberals, led by Senate Speaker Nicolae Ciuca, will present a joint list of candidates for elections to the European Parliament and separate contenders for mayoral ballots that will both be held on June 9.

The key general elections are scheduled for Dec. 8, Ciolacu said at a conference in Bucharest on Wednesday. Romanians will also go to the polls to pick a new president in September.

“No matter how one tries to spin this, it’s obvious that only the two largest political parties can join forces in the face of an extremist wave,” Ciolacu said. “None of the two parties could take on the battle on its own. This is about Romania’s stability and its long-term future.”

After months of debate, the leaders of the Balkan country decided to bundle together voting in an effort to limit costs to the state budget as the deficit is already estimated at 5% of economic output. A potential common strategy for the general and presidential elections will be discussed after the June ballot, Ciolacu said. 

Based on the most recent polls, the two largest parties will likely keep their lead and manage to forge a majority in parliament even after the next general elections. The main common objective as presented by the two party leaders is to keep Romania stable during a risky period for the region’s security in the wake of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. 

Still, structural differences among once political arch-rivals may pose risks to future coalition and government negotiations. Another threat is the rise of the ultra-nationalist party AUR and of other smaller extremist parties that will likely enter parliament and potentially influence decision making. 

“This is a tactical move considering the security context in the region and we cannot afford to hamper the country’s stability because of political ego,” Ciuca said at the joint conference with Ciolacu. “Romanians want stability and it’s our duty to deliver that.” 

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