The Social-Democrat Party’s no-confidence vote “Halt social genocide!” will be read, today, before the joint chambers’ assembly, and debates on the matter and the vote will take place next Tuesday, starting 10:00.
The joint Standing Bureaus of the two Chambers also decided, yesterday, that the Government will have one hour to respond to charges made by the opposition, while MPs will be allotted 169 minutes to debate and voice their position from the Parliament platform.
Shortly after introducing the no-confidence vote aimed at bringing down the Boc government after their taking responsibility for the austerity measures package, the opposition initiated the campaign to persuade MPs from the Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL) and the National Union for Romanian Progress (UNPR) [founded by defectors from PSD and PNL, who fled their parties after last autumn’s presidential elections], to join them in their endeavour. According to the media, the Social Democrats and the National Liberal Party (PNL) still need between 22 and 24 votes for the motion to pass and the Boc Government to fall. To persuade wavering individuals in the ruling coalition’s boat to join the opposition, PSD supposedly appointed the deputy Viorel Hrebenciuc, a true “grey eminence” of fine political negotiations, as its main negotiator, yesterday’s edition of “Evenimentul Zilei” claims. The same source claims Hrebenciuc supposedly promised some PDL and UNPR MPs not only party membership, but also a college in the following elections. The source also argues that 13 MPs have already been persuaded and that they only need 7, at the most 10, MPs for the no-confidence vote to pass.
PSD leader Victor Ponta denied yesterday that Hrebenciuc had been appointed to negotiate the passing of the motion, adding that each of his colleagues is entitled to discuss the matter, but the final decision will be made by him, as president of the party. Ponta also mentioned that PSD still needs 20 or 21 votes for the no-confidence vote against the Boc government to pass, adding Social-Democrats are open to talks with any MP in the governing arc who will vote in favour of the motion. “We are open to talks with any MP who, influenced by the people, the trade unions or the media, should decide to vote in favour of the motion. We don’t need to conduct talks behind closed doors. I’m saying it openly. The aim is too crucial a one, to oppose the cuts, and, to this aim, we are open to talks with any MP,” Ponta said. He argued that the promise according to which those who join the PSD now will maintain their college seat is a compact between the PSD leaders and current parliamentary groups. “If you, indeed, find yourself disagreeing with the Boc Government’s policies, the no-confidence vote will be your moment of truth. After the no-confidence vote, we will no longer have anything to discuss with those who voted against the people,” Ponta added.
The leader of the PSD group in the Chamber of Deputies, Hrebenciuc, stated, on the same day, that the no-confidence vote brought by the Social-Democrats has a 65-70 per cent chance of being adopted. Hrebenciuc claimed he hadn’t negotiated with anybody the passing of the motion. “I haven’t negotiated with anyone. No one counted [how many votes they are short of] and anyone who is giving a figure is not to be trusted, believe me. I’m telling you this in all honesty,” Hrebenciuc added. On the other hand, in the ruling coalition’s camp, assurances are made that everything will turn out fine, for the Government, obviously, when the no-confidence motion is voted. The leader of PDL deputies, Mircea Toader, said he was optimistic, arguing there would be no surprises, although the vote is secret. “I haven’t decided that the voting is done in the open, we’ll see, PSD proposed that. There will be no problems as far as we are concerned,” Toader said.
UNPR leaders decided yesterday that the party’s MPs will not support the Social-Democrats’ no-confidence vote so as to avoid plunging the country into a full-blown political and economic crisis in the absence of political stability. According to Deputy Marian Sarbu, the party leader, the 26 MPs of the Union will attend debate of the no-confidence motion, but will return a blank vote.
Iliescu: The opposition cannot take the job of governing upon itself
The opposition [that is, PSD or PNL] cannot take the job of governing upon itself, as it does not have the Parliament’s support, but it has the duty of keeping the government under pressure and on its toes, the honorary president of the Social Democratic Party, Ion Iliescu, stated yesterday. When asked whether a technocratic government might be a solution to Romania’s present situation, Iliescu argued that an Executive without political support cannot work. In his opinion, those who make up the present majority should take responsibility properly and call up a government which may resort to the best economic specialists. He added that, whether the motion would pass or not, this represented “a necessary act from the Parliament”.