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February 4, 2023
POLITICS

PDL in limbo over Boc’s replacement

Ruling coalition to meet today, PM issue possibly on the agenda.

The ruling coalition will meet today, with the advisability of replacing Prime Minister Emil Boc possibly on the agenda, political sources quoted by Mediafax reveal. “The ruling coalition meeting is scheduled on Tuesday morning when the issue of replacing the Premier could be raised. This procedure could take some time because in such a case it’s necessary for the ruling coalition parties to organize well in order not to have surprises in Parliament,” the aforementioned sources pointed out. According to them, the UDMR leaders met yesterday at the Victoria Palace in order to talk about the current political situation, continuing to stake on the fact that they too will be consulted in case PDL decides to replace Premier Boc.

The issue became more pressing after the National Convention meeting that saw Emil Boc re-elected President of the Democrat-Liberal Party. Asked whether he will resign from his office as Prime Minister, Emil Boc avoided an answer. Those that backed his contender Vasile Blaga but also some of his own backers consider that Boc has to give up his mandate as Prime Minister. Other sources quoted by the aforementioned press agency pointed out that President Traian Basescu would like another government and that is why he did not give up the idea of replacing Emil Boc.

In fact, former Presidential advisor Sebastian Lazaroiu reiterated yesterday in an interview published by ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ that Boc should step down and leave a technocrat at the head of the government. “Reason should tell him to make way for a technocrat. It’s a decision that he has to take along with the party,” Lazaroiu pointed out. At the same time, the former Presidential advisor considers that it was an error for the winners of internal party elections to offer offices to the losers since the latter, driven by revenge, could block the party’s evolution in the 2012 elections.

Lazaroiu argues that state agencies will be restructured this year and the clientele of all parties “will receive a mortal blow.” “For that you need a technocrat that will have the Romanian President’s and the ruling coalition’s support. The majority will obviously growl when it comes to state agencies. If they want topple the government that does that then I believe a solution will be for them to prepare for elections a year earlier than scheduled. Having to choose between early elections and restructuring state agencies they will go for the latter,” the former Presidential advisor stated. In Lazaroiu’s opinion the option of having a technocrat PM could be accompanied by “a reshuffling of key-Ministries in the energy sector.” Mihai Tanasescu, Romania’s representative at the IMF, is still rumored to be the possible future technocrat Premier. Tanasescu could secure backing from the Social-Democrats too, considering that he was a Finance Minister in the PSD Government.

Others however opine that a new government will be at risk of not being voted by Parliament if Emil Boc steps down. Thus, Boc could use the situation in Parliament in order to keep his office as Prime Minister. The ruling coalition has 245 MPs and a government needs the votes of 236 MPs. Considering some Democrat-Liberal MPs’ fears of seeing their funds cut by a technocrat PM, the collapse of a government led by a technocrat is very possible. Political analysts stress this as a reason why Boc will not be replaced. “I don’t know whether they’ll venture to replace Boc because the vote to invest the new government is secret and it won’t be possible to keep the Democrat-Liberals from voting,” Bogdan Teodorescu stated for ‘Adevarul’ daily. “Boc has won internal party elections precisely because he is Premier,” political analyst Andrei Taranu stated for the same daily.

Chamber of Deputies’ speaker, Roberta Anastase said yesterday that Boc’s resignation was not discussed inside PDL not even “informally”. Yet, she did not rule out reshuffling matter. On Sunday Tourism Minister Elena Udrea denied in a statement for Realitatea.net the allegations that PM Boc will resign. “I don’t see why we should talk about a new Prime Minister now that we’ve finished adopting all the negative measures, we’ve adopted the Labor Code and we’ve come out of recession,” Udrea said.

Antonescu: USL will try to shape a parliamentary majority if Boc is not PM

Liberal President Crin Antonescu said yesterday that the Social Liberal Union (USL) will try to form a parliamentary majority if Emil Boc is not prime-minister anymore. Antonescu also said neither the Liberals nor the Social-Democrats would endorse a technocrat premier, regardless of his name. Yet, PNL leader excluded UDMR from talks if Boc is replaced and UDMR still chose to form a Government with PDL. According to Antonescu, USL has already sent an official invitation to UDMR to launch political talks, but it did not receive a steady answer.

 

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