Hours ahead vote, coalition endorsed Blaga’s candidacy

The decision was made after a swap where PDL gave UDMR the Secretariat General of the Government and UDMR renounced to its own candidate.

The ruling coalition experienced a certain amount of tension yesterday over the nomination of its single candidate for the presidency of the Senate. While PDL proposed Vasile Blaga, UDMR demanded a ministry in return for its claims regarding the speaker of the upper chamber, so PDL offered the Secretariat General of the Government (SGG), the head of which had been recently dismissed by PM Emil Boc. UDMR President Kelemen Hunor confirmed, after the meeting of the leaders and MPs of the Union, that UDMR would takeover the presidency of SGG and would support the candidacy of Vasile Blaga for Senate speaker. PDL sources quoted by Mediafax however said the leaders of the ruling coalition had argued over the nomination of the candidate for the Senate and that the Union had asked for another ministry in order to give up on its own candidate for the Senate. Even after PDL had offered them the presidency of SGG in exchange, some Hungarian representatives continued to oppose the deal, claiming UDMR should have more positions in the government and parliament.

For now, the debate also seems to be open also inside UDMR, although the deal has been closed at a central level. Mediafax quotes coalition sources as saying that UDMR had proposed for SGG the Prefect of Hunedoara, Dezsi Attila or Stefan Gati. UDMR President Kelemen Hunor said the name of the future SGG head would be decided on in the following few days: ‘It is our internal business. We have not discussed this yet, but we will in the next few days and we will come up with a proposal. Now it is too early to mention someone in particular’. Kelemen said ‘all the people working in the central and local administration will be considered’.

Asked if he was personally satisfied with what his organisation had obtained, he noted that, in a coalition, you need to compromise all the time, ‘also meaning understanding and empathy’. ‘I hope to finalise it and move on. Our intention is to strengthen the coalition, to continue until the end of the term in this formula’, he said. The UDMR leader denied that, in the negotiations in the coalition, the Union had asked for more money from the 2012 state budget for ministries led by its representatives, in exchange for accepting to support PDL’s candidate. ‘The debate on the budget was well over when Geoana was dismissed’, Kelemen pointed out. On the other hand, asked of UDMR had made ‘a major compromise’ when yielding the presidency of the Senate, he said that everyone had made such promises, PDL included, when accepting that UDMR was going to take over SGG. ‘As you know, SGG has never been with any other party than the one of the PM’s. They have compromised, we have compromised’, Kelemen Hunor added.

PDL spokesman Sever Voinescu in turn said about the fact that the head of SGG would go To UDMR that ‘it was the prime-minister’s decision’, and that ‘it was no swap’ between PDL and UDMR. ‘Even now SGG is being headed by an acting chief who is from UDMR. (…) It is no swap, this is not how we should see it. Our common objective is to have a common candidate’, Voinescu added. After the meeting of the National Standing Bureau of PDL, PM  Emil Boc said his choice for the presidency of the Senate was Vasile Blaga. ‘PDL’s choice is Vasile Blaga. From this point of view, things are very clear’, said the PM. His statement follows a rumour indicating Radu Berceanu as a possible option for Senate speaker. Before the meeting, the Democrat-Liberals were actually convinced that the best thing was to only have one candidate of the coalition for the position vacated by Mircea Geoana and that the candidate should come from PDL.

‘There are two conclusions: the coalition will have a single candidate for the position as speaker of the Senate. The second conclusion is that the coalition will obtain the speaker of the Senate, Emil Boc was saying when he arrived to the party headquarters. ‘The candidate will be most likely decided upon during this meeting of the BPN. The important thing is that the person who will take over as speaker of the Senate is from PDL’, PDL Vice-President Elena Udrea also said before the BPN meeting.

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