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March 20, 2023

Liberals and Conservatives, ready to resign from Parliament

They have to persuade the Social-Democrats too, the latter being less thrilled with the prospect.

The Social-Liberal Union (USL) is getting ready to resign from Parliament in a sign of protest against the fact that the ruling power refuses to organize early elections. At least this is PNL President Crin Antonescu’s proposal. Antonescu announced on Monday evening that talks with USL partners will precede a final decision. “I am authorized to state that there is a consensus not only on the readiness but also on the desire of Liberal MPs to resign from Parliament and to return here only through the vote cast by Romanians. (…) We will discuss this with our partners – PSD and PC – and we will try to find a common solution. We would like this to be the solution,” Antonescu stated for Mediafax, arguing that the current Parliament is illegal and illegitimate. Antonescu also announced that in the following period the liberals will hold talks with the civil society representatives that are involved in finding solutions and the public opinion will be consulted.

The PNL President also confirmed that Liberal MPs have already presented several resignations and have expressed their intention to resign, but the resignations were not filed in Parliament because a final decision has not been taken yet. According to Liberal sources quoted by Mediafax, approximately 20 PNL MPs have handed in their resignations, including Ludovic Orban (former Transport Minister in the Tariceanu Government), Adriana Saftoiu (former Presidential adviser), Ciprian Dobre, Constantin Holban, Nicolae Robu (head of PNL Timis) and Mircea Diaconu.
While PC President Daniel Constantin announced that the Conservatives are ready to leave Parliament, the Social-Democrats do not seem as eager. PSD President Victor Ponta stated on Monday evening that Antonescu informed him of the Liberals’ decision to maintain their proposal for the opposition to resign from Parliament. “Within USL there is no decision on the opposition’s resignation en masse; we agreed to talk about this issue in order to have a clear-cut decision by February 1 when the Parliament resumes its sitting,” the PSD President stated.

In reply to the intention to resign, Senate Speaker Democrat-Liberal Vasile Blaga stated that he does not believe the opposition will carry out its threats. “I don’t believe they’ll carry it out, because they’re realists that know very well the procedures and know that won’t solve anything,” Blaga stated.

According to the laws in force, the opposition’s resignation would not generate early elections but would instead lead to partial elections within the colleges of the resigning MPs. According to the Constitution, early elections can take place after the President dissolves Parliament. Another method to elect a new Parliament before its term expires would be the one pointed out by the PNL President at the end of last week, namely a political agreement on the resignation of all MPs.

Boc’s resignation not on the agenda

The Democrat-Liberals quickly dismissed the allegation that Premier Emil Boc’s resignation was taken into consideration within the party. Sources quoted by Antena 3 had claimed that during an emergency meeting that took place at the PDL headquarters on Monday evening PDL leaders asked for Premier Emil Boc’s resignation in order to defuse the situation. Senate Speaker Vasile Blaga stated that he never witnessed such a discussion within PDL, while Speaker of the Lower Chamber Roberta Anastase pointed out that the Premier’s resignation was “never” discussed within the party. PDL Senator Radu Berceanu stated for RFI that there is no need for Premier Boc’s resignation and that any other Premier would “grope in the dark for months.”

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