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May 16, 2022

President Basescu nominates Ungureanu, rejects the idea of early elections

The head of state announced Monday evening, after consultations with the parties, that he nominated the chief of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Mihai Razvan Ungureanu as prime minister, saying that it was the decision of the ruling coalition PDL-UNPR-UDMR.

“Two approaches took shape today: the parties of the ruling coalition chose to maintain the current coalition and designate a prime minister, as they wish to continue governing in the current formula, and the opinion of PSD-PNL-PC, whose three leaders demanded the resignation of the government and the president, early elections against the background of the already installed boycott in Parliament,” Basescu said. According to the president, he could not accept the opposition’s proposals, because “any instability in Romania would generate difficulties in financing the Romanian state.” “I consider impossible to accept pushing the country in a situation of instability, in which I pretend to appoint cabinets which I know would fall, then dissolve the Parliament, and hold elections after three more months. Under the acting legislation and Constitution, early elections can be organised five months after the fall of the government. Please imagine Romania with an interim cabinet – as I was saying – for five months. I deeply believe that Romania would have formidable problems in terms of credibility and financing. This is why I choose to immediately set in place a new government,” President Basescu said, explaining his refusal to declare early elections, as demanded by the opposition.

Basescu did not hesitate to define several priorities for the future Ungureanu Cabinet, saying that “the president may not give a mandate, but may publicly speak his mind.” “Based on this, the top priority of the new government is the effort to gradually improve the living standards of Romanians, which went through much pain paying the cost of the country’s macro-economic rebalancing processes,” he said. Other priorities set by the president for the nominated premier: creating new jobs by stimulating the birth of new small and medium-sized enterprises and reopening a number of mines, implementing the Justice Codes, strictly enforcing the new Labour Code.

In his statement delivered Monday evening, the president explained that he had talks with ex-premier Emil Boc about giving up his mandate as early as last December, but the decision was postponed “because of reasons that pertain to national interest,” such as the difficulty to secure a majority in Parliament during the second half of December, and the IMF-WB-EC mission of evaluation that ended last week.

“This is no trick, no scheme, it’s just the need to try to revitalise the credibility of the government,” Traian Basescu said. It is worth mentioning that he made no connection between Boc’s resignation and the street protests that have erupted in most Romanian cities a few weeks ago. Basescu actually thanked Emil Boc for his activity: “Nobody says he was a perfect premier, but nobody can suspect him either of not doing everything to move Romania out of the economic crisis it was pushed into against its will, and unprepared. Today, Emil Boc left us a country with economic growth, a country prepared to face an eventual new wave of economic crisis at European scale,” the head of state mentioned.

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