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August 7, 2022
POLITICS

Senate elects new leadership

Speaker Crin Antonescu returns to the Upper House today.

The Senate plenum yesterday voted Standing Bureau membership, with Radu Berceanu of the Democratic Liberal Party  (PDL), Petru Filip, Social Democratic Party (PSD), Dan Radu Rusanu of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and Laurentiu Chirvasuta, National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) being the four deputy speakers. The Standing Bureau’s new membership passed by “yes” 63 votes, and the Senate membership nominal list, by 82 votes in favor.  At the start of the session, Senate interim speaker Petru Filip said that after two-three rounds of negotiations, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) got one post of deputy speaker, two secretaries an two questors. The PDL got one deputy speaker position and two secretaries  in the Bureau, , PNL – one deputy speaker and one questor, and UNPR, one deputy speaker and one questor, and UNPR, one deputy speaker, and  the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) one post of questor. The PSD Senate group leader, Ilie Sarbu, announced that he assigned Petru Filip for the deputy speaker , Valentin Calcan and Cosmin Nicula secretaries, and Alexandru Cordos and Florin Constantinescu, questors. The PDL nominees are Radu Berceanu, deputy speaker, and Alexandru Peres and Gheorghe David, secretaries.
The PNL senators’ leader, Mario Oprea, announced the party’s nominations for the Standing Bureau positions, as follows: Dan Radu Rusanu, deputy speaker, Ioan Ghise, questor.
UNPR has nominated Laurentiu Chirvasuta for deputy speaker, and UDMR,  Verestoy Attila for questor. The opening of the Senate legislative session, originally scheduled for Monday, was delayed as a result of the failed negotiations between the power and the opposition over the post distribution in the Standing Bureau, with the PDL arguing that the power-opposition ratio should be of 8/5, while the Social Liberal Union (USL) supports a ratio of 9/4 instead.
Although, originally, the PDL thought to give up the posts and have no member on the Senate leadership, PDL group leader Cristian R?dulescu said the party got three posts on the Standing Bureau, which they see as not enough, yet they accept it in order not to deadlock legislative activities. “We haven’t accepted it <the three posts>, but we had to. Faced with such abuse, we either escalate the crisis and block the Senate operations, or proceed toward normality.   Somebody has to do it. We have decided to keep the three posts in the Senate Standing Bureau,” Cristian Radulescu said, who added that, in his view, the negotiations failed and the parliamentary majority had not observed the Regulation, the Constitution and the mathematical logic on positions, despite this being the rule for 22 years. He also said that, had the rule been applied, the PDL would have got four posts in the Standing Bureau, yet, the majority applied its own Math, which in the end left the party with only three posts instead.
PSD senators’ leader Ilie Sarbu yesterday said that Senate interim speaker Petru Filip (PSD) stays on as such until Senate Speaker Crin Antonescu returns to the job. Sarbu made the statement having been asked whether Petru Filip could still lead the Senate and Standing Bureau sessions given his delegation expired on Sept 3.

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