Traian Basescu might nominate the new Premier only next year. The President will convene Parliament 20 days after the elections.
President Basescu Traian will convene Parliament 20 days after the elections and only then will start negotiations with the parties over the nomination of the Premier, Presidential aides informed the European Union on Sunday, DC News informs. After the Parliament is convened 20 days after the elections (as the Constitution stipulates), meaning between Christmas and New Year’s, the Head of State will call up the parties to take part in negotiations over the nomination of the Prime Minister. Likewise, Brussels was also informed, through ambassadors in Bucharest, that the process will take some time. During the elections campaign Traian Basescu was not at all “pleased” with the idea of nominating Victor Ponta Prime Minister for the second time. That prompted USL leaders to threaten him with impeachment again. Because of that, various hypotheses about the future Premier have appeared. Thus, ‘Romania Libera’ presents three scenarios. The first would see Traian Basescu accepting Victor Ponta as USL Premier. “The overwhelming majority that USL will have in Parliament could determine the President to accept the result of the elections and to nominate Victor Ponta, setting off from the premise that the Premier will be massively eroded by next summer anyway given the economic problems,” ‘Romania Libera’ writes. A second scenario would see Traian Basescu refusing Victor Ponta and coming up with another proposal from PSD ranks. Mircea Geoana, former PSD President and a person that has a lot of connections in Washington and is well seen in Brussels, would be the most likely candidate in this scenario, ‘Romania Libera’ claims. The third scenario features Victor Ponta as the nominee too, this time after Traian Basescu will have split USL with UDMR’s help. “According to Viorel Hrebenciuc, PSD gathers around 38 per cent of the votes expressed on December 9, which could mean over 40 per cent of MP seats. With such a score PSD can govern alone with UDMR’s support, just as Adrian Nastase did from 2000 to 2004. Traian Basescu is less threatened by such an alliance because PNL will enter the opposition and will have to collaborate with PDL and Victor Ponta will become much more cooperative,” ‘Romania Libera’ writes. Victor Ponta stated that President Traian Basescu postponing the nomination of the Prime Minister would be “irresponsible,” pointing out that a possible delay will be detrimental to the drafting of the 2013 budget and the negotiations with the IMF. “It’s not about USL’s or my personal interest. I’m Premier at this moment too. I don’t have a problem during Christmas, I’ll still be Prime Minister then. I’ll have a big problem if I lack a government constitutionally invested by Parliament in order to be able to come up with the budget, to be able to issue ordinances on the basis of the law issued by Parliament, to discuss with international partners. It would be a gesture of significant irresponsibility, I don’t believe someone could do this,” Ponta said. Hannes Swoboda, the leader of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, stated on Tuesday in Brussels that President Basescu still “hesitates and resists” in what concerns nominating the Premier, however the rule in all democratic countries is that the Head of State has to respect the result of the elections and to nominate the one supported by the majority. He also underlined that the EPP has to intervene in this case in order to ensure the commitment to “democratic standards and the rule of law.”Hypotheses on future governmentIn other developments, Premier Victor Ponta pointed out on Monday that the future government will have 22 ministerial portfolios, including delegated-ministers, its structure set to be organized so that most of the ministers will have a direct counterpart within the European Commission. According to ‘Adevarul’ daily, the list of the Ponta II government was negotiated before USL found out the first results of the general elections. According to those sources, the Internal Affairs Ministry and the Finance Ministry are the most sought-after ministries. PSD Secretary General Liviu Dragnea is likely to become Internal Affairs Minister. Liberal Daniel Chitoiu, currently Economy Minister, is likely to take over the Finance Ministry. Relu Fenechiu, another Liberal, is likely to take over the Transportation Ministry. In fact, he announced yesterday that he will want to hold a ministerial portfolio, “we will see which one.” The Defence Ministry, currently headed by Liberal Corneliu Dobritoiu, could be offered to UNPR. UNPR leader Gabriel Oprea previously held this portfolio in the Boc and Ungureanu governments. Likewise, according to a list presented by Romania TV, Calin Popescu Tariceanu is seen as the head the Public Works Ministry. Radu Stroe (PNL) will be proposed for the Internal Affairs Ministry, and Varujan Vosganian for the Economy Ministry. PNL President Crin Antonescu denied the existence of such a list but did not deny the possibility that some of the persons on that list will be members of the future government.