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September 24, 2021

PM Ponta: I haven’t spoken in person with President Iohannis since June 5, when he decided to be the PNL chairman again

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Sunday evening maintained that he hadn’t spoken in person with President Klaus Iohannis since June 5, when the head of state asked him to resign, and that he hadn’t consulted with him either about the designation of Gabriel Oprea as interim Prime Minister.

“I have had the most civilised, humane and institutional talks with President Iohannis since the day he became President, in December, until the day in which, I believe it was June 5, when he decided to be the PNL [National Liberal Party] chairman again. Instead of saying ‘I will not interfere with justice, I don’t give orders to justice to change governments, I don’t pass orders to Parliament!’ he had a totally incorrect attitude from an institutional point of view and said ‘I want my government, I want a PNL government, Ponta should step down, because I don’t know what happened!’ Since then, I believe we should collaborate in a strictly institutional manner and if Romania’s President becomes Romania’s President again, and not only the PNL’s, I shall discuss with him with all my consideration. (…) After the day he said on TB: ‘Ponta should step down, let a PNL government come at rule!,’ I haven’t spoken to him directly,” Ponta told Antena 3 private broadcaster in a phone-in.

When asked what institutional communication with Iohannis means, Ponta replied: “This means the same as I did with Traian Basescu, who was never Romania’s President, but the president of a gang of mobsters.”

The Prime Minister, however, admitted that he doesn’t want to draw a parallel between Iohannis and Basescu because there isn’t such a parallel.

“I don’t want to draw a parallel between Iohannis and Basescu, but I have written and invoked the constitutional texts. There is nothing illegal or unconstitutional. He asked for an illegal and unconstitutional thing: for this Government to step down in order to make room for the PNL Government,” the Prime Minister also said.

Ponta maintained he communicated with the President through documents and that over the past two days he signed decrees, in accordance with the law.


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