PNL’s no-confidence motion against Ponta Gov’t: Low chances, the Liberals still insist to find support

On Tuesday, lawmakers will discuss and vote on the no-confidence motion filed by the National Liberal Party (PNL) against the Government led by Victor Ponta.
The motion, titled “Choose between Romania and Ponta, a compromised Premier. Sack Victor Ponta,” has been signed by 180 MPs and it needs 276 favourable votes in order to be approved, namely a majority of 50 per cent plus one.

Alina Gorghiu: “Liviu Dragnea and other leaders should choose between the public good and political selfishness”

PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu launched on Monday a new call on UNPR President Gabriel Oprea and PSD Interim President Liviu Dragnea. She claims that there is still enough time for the two, but also for other political leaders, “to choose between the public good and political selfishness,” referring to PNL’s no-confidence motion that will be put up for vote on Tuesday.
“My colleagues and I will be there after which we will come to Parliament to support the no-confidence motion and I hope a vote in favour. Until tomorrow there is still sufficient time for Mr. Gabi Oprea, Mr. Liviu Dragnea and other leaders to choose between the public good and political selfishness. We will see by tomorrow what their political choice will be,” Alina Gorghiu stated at the Palace of Parliament.
Liberal Lower Chamber lawmaker Mugur Cozmanciuc launched on Monday a last-hour call on the leaders of the ruling coalition parties, asking them to allow their lawmakers to vote on the no-confidence motion against the backdrop in which the leaders of PSD, ALDE and UNPR have stated that their lawmakers will not vote on the Liberals’ motion.
“Senate and Lower Chamber lawmakers have the duty to exercise their vote in Parliament because they won their mandates precisely as a result of voters exercising this right. PNL’s no-confidence motion is the last chance offered to the ruling parties to prove to the electorate that they do not support a worn-out Premier that lacks credibility and has public relations problems that raise significant question marks in European chancelleries,” Cozmanciuc points out in a communiqué.
Cozmanciuc, who is also the deputy leader of PNL’s group within the Lower Chamber, pointed out that the current government has had poor results in what concerns the infrastructure, education and health sectors too.
“Moreover, the current government promised that it will build highways, however in reality nothing has been done; it promised to build hospitals but it didn’t; it promised to rehabilitate the education sector’s infrastructure however it didn’t live up to its promise. All of these are also solid reasons for the government’s lawmakers to cast a vote of censure on the current Government,” the Liberal added.

Victor Ponta: “Less scandal, more work!”

Asked on Monday what he advises the PSD MPs to do on Tuesday, the day of the no-confidence motion vote, Premier Victor Ponta avoided giving a clear answer.
“I will state my point of view as Prime Minister at the no-confidence motion. As early as now, I have recommended not only them (PSD MPs – editor’s note) but also those from PDL-PNL to give it a rest with the scandal and to help us out because we have a lot of work to do. On Wednesday I want us to finalize the draft law on the loan for Moldova. We have a project over which we have to be united (the government and the opposition alike), because it’s a national project. So, less scandal and more work! They’d better not get in our way, because it’s better,” Ponta emphasized.
“When things are going well it’s everybody’s Government, Gorghiu’s Government too. We paid off the whole debt owed to the IMF, we are hiking pensions and salaries – it could be the merit of Gorghiu and Predoiu too. When something goes wrong it’s only my government,” the Prime Minister stated.

PNL expects 15,000-strong rally

Concerning the political rally organized by PNL on the day of the vote on the no-confidence motion, the PNL Co-President stated that she expects 15,000 people to take part in it.
“We’ve had a discussion that is as natural as possible before the no-confidence motion. We discussed the organizing and mobilization of our colleagues for the rally. Despite the weather we expect a lot of participants, well over 10,000 people, in the ballpark of 15,000,” Gorghiu said.
PNL is also staking on social networking websites for this purpose.
“Victor Ponta, the arraigned acting Premier, has to go. Each day with Ponta Prime Minister deepens the hole in which Romania was thrown by his decision to remain at the helm of the Government. There are, however, numerous politicians that, for various reasons, still support the indicted Premier. In order to convince them that the vote in favour of the no-confidence motion is a vote in favour of Romania, come join us in Bucharest’s Izvor Park at the rally in support of the no-confidence motion. Prove that between Romania and Ponta you choose Romania!” the rally’s organizers write on the event’s Facebook page.
In their no-confidence motion, the Liberals claim that by being arraigned the Prime Minister compromises an entire nation and the leaders of UNPR and PSD, Gabriel Oprea and Liviu Dragnea respectively, are his “accomplices” if they continue to back him. They emphasize that by backing Victor Ponta the leaders of the ruling coalition will irredeemably destroy Romania’s image. The document will be debated and voted on Tuesday.
The Liberals have included in the text of the motion the reasons for which Victor Ponta has to leave, reiterating the fact that a Premier accused of forgery in private documents cannot sign Romania’s legislative acts and, at the same time, a Premier brought before judges for money laundering cannot manage the Romanians’ taxes and contributions.
On the other hand, PNL calls directly on Gabriel Oprea and Liviu Dragnea, asking them to present the reasons why they continue to back Ponta. Moreover, Ponta is presented as simply “a venomous thistle that has to be pulled out before it endangers our entire outlook.”

Liviu Dragnea: PSD MPs won’t vote on no-confidence motion; we will ensure quorum

PSD Interim President Liviu Dragnea announced on Monday, after the ruling coalition’s meeting, that the PSD, UNPR and ALDE MPs will be present on Tuesday at the joint plenum in which PNL’s no-confidence motion will be debated, in order to make sure that the meeting’s quorum will be met, but they will not vote on the motion.
“We support the current government and we reject tomorrow’s no-confidence motion. Our decision is very clear: we will be present in order to ensure the quorum, but we will not vote. Probably not all MPs will be present, neither those from PSD, UNPR and ALDE; it’s important to ensure the quorum in order for the procedure to be finalized, but those of us present in the room will not vote,” Dragnea said following the ruling coalition meeting attended by Premier Victor Ponta too.
“Tomorrow we will be present in order to ensure the quorum, but we will not vote on the no-confidence motion,” PSD leader Liviu Dragnea announced.
“Probably not all MPs will be present, neither those from PSD, UNPR and ALDE; it’s important to ensure the quorum in order for the procedure to be finalized, but those of us present in the room will not vote. (…) Our goal is for the motion to fail,” Dragnea added.
Dragnea gave a reply to Alina Gorghiu who has asked him to choose between the public good and the political selfishness of remaining in power.
“I have chosen public good for many years now; maybe she was not in the country and doesn’t know. Public good means having a stable government, not to choose an unclear alternative, in fact a lack of alternative. We are not told what will happen if the no-confidence motion goes through, they’re only saying “topple the government and then we’ll see.” You can’t push the pause button in what concerns Romania’s functioning. I will not respond to these provocations, I will not answer scandal with scandal, I will answer it with simple ascertaining of facts. I have noticed that her discourse and the discourse of forever-Prime-Minister Predoiu show a lot of education, political training and a lot of Europeanism. It’s a discourse that does well to a political party and to a European country. That and nothing more,” Dragnea stated.

Daniel Constantin: ALDE will not vote on the no-confidence motion

The Liberal-Conservative MPs will not vote on the no-confidence motion filed by PNL, a motion titled “Choose between Romania and Ponta, a compromised Premier. Sack Victor Ponta,” despite the fact that they will attend the joint plenum meeting and the debate on the motion on Tuesday, ALDE Co-President Daniel Constantin stated on Monday.
“I will not attend the ruling coalition meeting today (Monday – editor’s note), being in Constanta, but I believe the decisions are as good as taken, in the sense that ALDE has decided not to vote (on PNL’s no-confidence motion – editor’s note). We will take part in the so-called debate, but we will not vote and this will probably be the ruling coalition’s decision,” Daniel Constantin stated for Agerpres on Monday.
He stated that the text of the no-confidence motion is not clear in what concerns the Liberals’ discontent or expectations concerning the way in which the Ponta Government governs Romania.
“I called it a “so-called debate” because there isn’t much to debate, this being a two-page motion that does not tackle any kind of subject of interest for citizens. We are not told where we made a mistake from an economic standpoint, we are not told what PNL wants to do from an economic standpoint in the governing act so as to help the Romanians,” he explained.

Eugen Tomac: “PNL feigns the act of opposition”

People’s Movement Party (PMP) President Eugen Tomac stated that his party’s MPs will vote in favour of the no-confidence motion in order for Premier Victor Ponta to step down from the helm of the Government, however he does not believe the document will be successful.
“Although PNL feigns the act of opposition, because a party that is in the opposition and that wants to topple a government uses all democratic means at its disposal, it doesn’t do it with its entire conviction and, unfortunately, this no-confidence motion will fail. This is our point of view. Popular Movement MPs will definitely vote in favour of Victor Ponta’s departure from the Victoria Palace,” Tomac stated.

UDMR MPs hard to budge

PNL leaders held negotiations with UDMR representatives over the vote on the no-confidence motion that the Liberals will file tomorrow. PNL Co-Presidents Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga and UDMR President Kelemen Hunor took part in the meeting. A similar meeting took place last week too. Back then Kelemen Hunor stated that his party colleagues will most likely vote on the no-confidence motion however the UDMR MPs were expected to take a final decision later on Monday.

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