Co-chair of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Alina Gorghiu said Monday evening that the postal voting bill cannot be negotiated over with any parliamentary party, insisting that the PNL not managing to impose the passage of the bill on the Social Democrat Party (PSD), major at rule, would be a failure in the eyes of the PNL.
She added that things will settle in the period immediately ahead in regard to the bill, saying that she does not believe PSD’s national leader Liviu Dragnea will forever persist in the mistakes made by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, in reference to Ponta’s recent statements on the situation of the Romanian Diaspora.
“It would be a failure in the eyes of the PNL if we do not manage to impose on the PSD the passage of the postal voting bill. Although publicly all want the bill and take up the bill, those making up the parliamentary majority will vote against it. I am trying to realise where the PNL’s mistake was, or perhaps it was not insistent enough for the postal voting bill, because I believe all the stages we started, all the processes we started were necessary and conducing to the bill passing. (…) The introduction of the postal voting is non-negotiable, either with the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) or with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), or PSD of the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) or any other party. I believe things will settle now about the postal voting; you may say all you want about Dragnea, but you cannot say that we do not see opportunities. I do not believe he will be forever persevering in the mistakes made by Victor Ponta. (…) If the President [Klaus Iohannis] feels that the key to the postal voting is a new series of talks, he will not hesitate to do it,” Gorghiu told B1 TV private broadcaster.
The Liberals protested in Parliament
The Liberals protested on Monday in Parliament, with party leaders Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga at the forefront. Donning white armbands, PNL lawmakers gathered in front of the Lower Chamber carrying a large painting. The reason for their protest: the delay registered in the adoption of the postal voting law. The Liberals brought a painting depicting Romanian protesters carrying placards reading “we want to vote.”
“We would like to see the joint Permanent Bureaus convened and the postal voting, a PNL request, placed on their order of the day. We have had enough of the hypocrisy and double discourse of PSD, which wants the law then it doesn’t, wants it adopted in February then never,” Alina Gorghiu stated.
The Liberals took the painting to the office of Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea.
Liberal lawmakers went on a work-to-rule strike last week, protesting against the situation in which the postal voting law finds itself.
“It is not normal or justified to talk about pay raises piecemeal”
Alina Gorghiu told a televised show on Monday evening in relation to a 15-percent raise in teachers’ pay announced by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, that “it is not normal or justified to talk about pay raises piecemeal.’
She said PNL will never oppose sustainable measures in the public sector, reiterating that education and healthcare are priority areas for her party, but there is need for a pay law built along predictability and fairness lines.
“PNL’s stance on the pay raise will not take into account the electoral capital it might get for its public stance. Education and healthcare are definitely two priority areas for PNL, but it is not normal or justified to talk about pay raises piecemeal. For the past 25 years, chaotic measures have been made in the area of public pay; never was a law put on the table as a law is supposed to be so that everybody may be considered wholesale along what should be simple criteria of predictability and fairness. Never will PNL oppose measure for the public sector that are sustainable. (…) How can someone pass such an ordinance without knowing its budgetary impact, given that no sketch of the 2016 budget has been made?” added Gorghiu.
She added that she did not know if Victor Ponta consulted with national leader of the Social Democrat Party (PSD), major at rule, Liviu Dragnea, on the raise.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday said the Government’s offer for the teachers’ trade unions is a 15-percent pay raise as from December 1. He explained that the pay raise for teachers will then reach 25 percent in 2015, the same as for doctors.
PNL wants to “settle” relations with ALDE and UNPR
PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga stated on Monday, following the party’s National Permanent Bureau meeting, that the Liberals want to settle their party’s relations with ALDE and UNPR. Although he avoided stating whether the goal sought leans toward collaborating with them or toward distancing themselves from them, Blaga hinted that opinions differ.
“The main topic of the future National Permanent Bureau meeting, scheduled to take place 2-3 weeks from now, will be that of PNL’s relations with ALDE and UNPR. We should have a clear and blunt position. There have been many statements on this topic but we will detail them 2-3 weeks from now. There were several opinions,” Blaga said.