Appointed Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos started on Wednesday discussions with political parties in order to negotiate support in Parliament for his Cabinet.
After President Klaus Iohannis made on Tuesday evening the announcement concerning Dacian Ciolos’ appointment as Head of the Government, the latter is granted, according to the Constitution, ten days to announce the team that would work for Palace Victoria and present it in front of the Parliament.
The press already circulated, based on various sources, the names of the future members of the Government, to be led by Dacian Ciolos. The list of the new Executive includes people who have no political activity, most of them Dacian Ciolos’ collaborators in Brussels. According to Romania TV, the new Government might include Bogdan Aurescu, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mihail Dumitru, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mihnea Motoc, at the Ministry of National Defence, Dan Dungaciu, at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Marius Nica, at the Ministry of European Funds, Daniela Gheorghe at the Ministry of Finances, Tudor Constantinescu, at the Ministry of Economy and Energy, Laura Stefan, at the Ministry of Justice, Sorin Moisa, at the Ministry of Transportation, Sorin Cimpeanu, at the Ministry of Education and Sorin Paveliu at the Ministry of Health.
Shortly after the roller of rumours regarding the Ciolos Cabinet had been set into motion, the dis-affirmations appeared.
‘I believe it is time for a clarification to stop pointless speculation: I will stand by the Government of Romania headed by Dacian Ciolos and will help the best I can, but I will NOT be on the Government. I will carry out my mandate in the European Parliament in a manner I believe won’t give you reasons to be ashamed’, Sorin Moisa, reported by rumours as the new Transport Minister, stated on Facebook.
Alina Gorghiu: “He is interested in preserving economical macro-stability”
PNL Co-Presidents Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga revealed that they have assigned a few tasks to the Prime Minister designate. Liberals want the Ciolos Government to do in one year everything past Governments promised and failed to achieve in the last 20 years – the depolitization of central and local apparatus, cleaning up state companies, the decrease of bureaucracy – and at the same time, maintaining macroeconomic stability, so that the Government due to be installed as a result of the elections in 2016 would govern without further issues.
“He doesn’t need to give us an answer right now, we shall see how things evolve, but it was natural to have this discussion as open as possible since the very beginning. We shall see what the options will be in composing the Cabinet, in respect to the priorities in the government programme, and we shall be able to make this assessment shortly. I am positive that, in spite of the fact that the mission of this Cabinet isn’t easy, Dacian Ciolos will do a very good job. With wisdom in selecting the ministers, with caution in selecting the possible secretaries of state, with high attention paid to the projects which he will come up with in front of Parliament, I believe normalcy will resume and obviously it is a novelty for Romania to have a technocrat Cabinet,” Gorghiu said.
Gorghiu added that the ministers in the Ciolos Cabinet will be, according to Ciolos’s statements, specialists without party membership.
“There are very many reasons for which the PNL supports a technocrat government. Our option has been another one in the beginning, namely that of snap elections, which, unfortunately couldn’t be attained in the absence of an agreement with the other leaders of parliamentary parties. They did not want such thing, therefore, given the public agenda at the moment and (…) the lack of credibility of political parties – which is a topic that we have to seriously discuss in the months to come in order to have a real reform of the political class – until then I believe that the best option for the Romanian state is this one which Romania’s President has chosen,” Gorghiu pointed out.
In his turn, PNL co-chair Vasile Blaga said that Dacian Ciolos is interested in preserving macroeconomic stability so that the government ensuing the 2016 elections will not be put in difficulty. In respect to discussions on the list of ministers, Blaga said they could take place on Saturday or on Sunday.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu: “It is a Government of the President, rather than a Government of citizens”
Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu attacked the decision reached by the Head of the State concerning Ciolos’ designation as Prime-Minister of a technocrat Government, claiming that this would not be a Government of citizens, but one of the Head of the state.
“Without political support in the Parliament, a Government is hard to manage in such situations”, the politician declared, outlining that the Government due to be founded will have two important missions: the elaborating and voting for next year’s budget and the administrative organizing of the two series of elections, local and parliamentary ones.
“Yet, a Government cannot spend twelve months doing just these things. Therefore, I would love to point out that any Government needs political support in the Parliament. I do not know what the President and the Prime Minister were thinking. I believe that we are in a not exactly new situation when the Government is not the expression of citizens’ will, announced by the Parliament, but the formula that results is the result of the President’s will. It is a Government of the President, rather than a Government of the citizens”, the Head of the Senate thinks.
Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu sketched in a declaration the programme of the nominated Prime Minister. Thus, according to Tariceanu, on Saturday and Sunday, Ciolos will introduce the componence of the Cabinet to political leaders, he will introduce his team and governing programme in the Parliament on Monday, Ministers will attend hearings by Parliament Committees afterwards and, on Tuesday evening, the plenum will cast their votes.
Eugen Nicolaescu on Ciolos: “He was very strict”
Also on Wednesday, Liberal Eugen Nicolaescu declared that it was natural that the Prime Minister would discuss with the leaders of the main parties in the Parliament.
“PNL is the main party. The Prime Minister will announce his intentions, certain intentions connected to certain persons… The Prime Minister designate is trying to seek a nucleus he may count on. We do not suggest anyone, we consider that we must respect the constitutional principle that the Prime Minister is the one who choses his team”, Eugen Nicolaescu declared.
Referring to what Ciolos would be expected to do in a year of governing, Eugen Nicolaescu suggested he could clean up state companies.
“This technocrat Government should sort things out in state companies, reduce expenses and cut the bureaucracy that determines corruption”, the Liberal declared.
Eugen Nicolaescu, Ciolos’ former colleague in the Tariceanu Cabinet, remembered how he acted at that point:
“He is a serious colleague and, albeit he is not really social, he is fairly receptive to your arguments. He was not acting out on friendship, “let us go have a drink”, he was really strict”, the leader of Liberal Deputies declared to journalists at the Parliament.
Also PNL Prime-Vice-President Ludovic Orban declared that newly appointed PM Dacian Ciolos is a person of “undeniable professionalism”, close to PNL, although he is not a member of the party and that PSD would do anything in their power to compromise the future Government.
“He is a person with an outstanding image at the level of the European Union, due to improve Romania’s image and represent with great success Romania’s interests. He is not a member of PNL, but still, he is close to PNL as he was a Minister in the Liberal Government and an European Commissioner in the EPP group ”, Orban confessed.
Kelemen Hunor: “Ciolos’ appointment is a great step.”
UDMR President Kelemen Hunor considers that Dacian Ciolos’ appointment for the position of Prime-Minister is a “good, important and positive step” and added that he awaited that the Union would be invited to discussions, because the support of the Parliament is needed in order to govern for a year.
“He will need political support in the Parliament and we are looking forward to be invited to discussions concerning the program he intended to present in front of the Parliament, the priorities he suggests, the fields he intends to have initiative in, the things he wishes to do and then we will give an answer concerning our support. We will decide after we have discussions, we cannot anticipate the decision”, the President of UDMR declared on Tuesday.
Liviu Dragnea: “PSD will decide after we see the programme and the team”
The Social Democrat Party (PSD, at rule) will express a political position regarding the nomination of Dacian Ciolos as Prime Minister-designate after it sees the governmental solution and governing programme proposed by him, said, on Tuesday, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea.
“I’ve found out just as you have of the nomination of Dacian Ciolos as Prime Minister-designate. I have noted that our proposal, namely Liviu Voinea, was not accepted. We have exposed to the President the immediate objectives that this Government must fulfill. I have understood that Mr. Dacian Ciolos wishes to form a government solely of people with no political affiliation or party membership, so-called technocrats. We shall see in the coming days what governmental solution and what governing program he brings to Parliament and when we see those things, we will express a political position. We are open to dialogue with everyone,” Dragnea said.
According to him, the PSD is open to dialogue, but he cannot say how his party will vote in Parliament in regards to Dacian Ciolos.
“We are open, yet we are very curious to what the PM-designate Dacian Ciolos will propose. I cannot and don’t believe it’s natural to say that we will vote for or against, because at the moment we only have a name and a face. In the coming period, as Dacian Ciolos said, he will come with a governmental team. We will watch closely how he picks those he proposes for Government, what the governing programme is, what the concept is, the way in which he wants to collaborate in Parliament and, taking that into account, within the leadership forum, in the statute structures, we will make a political decision that will determine the path to follow,” Dragnea added.
The PSD leader mentioned that the Social Democrats have presented a package of measures at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace consultations and it would be very hard for PSD to vote for a Government that didn’t assume that package.
Sorin Cimpeanu: “It is a very good choice”
Interim Minister Sorin Cimpeanu met on Tuesday evening with designate Prime-Minister Dacian Ciolos at Government headquarters to provide him “a space” where he could complete his attributions.
“It is a very good choice. I am convinced that he is a person who is appreciated at the level of the entire Romanian society. I had the honor and pleasure to collaborate with him and he is certainly a person possessing certain competencies that recommend him for this position,” the interim PM stated.
Adrian Nastase: “With the help of the “Street”, the Parliament majority decided by elections was changed.”
Former Social-Democrat PM Adrian Nastase claims that the nomination of a technocrat Prime-Minister actually aims to install “under the cover of the idea of technocracy”, a right-wing Government next year.
“It is likely that, in the Parliament, PSD will be amazed to discover that they are in the Opposition unless they accept a humiliating minority position in the new Government. I do not think that, by designating a technocracy Prime-Minister, all parties will be in the Opposition! Therefore, with the help of the “Street”, a change was performed in the Parliament majority decided in the elections, and, based on this, the Government and PSD should have had the possibility to show up with a candidate supported by ALL parties in the Coalition. In such situation, the President was forced to designate the first candidate for Prime Minister from behalf of the majority in the Parliament (I remind you that, in a similar situation, Basescu was forced to choose Ponta). At discussions (round two), PSD proposed a candidate from behalf of the party, and not of the Coalition, which obviously allowed Iohannis to act like a player-type President”, Nastase wrote on his personal blog.
Traian Basescu: “It is a good solution”
Former President Traian Basescu declared once again that Ciolos’ appointment as Prime Minister is a very good solution and threw an irony at Liberals, especially at Vasile Blaga.
“I repeat, Dacian Ciolos is a good solution. I wonder when would be Mr. Predoiu’s turn? Obviously, the people of old PDL were not, are not and will not be used by the old PNL. They enjoyed, enjoy and will enjoy thorough respect in the new party.
Vasile Blaga will grant the deepest explanations”, Basescu wrote on Facebook, accompanying his irony with an emoticon laughing its heart out.
M10 demands urgent initiation of electoral reform
M10, the party led by Monica Macovei, announced on Wednesday their expectations from the Ciolos Government.
“1. Urgent initiation of electoral reform. It should include the elimination of the electoral threshold, transparent financing of political parties (including modern methods, such as PayPal or SMS), drastic sanctions for electoral fraud, the election of Mayors and local councils in two rounds, generally applicable voting by mail or by electronic means, the fair representation of Diaspora in the Parliament.
We also demand the creation of an electronic registry of voters, to eliminate multiple voting or votes in the names of dead people and the filming of vote-counting procedure in order to eliminate electoral fraud. The next elections must be held as the street demanded, not as the PSD-PNL cartel wants.
2. The strict control over budget deficit and filling up the black holes in state companies. The elimination of “smart guys” from electricity. The persistent refusal of any popularity – seeking political decision that crashes the budget. The cancellation of final-minute tricks adopted by the Ponta Government.
3. The independence of justice. Appointments in justice, the functioning budget of the institutions of justice, and also, applicable laws should be according to the demands of civil society”.
Resignation from the position of aide to Jean Claude Junker
Dacian Ciolos has resigned from the position of special aide to European Commission President Jean Claude Junker. This may be interpreted as a clear sign that following the negotiations with the parties he has obtained the support of sufficient parliamentary forces in order to get his Government approved by Parliament.