PM-designate Dacian Ciolos has continued on Thursday his talks with party leaders in order to obtain their backing for the new Government when it will be voted in Parliament. Ciolos met Mircea Geoana, leader of the Romanian Social Party (PSRO), and the Popular Movement Party, the party of former president Traian Basescu. On Wednesday, he met PNL, UDMR, PSD and ALDE.
PSD and ALDE representatives announced that they are waiting to see Ciolos’s government before they decide whether to support it in Parliament or not. On the other hand, the leaders of UDMR and UNPR expressed their support for the Government that Ciolos will build, but also for his governing programme. PNL supports the future Government too but conditionally.
Three independent ministers that are part of the current interim Government have chances to keep their portfolios within the future Government too. These are: Sorin Cimpeanu (Education), Bogdan Aurescu (Foreign Ministry) and Marius Nica (European Funds). The three are independent ministers, not being members of any party. Still, there are voices that contest Marius Nica, who was allegedly appointed minister through the PSD connection, given that he was secretary of state within the Labour Ministry during Rovana Plumb’s mandate.
Likewise, UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated on Thursday that current Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu does not correspond to the profile of a technocrat minister.
“He ran on PSD’s lists in the elections. Maybe he did not pay his party membership fees on time, but to state Bogdan Aurescu is a technocrat is an exaggeration. You can say he is a good diplomat, a good Foreign Minister, acceptable from your point of view, but to say he’s a technocrat is too much,” Kelemen Hunor stated on Wednesday, being quoted by jurnalul.ro.
Possible ministers of the Ciolos Cabinet:
Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos is now working on forming his Government of technocrats. The names rumoured include: Mihai Dumitru – Agriculture; Mihnea Motoc – Defence; Dan Dungaciu – Internal Affairs; Sorin Paveliu – Health; Daniela Gheorghe – Finances; Tudor Constantinescu – Economy; Laura Stefan – Justice.
Ciolos: I thank you all for the hundreds of messages and for your support
Dacian Ciolos posted on Facebook on Thursday a message thanking those that sent him messages and revealing that he will present the list of ministers during the weekend.
“I thank you all for the hundreds of messages and for your support. These days I’ve had consultative talks with the political parties. I am working on a solid team and the process of selecting the ministers is ongoing. At the end of this week I plan to present the list of ministers, in order for them to be heard within the parliamentary commissions,” Ciolos wrote.
Dragnea: PSD will make a decision at a convention to be held on Sunday
Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea on Wednesday said that the Prime Minister-designate told him that on Thursday he would focus on completing the list of ministers and then, in a day or two, he would also finalise the government programme.
“He told me he was working on the government programme and on completing the Cabinet list. This is what he said. Today, unfortunately for him, he couldn’t do this because he went to visit each party. I suggested him to start working on completing the Government members’ list tomorrow [Thursday], because, in my opinion, it is important that on Monday and Tuesday ministers come to hearings so that, possibly on Tuesday evening, the Government can be voted on in Parliament, and if it passes to also be sworn in on Tuesday evening. Before leaving he told me that tomorrow [on Thursday] he will focus on finalising the Cabinet list and, in a day or two, he will also complete the government programme which he has probably been working on,” the PSD national leader said on Wednesday at the end of the consultations on the new government with PM-designate Dacian Ciolos.
The discussions between PSD leaders and Ciolos lasted almost 40 minutes.
Dragnea also said that Ciolos informed him that if the composition of the future government he intends to present Parliament passes he will have no intention to make brutal, quantitative changes in the public administration.
“Mr Dacian Ciolos told me that if his Cabinet is voted in office, he doesn’t contemplate starting off brutal changes in the local administration, some quantitative changes pure and simple. As far as I understand, he seems to have a right, normal attitude,” said Dragnea.
He added that PSD leaders told Ciolos that “a political government – which has proved to have conducted excellent governance – has human resources to be supplied for certain offices.”
“A technocrat government lacks human resources to be used to recruit for certain public offices. Consequently, I believe there are two options: caving in to pressure, not coming from us, making changes for the sake of change (…) and the right and balanced option, securing the operation of the state institutions and implementing the government programme. It seems he will choose the moderate, wise option,” added Dragnea.
He pointed out that PSD did not make and will not make any proposal for the Cabinet members or state secretaries.
The Social Democratic Party (PSD) will make a decision whether or not to support the future government at a convention of its National Executive Committee (CexN) to be held on Sunday, PSD national leader Liviu Dragnea said Wednesday evening after talks with Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos.
“What interest us are the government programme and the quality of the Cabinet. After the new government is invested, if ever, we will take a close look to what each minister does, how he manages public offices, how they pick their people and how they appoint people. On Sunday, there will be a convention of the National Executive Committee (…) because I hope that by Sunday there will be list of the Cabinet members for us and the public opinion, and then we can make a political decision based on more information,” said Dragnea.
At the same time, he added that in his conversation with Ciolos he told the prime minister-designate that the PSD lawmakers will have the right attitude in committees, but they will be taking a very close look to the performance of each minister.
The PSD national leader said Ciolos was informed that PSD finds it important that the measures and the programmes that made the Ponta governing an excellent one with palpable and actual results be continued.
Dragnea said also that on Thursday or Friday he will present a report on the PSD-National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR)-Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) governing, “a very good governing that started in 2012.”
The PSD national chairman also said that he requested Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici to file with the Government the draft budget for 2016 so when the new PM and his Cabinet are invested they should have “all the assessments and the entire budget draft with all the financial resources to ensure all the commitments and all the laws adopted in terms of finance and budget-fiscal policies.”
PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea said he wants collaboration among the Social Democrats, the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) to continue, and says he sees no reason why the coalition should be “blown up” given that the elected public office holders of the three formations have collaborated very well in Parliament.
“I see no reason why we should blow this coalition up. On the contrary, we mustn’t throw away what we gained, there has been a very good collaboration. The PSD, UNPR and ALDE parliamentarians have gotten accustomed, they collaborate very well, the coalition works very well in Parliament and I personally want this collaboration to go on,” the PSD chairman said.
Mircea Geoana, PSRO President: “This Gov’t should not be blackmailed”
Mircea Geoana has given a warning to Premier-designate Dacian Ciolos. The PSRO President met Ciolos, promising him that his party members will back his investiture.
“The investiture issue is solved. We will meet again when the priorities, the budget in particular, will be established. We remained in permanent contact and we will continue to collaborate after the formal swearing in too,” Geoana said.
The PSRO leader however warns Ciolos. “This government of technocrats needs an explicit majority. It has to be protected from pseudo-partners and should not be blackmailed. It should have an explicit majority to back it,” Geoana claims.
ALDE’s Daniel Constantin: “This government will probably garner the necessary number of votes”
Daniel Constantin, Co-President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), stated on Wednesday that the Ciolos Government will most likely obtain the number of votes needed for investiture. However, the supreme test will consist of the 2016 state budget law, Mediafax informs.
“This government will probably garner the necessary number of votes, but the problem appears afterward and the first major test that the new Government will have to pass will consist of the budget law, when it will have to garner a majority from a political point of view,” the politician stated.
He pointed out that ALDE’s option will be presented after Ciolos presents the governing programme and the list of government members, adding that he has no objection against President Iohannis’ designation.
ALDE Senator Petru Ehegartner stated on Thursday that parties are showing “cowardice” when it comes to taking responsibility for governance, stating he does not support the idea launched recently that politicians are “inefficient”, while technocrats are good.
“Unfortunately, I have noticed certain cowardice when it comes to taking responsibility they took over when they were voted by the electorate. This cowardice, on abandoning the responsibility for governing, confirms a lot of the aspirations voiced by the street,” Ehegartner stated.
He warned that several years ago the leaders of the political parties “decried the interference of the president in forming the Government.”
The senator also noted that the idea that “technocrats are good and necessary” has surfaced recently.
The ALDE MP also stated that in Romania, changes of government take place too often, and governments are not allowed to complete their term.
UDMR’s Kelemen: A chapter devoted to national minorities should be included in next government programme
The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) believes the government programme of the Ciolos Cabinet should include a chapter devoted to the national minorities and the law on the use of mother tongue should be enforced and Hungarian specialists should be kept in offices at autonomous local administration services, UDMR says in a press statement released on Thursday.
UDMR national leader Kelemen Hunor is quoted as having told Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos on Wednesday that the new government should also consider the grievances of the Hungarian community of Romania.
“At the same time, the possibility of enforcing the law concerning the use of mother tongue should also be considered. The Hungarian community has to be rewarded by trust in exchange for its support to the government, which has lately been lost including because of nationalist rhetoric of late,” Kelemen told Ciolos.
At his meeting with Ciolos, Kelemen also said that the priority objective to the Hungarian community is education, warning that the Hungarian specialists working for autonomous public administration services in various counties have not followed party lines, but they have shown by their work they are carrying out their professional duties in the most efficient way, mentioning that UDMR wants them kept in office.
UDMR assures Dacian Ciolos of its MPs’ support
UNPR has told designated Premier Dacian Ciolos during their talks on Wednesday that the Union will back the new Government in the investiture vote as well as in Parliament on important Government projects.
“UNPR has reaffirmed its support for Romania’s President on all national security projects. Gabriel Oprea has emphasized the fact that Romania needs stability. (…) The Union will back in Parliament the designated Premier and the Cabinet he proposes,” the press communique quoted by Mediafax reads. During the talks with designated Premier Dacian Ciolos, which took place at UNPR’s headquarters, the Union was represented by UNPR President, Secretary General Neculai Ontanu, Deputy Secretary General Ion Toma and Vice Presidents Valeriu Steriu and Eugen Nicolicea.
Alliance for Clean Romania backs the incoming Gov’t
The Alliance for Clean Romania (ARC) will back the Government made up of technocrats in any administrative efforts aimed at establishing good governance, ARC founder Alina Mungiu Pippidi said on Thursday according to Agerpres.
“We consider that the protests in University Square resulted in a pretty good mobilisation and have attained their goal. It is high time we asked ourselves what we are going to do next. What has this people’s revolution obtained? We are highly satisfied that a technocrat, a former European commissioner has currently taken the place of Gabriel Oprea (…) This is a success in itself and, obviously, we will support the good governance with all that we can, but this victory is not enough. We will use the virtual space of Clean Romania website to set up groups in order to create an alternate political class”, Pippidi stressed.
She explained the Alliance for Clean Romania will use the virtual space as a “laboratory” to create new politicians. The ARC head underscored the purpose is not to annihilate politics, to destroy everything “down to the last politician”, but to form another kind of “quality politicians”.