It is quite visible that the relation between the National Liberal Party and President Klaus Iohannis is undergoing challenging times. The first signs that there were issues between the two partners appeared after the fall of Victor Ponta Government. Liberals wanted snap elections; nonetheless, the President went for a technocrat Prime Minister. Some of the Liberals even criticised Klaus Iohannis on Facebook. The opinion differences between PNL and Klaus Iohannis appeared shortly after the protests that followed the tragedy at Colectiv Club, and they became increasingly obvious after the counseling organized by the President at Cotroceni Palace, in order to designate a new Prime Minister to replace Victor Ponta.
“The proposal brought by the National Liberal Party referred to the dissolution of the Parliament and organizing snap elections”, PNL co-chair Alina Gorghiu declared after the round of negotiations.
Finally, things went the President’s way. In a short while, Klaus Iohannis appointed a technocrat Prime Minister.
The first wave of criticism followed soon after the Dacian Ciolos Government was officially installed. In a Facebook note, Liberal Ludovic Orban criticised Klaus Iohannis that he did not attend the installation ceremonies of the Education, Culture, Economy and Justice Ministers and instead, he preferred to be present at the ceremonies of the Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs and National Defence Ministers.
“I would have preferred to see President Iohannis attend the official installation ceremony of the new Culture Minister, of the new Health Minister, of the new Economy Minister, even of the new Justice Minister. These were the priorities of his presidential agenda. I did not like uniforms as a school kid. I hated that we all were forced to dress the same way. I also hated panoply, fanfare, standing in lines and the demonstrative exhibition of force”, Orban wrote last week.
In public, though, Liberals are much less vehement. “I did not criticise the President. My posts express private opinions, not political positions”, Orban denied in a public appearance the hypothesis that he might have criticised the President.
Alina Gorghiu also denied during the weekend that a rift may have occurred between PNL and President Iohannis.
PNL’s Gorghiu: No rift between liberals and President, we have the same correct institutional relationship
She said on Friday that the Liberals’ relationship with President Klaus Iohannis is further correct and very good.
“There is no rift between the PNL and the President. We clearly and unequivocally have the same partnership, the same correct and very good institutional relationship,” Gorghiu said at the Palace of Parliament when asked what she thought about the attacks on the President coming from some Liberals, Ludovic Orban included.
Gorghiu said that she will not hinder any Liberal to express his/her opinion, even if it does not match hers.
“I don’t consider this an attack, no matter how much one or another television station would try to make it clear to me that the freedom of expression should not exist. I have another point of view. I don’t see any attack against the President, and reports that sanctions have been handed out inside the party for the authors of such attacks are also false,” said Gorghiu.
She added that the PNL has taken a step forward, that the government of technocrats enjoys the liberals’ support and the liberals act in partnership with President Iohannis.
“The next step will follow in autumn next year, when you will see a Klaus Iohannis – PNL – Liberal Government partnership. Inside the PNL, everyone has the right to say anything until a political decision is made. You’ll never see an unanimous stance like in the Social Democrat Party (PSD). I would no longer be heading the party if everyone lined up in ranks and acted as my yes-men day in, day out,” Gorghiu said.
Gorghiu also dismissed as false media allegations according to which Klaus Iohannis would be setting up another party.
Raetchi: The idea of a cooling of relations between Iohannis and PNL is false
Ovidiu Raetchi, PNL Lower Chamber MP representing the Diaspora, denies, in his turn, a cooling of relations between PNL and President Iohannis.
“The idea of a cooling of relations between Iohannis and PNL is false based on elementary logic. Not even a petty character – of former president – would turn his back on the party that tenaciously propelled him in extremely difficult moments. And no rational political actor would remove a stable political mammoth, of 40 per cent, in order to dream about “Snow White presidential parties” that, when actually come to be, gloriously die out at 3 per cent, like Basescu’s “popular” big brain wave,” Raetchi said.