*PSD, ALDE accuse the President of meddling in political life, engaging in partisan electioneering and breaking the Constitution
President Klaus Iohannis announced on Thursday that the future Government will be one formed by political parties and he will no longer nominate a technocrat at the helm of the Government.
Iohannis stated that personally he believes it would be good for Dacian Ciolos to continue his projects, but he should at least declare his “sympathy, adhesion to or preference for” the party with which he could collaborate in the future, after the parliamentary elections.
Asked whether Dacian Ciolos moving closer to PNL would be something worthy of taking into account, President Klaus Iohannis sad that the answer should come from the Premier himself. “It’s a question that I believe only Ciolos will have to answer in the following period because many people are wondering whether Dacian Ciolos remains an independent Premier and will then step down or whether he wants to continue certain projects and I admit that I personally believe it would be good for him to continue the projects he started, but he should then at least declare his sympathy, adhesion to or preference for the party with which he could collaborate in the future, of course after the parliamentary elections,” the President stated at the European People’s Party Group Bureau Meeting in Bucharest.
Iohannis added that if the Premier decides to enter the election campaign he should let him know and they should have a discussion.
“I believe Mr. Ciolos will consider he has to tell me he took a decision or he wants to enter this election campaign in some way and he will know to inform me and to come for a discussion.”
The Head of State insisted that “Dacian Ciolos could very well continue the important projects if, now when the equation is still uncertain, he declares his future intentions.” “Sooner or later he should also declare with whom he wants to implement these projects,” he emphasised.
Klaus Iohannis reiterated that after the parliamentary elections he will not nominate politically independent persons for the office of Premier. “After the elections we will have a government with political affiliations, meaning everyone will represent a party. This is how democracy works,” the Head of State said.
Asked what if a majority that would nominate Ciolos for the office of Premier takes shape, the President said: “Then probably my stance will have to be the one I had in 2009 too.”
“PNL in a very complicated situation”
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday that PNL is in a “very complicated situation” as a result of Vasile Blaga’s indictment, expressing his hope that the Liberals will find the solution to transform this crisis into an opportunity.
“Vasile Blaga’s situation is a very unpleasant surprise and this development has put PNL in a very complicated situation. On the other hand, it has to be noted that on the very day he was indicted he stepped down from the helm of the party, a correct political attitude but unfortunately one not seen in all Romanian political parties,” Iohannis stated.
DNA announced on Wednesday that it started to criminally prosecute PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga for influence peddling. Former Piatra Neamt Mayor Gheorghe Stefan and businessman Hortia Bruno Berdila are also prosecuted in the same case. According to prosecutors, Blaga allegedly received from the former mayor, in 2011-2012, 200,000 Euros in three instalments as well as 500,000 Euros.
“I talked with Vasile Blaga before he went to the DNA”
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday that he talked with former PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga on the phone before he went to DNA Ploiesti. He added that Vasile Blaga was the one who called him.
“We talked on the phone before he went to DNA Ploiesti. He called me and told me he will go there,” President Iohannis stated.
“Politicians’ anti-judiciary messages backward, hopefully will be rejected by voters”
On the other hand, Iohannis considers that some politicians’ anti-judiciary attacks should be rejected by voters, naming ex-President Traian Basescu too.
Iohannis stated that the politicians’ anti-judiciary messages are backward, even more so as some of them held important state offices, adding that he hopes voters will reject them.
“This interesting context in which several politicians, some of whom held the highest offices in the state, have the impression that anti-judiciary messages are good for the election campaign. I want very much voters to prove that anti-judiciary messages are the worst method. I’m confident that Romania is the country that will succeed getting rid of corruption and will be able to have a different judiciary, but it seems that today, in preparing the election campaign, there are politicians who unfortunately stake on an anti-judiciary discourse and I hope voters will punish them,” Iohannis stated after attending the European People’s Party (EPP) Group Bureau Meeting in Bucharest.
He emphasised that institutions are strong enough to handle the politicians’ anti-judiciary messages.
“I don’t see a problem here, but I hope the voter will also be convinced that this anti-judiciary discourse does not take Romania far, that it is backward and that it would take us back in an area we don’t wish to reach,” the Head of State added.
On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis took part in the European People’s Party Group Bureau Meeting, which is taking place at the Athenee Palace Hilton. It was also his first meeting with PNL leaders after party co-president Blaga resigned.
Iohannis sat next to Catalin Predoiu. The two were seen talking while speeches were being given. The Head of State gave a speech too, talking about Romania’s desire to be part of the European core and about the challenge facing the new generations of political leaders, namely that of preserving and cultivating the citizens’ attachment to the European project.
Iohannis’s statements about the future PM sparks a flurry of reactions
President Iohannis’s statements about the future Premier have sparked a flurry of reactions on the political scene. While PNL, through the voice of Co-President Alina Gorghiu and PNL Bucharest President Cristian Busoi, has embraced the President’s idea that Ciolos should remain Premier after the elections, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) have accused Iohannis of meddling in political life, engaging in partisan electioneering and of thus breaking the Constitution.
PNL declares they want Dacian Ciolos Premier next year too
PNL Bucharest President Cristian Busoi stated that the National Liberal Party wants to collaborate with Dacian Ciolos even if he does not join the party.
“We enthusiastically declared it would be beneficial if Ciolos joins us, we would be honoured. The Premier said he is not running as long as he is a technocrat minister; we might draft a joint political project for after the elections, a political project without him being PNL member… we can coordinate our messages… he can be our nomination for the office of Premier if Romanians vote for us and if a majority centred on PNL can be formed,” Cristian Busoi said.
Alina Gorghiu had announced too, on Wednesday, that PNL will back Dacian Ciolos in the effort to change Romania.
Alina Gorghiu: PNL, Iohannis and Ciolos want what’s good for Romania
In a posting on Facebook, PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu clearly outlined the two opposing camps: PSD, ALDE, PMP and satellites vs. PNL, Iohannis and Ciolos.
“All those who have led Romania in recent years are together now, members of the same cartel, in order to get a hold of the Romanian state again. They all have the same obsessions and the same opponents: Romanians who protest, Americans and the EU, the judiciary who is no longer answering orders, the Premier and members of government who no longer feed their mafias, the President who minds his business. We don’t have the right to allow Liviu Dragnea, Victor Ponta, Traian Basescu, Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Gabriel Oprea to return at the helm of Romania. On one side you have them – PSD, ALDE, PMP –, with nationalist and religious backsliding and social-economic backwardness, and on the other side you have us, PNL, the Romanian President, the Prime Minister and all those who want what’s good for Romania,” Alina Gorghiu wrote on Facebook.
Gorghiu stated that PNL is going through a difficult moment, however she called on party members and sympathisers to fight just like they fought so far and to close ranks, “just like in November 2014,” in order to win the elections.
“The National Liberal Party has the strength to make up the difference separating us from PSD, difference seen in the local elections, because we are doing what has to be done in politics. Sometimes, less fortunate events show the character of a party and of its members. We have proved we are a party of character and with respect for integrity. We openly took on the political reform and I am proud to have colleagues such as my PNL colleagues who, in my view, are all Liberals regardless of their seniority. Only together and united we will manage to stay on the good side of the political class. Only together and united we will be able to continue on the path of reforms. Only together and united we will win the December elections,” Alina Gorghiu wrote.
SocDems’ Dragnea asks President to observe fundamental law, refrain from meddling in electoral competition
Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea on Thursday asked President Iohannis to observe the fundamental laws and refrain from any interference with the political parties’ electoral competition.
“President Iohannis told us today that to him the outcome of the 11 December parliamentary elections makes no difference. His statement reveals that the Romanians’ vote is not important, but [what is important is] what party would be likely for Dacian Ciolos to form the future Government with. In other words, what his mate decides is more important than the decision of more than 18 million Romanians. I remind the President the text of the Romanian Constitution he swore with his hand on the Bible to respect: “national sovereignty shall reside within the Romanian people, that shall exercise it by means of free, periodical and fair elections. No group or person may exercise sovereignty in one’s own name.” Therefore, I demand President Iohannis to respect the Romanian state’s Fundamental Law and refrain from getting involved in the electoral competition between political parties,” Dragnea wrote on his Facebook page.
According to the PSD leader, the future government will be formed based on what citizens decide at the ballot box.
“The ‘my government’ experiment failed. Romanians decide at the ballot box who runs this country and who could shape a better future for them,” Liviu Dragnea asserted.
Dragnea: Ciolos engaged in plain covert electioneering, should resign if he wants political party
PSD President Liviu Dragnea has accused Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos of engaging “in plain covert electioneering” and warned that he has to resign from the Government if he wants to join a party in view of the parliamentary elections.
“It seems that for some time now Mr. Ciolos is engaged in covert electioneering. In some situations, it could be electioneering financed with public funds, but it’s plain covert electioneering. If he or a member of the Government wants to join a political party he should resign from the Government,” Liviu Dragnea stated.
He warned the Prime Minister that he has to resign if he joins a political party, pointing out at the same time that that would make him a liar.
“If Ciolos, if Mr. Ciolos wants to join a political party he has to resign. If he does that he is a liar because he said when he was sworn-in, and before that, that he will not join a political party and will not run in the elections,” the PSD leader emphasised.
ALDE’s Tariceanu: Direct, brutal and immediate attack on democracy
ALDE Co-President Calin Popescu Tariceanu accused the Head of State of showing contempt for the Constitution and threatened he will bear the consequences. According to the law, if the President does not respect the Constitution he can be impeached.
“Last Friday, on ALDE’s behalf, I presented the Romanian political parties and President with a political agreement that would have seen each of us committing to respect the voice of the ballot boxes on December 11. I expressly referred to the fact that the Romanian President has the constitutional obligation to appoint as Prime Minister the person nominated by the majority party or coalition formed in the future Parliament. President Iohannis labelled my proposal “political insolence.” I avoided responding to that until today, because I didn’t know whether it was the President’s unfortunate way of putting it or a moment of nervousness. Today, after the President stated about Premier Ciolos: “I personally believe it would be good for him to continue, he has started good projects, but he should then at least declare his sympathy, adhesion to or preference for the party with which he could collaborate in the future, of course after the parliamentary elections… When Mr. Ciolos considers he has to tell me he has taken a decision or he wants to enter this electoral campaign in any way, he will know to inform me,” I understood that, regardless of what Romanians vote for on December 11, the President will still nominate Dacian Ciolos, member of PNL at that point. I want to emphasise that the statement the Romanian President made today is a direct, brutal and immediate attack on democracy. It’s clear that the President is part of an occult plan against the Romanian people and the liberties won in the Revolution. I bring it to the President’s attention, with all respect for his office, that he has taken on a heavy responsibility and the consequences stemming from it by openly engaging in partisan electioneering, with total contempt toward the Constitution,” reads a communique released by Tariceanu.