Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Tuesday said the biggest challenge after the December 11 general election is avoiding a rift between those accepting to vote for controversial persons and those waning reforms and integrity.
“The biggest challenge facing us in the period immediately ahead is to avoid, or reducing to a minimum the risk of a rift dividing Romania in two – between that part of the country that, for various subjective or objective reasons that can be discussed, accept to vote for such [controversial] people and that other part of Romania that wants a change, reforms and the application of integrity, common sense criteria that cannot be and should not be legislated. The biggest challenge to the next government and the political parties is contribute toward the elimination or at least reducing to a minimum the risk for such a rift, which the behaviour of political forces may inadvertently generate,” Ciolos told a Group for Social Dialogue debate on Tuesday.
He went on to say he will not accept integrity-challenged people as members in a future cabinet, the same that he did when creating the cabinet he has been leading so far.
“It is clear to me that a cabinet that I might lead or that I might be a member of, to the extent of having a word to say – and I would certainly do if I were the prime minister – I could not accept working with people under reasonable [lack of integrity] suspicions; the same is the principle I have followed all year long. (…) I would apply the same principles that are spelled out in the [Romania 100] platform in another cabinet I might head, all the more so as such cabinet would have the backing of political parties; in my way of thinking, there is no making a cabinet only by political parties imposing their people by providing the particulars of who should be a cabinet member. I believe that the prime minister should also have a word to say, even the last word when it comes to the potential individuals so that I may be sure about their integrity, because I believe a cabinet should be a team; I do not mean here the proportional representation of political parties in the potential collation or alliance following [post-electoral] talks,” said Ciolos.
“My strong wish is that technocrats be part of future Government that I might lead”
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos has declared on Tuesday that his “firm” and “clear” wish is, that in case he is designated to form the future Executive, a few technocrat ministers be part of his Cabinet, part of them being current members of the Government, adding that he has held preliminary, informal talks with the parties that support him in this respect.
“There will be ministers who are not current party members or at least, this is what I want and I have shared with the parties that have proposed to support me as Prime Minister. Of course, those ministers will need, just as the entire Government, the political back-up of the respective parties, even if they are not party members. There are members in the present team who are not party members and with whom I would like to continue and I hope I can do that, in the sense that I have had preliminary, informal talks, of course, nothing is written down because we haven’t planned it at this stage, but it is my clear, firm desire,” stated Ciolos during a debate organised at The Group for Social Dialogue.
He also said, in relation to possible postelectoral alliances between the parties that have expressed their support for his nomination as Prime Minister, that he does not wish to express his opinion so as not to become their “spokesperson”.
“I believe the representatives of the respective parties can provide a better answer. I do not want to pose as their spokesperson. Surely, I believe that respecting the political, electoral profile of each party, there is the need for common values at least as concerns certain ideas, certain principles, for such an alliance to be able to function. (…) And I realise that such a situation wouldn’t be easy to handle, but, once more, I believe that having at its basis a few principles approved by those parties that would back up the Government and also a few clear elements of the governing programme, this agreement can be reached. And even if we’re talking about four years and I, for one, prefer fewer commitments, but ones that we can actually keep rather than a lot of promises so that we can count at the end a lot of reasons why we couldn’t implement these things,” mentioned the Prime Minister.
On presence on Antena 3: I’m an agronomist. To do your job properly, you sometimes have to get into the muck
Premier Dacian Ciolos stated on Tuesday that he has accepted to take part in a talk-show on Antena 3 in order to inform the television station’s viewers who would otherwise not have access to his point of view, stating that he is an agronomist by trade and sometimes an agronomist has to “get into the muck” in order to do his job properly.
The Premier made the statement at a debate organised by the Group for Social Dialogue. The moderator of the debate, writer Gabriel Liiceanu, asked Ciolos how is he able to take part in a talk-show on Antena 3, bearing in mind the way in which that television station treated Vlad Voiculescu, one of his ministers.
“The day before yesterday I saw the Health Minister mocked in such a way, dragged through the mud. (…) It was something sinister. That is where you are going. For God’s sake! One of your ministers, who had something angelical in his presence, accepted to sit and be crucified there,” Gabriel Liiceanu said.
The Premier explained that several of his ministers took part in television shows in order to be able to “counter lies,” and that is what he wants to do too, out of respect for television viewers.
“I’m going there firstly out of respect for the people who, for some reason – one which I don’t want to comment, and I don’t have all the elements to judge -, are watching mostly that television station or exclusively that television station and are not receiving any other kind of information in what concerns this or that minister, or me, except the information offered by the people who keep showing up on this station,” Ciolos said, being quoted by News.ro.
The Prime Minister claimed that many of Antena 3’s viewers have no access to his point of view. “I believe those people have the right to hear my point of view too, albeit more rarely expressed, a point of view that is not reaching them or is reaching them only very little if I express it on other stations,” he said.
Dacian Ciolos also made a comparison with his trade as agronomist, stating that sometimes “you have to get into the muck,” adding nevertheless that you have to take precautions too.
“I’m an agronomist by trade and I’ve learned that there are certain plants that grow in the muck and you cannot do your job properly unless you have the courage to get into the muck sometimes. Of course, you wear rubber boots, so as not to get completely dirty, or you shower afterward,” Ciolos said.
The discussion took place after an Antena 3 news reporter was not allowed at the debate, the NGOs policy being not to give access to the representatives of that television station. A similar interdiction was put in place at a debate in which President Klaus Iohannis took part.
“I will vote for both PNL and USR”
Premier Dacian Ciolos stated in an interview for Republica.ro that on December 11 he will vote for both PNL and USR, since there are two lists of candidates, one for the Senate and one for the Lower Chamber.
“I’ll vote for PNL, and for USR, because there are two lists. One for the Senate and one for the Lower Chamber. Of the two votes, of the two stamps applied, one will go to PNL and one to USR,” Dacian Ciolos stated.