POLITICS

President Iohannis starts consultations without the winner of elections, says will appoint PM from party or coalition that persuades him they will hold majority

*PNL makes no nomination but “Dacian Ciolos would be the first option” * Nicusor Dan, after consultations: Likelihood of Ciolos option for PM’s office, “far too small”

 

President Klaus Iohannis started on Wednesday, at the Cotroceni Palace, his consultations with the political parties that have entered Parliament, consultations on forming the new Government, estimating that it is very likely he will convene the new legislature later next week.

The consultations were scheduled to start at 10 a.m., with the Social Democratic Party’s (PSD) delegation, but PSD President Liviu Dragnea announced on Tuesday that he would not honour the invitation to political consultations on the forming of the Government as long as the new Parliament is not validated.

“We cannot honour an invitation that is based on the wrong article of the Constitution. It’s strange that non-parliamentary parties are being called for consultations. PSD respects the Constitution. How could we show up with a nomination while the MPs are not validated? PSD will not rush any overture,” Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday, several hours after President Klaus Iohannis invited political parties to consultations on Wednesday.

The leaders of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) did not show up at the Cotroceni Palace on Wednesday either, deeming as premature President Klaus Iohannis’s invitation to take part on Wednesday in consultations on forming the new Government. ALDE mentioned on Tuesday that they will attend consultations after the new Parliament convenes, the MP seats are validated and after an absolute majority is established either by a single party, or by an alliance.

 

PNL’s Turcan: We are in no position to nominate the PM

 

Consequently, the first delegation to enter consultations was the National Liberal Party’s (PNL) delegation (photo). President Iohannis took this opportunity to congratulate Raluca Turcan and Marius Petrache, the party’s new leaders. “Congratulations for your election,” Iohannis told each of them before the start of the consultations on forming the new Government.

PNL’s delegation also included Gheorghe Falca, Mircea Hava and Cristian Busoi.

 Ad-interim President of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Raluca Turcan stated on Wednesday, at the end of consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that the Liberals are not in a position to nominate the Prime Minister and, if such a situation were to occur, their first option would be Dacian Ciolos.

“We are sorry that during the campaign we did not speak more about PNL’s economic platform. We are in no position to nominate the Prime Minister. We are waiting for the result of consultations. We are waiting to see what happens, whether parties publicly express their interest to serve the citizen, and thus, at this time, we do not have a nomination, but if we were to be in a situation to propose a Prime Minister, he would be a person with integrity that is involved and for whom facts speak,” said Turcan, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

She mentioned that, in case PNL were to propose a Prime Minister, the first choice would be Dacian Ciolos.

“We will monitor what is happening with right-wing parties, with parties claiming to be right-wing, we will discuss and we will see if we get to that position. If we will be in the position to propose a Prime Minister, of course Mr. Dacian Ciolos will be our first option, but at the same time we are realists and it’s clear we would end up nominating a Prime Minister if a right-wing coalition were to form. So, it must be a person able to unite right-wing parties,” Turcan added.

“PSD begins by betraying trust, by relinquishing their own platform surprisingly quickly”

PNL President Raluca Turcan also said, at the end of the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is beginning its four-year political action by “betraying trust,” and deemed surprising the rapidity with which this party “is relinquishing its own governing platform.”

“PSD begins by betraying trust, their platform is not sustainable. (…) It’s a reason of severe worry that Romania, with a PSD government, could not offer the wellbeing citizens wished for when they voted PSD. Because I find it normal to offer a political alternative with thought to the citizens and when the main party and winner of elections begins this four-year approach by betraying trust, one has the duty to censure [this behaviour] and find alternatives,” Turcan said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

She stated that there are business persons who have made plans counting on the reduction or even cancellation of the special constructions’ tax.

“It’s amazing to us how fast PSD are to give up their governing programme and principles they have assumed in the electoral campaign. There are business persons, investors who have made plans on the basis of the new Tax Code and thinking that the special constructions’ tax will be reduced or cancelled. At the same time, the PSD governing platform also hides the giving up of the flat tax and the introduction of the progressive tax rate, which will deeply affect the economic milieu and will certainly generate increases of taxes and fees. So, practically PSD is starting talks on the political behaviour and action in the next four years with a huge betrayal of citizens’ confidence,” the PNL interim leader said.

In her opinion, economically speaking, PSD could not be the solution for this country’s citizens’ wellbeing.

“Romania’s development in the next four years could come from investments, from a flexible, harmonised legislation. We further believe that a right-wing ruling platform would satisfy in the best way this country’s citizens’ expectations of economic development and the development of wellbeing,” Raluca Turcan emphasised.

The PNL President also believes that “all international efforts achieved so far” will be null and void if a criminally convicted person is appointed at the helm of the Romanian Government.

“That would be an extremely negative signal for both the citizens of this country and for our international partners. Persons who are not vulnerable, who have no flaws and could make decisions for this country’s interest should sit at the negotiations’ table,” concluded Turcan.

 

Nicusor Dan, after consultations: Likelihood of Ciolos option for PM’s office is “far too small”

 

Next to meet the Head of State at the consultations was the Save Romania Union (USR) delegation made up of USR President Nicusor Dan, USR Vice Presidents Cristian Ghica and Roxana Wring, and the representatives of USR branches that registered the best results – Manuel Costescu, elected Lower Chamber member in the Diaspora electoral district, and USR Cluj President Levente Elek.

USR President Nicusor Dan pointed out at the end of the consultations that the MPs of the political party he leads will not vote for a PSD Government and the likelihood of the Ciolos option for the Premier’s office is far too small given the result of the elections.

“I told the President that we backed and we continue to back this option (Ciolos for Premier’s office – editor’s note), it’s just that the results, the number of seats in Parliament make the likelihood of this option far too small. (…) We constantly pointed out, during the elections campaign, the fact that, for this moment in which parties have low credibility, the option of a technocratic Prime Minister is the one that would not depend on the special interest groups from political parties. It would be the best solution and Dacian Ciolos, given the experience he has, is even more so an appropriate solution,” USR President Nicusor Dan stated.

He added that USR will not vote for a Government centred on PSD, centred on Liviu Dragnea, stating that it is not “admissible for Romania for the Government to be led by a criminally convicted Prime Minister.”

“I conveyed to him our option, the same you heard from us during the campaign. On the basis of his constitutional prerogative, the President will appoint the Prime Minister,” Dan added.

At the same time, he received congratulations from the Head of State.

“He congratulated us for managing to enter Parliament,” the USR leader pointed out.

Likewise, when asked “how he feels as a politician,” he stated he has been a politician for the past six months, and has got used to the idea of being MP, the difference being that at the Cotroceni Palace he wore a tie.

“The President told us there will be more rounds of consultations after Parliament is convened. It’s the President’s prerogative to appoint the Prime Minister. Undoubtedly, he will have some talks with these parties (PSD and ALDE – editor’s note),” Dan concluded.

 

Kelemen Hunor: Law which forbids criminally convicted persons from being members of Gov’t must be observed, nobody can dodge it

 

Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) President Kelemen Hunor stated on Wednesday, after the consultations at the Cotroceni Palace, that the law banning criminally convicted persons from being members of the Government must be observed and cannot be dodged by anyone, even though there are legislative acts which everyone disregards without consequences.

He pointed out that UDMR does not have an official position on the future Government for the time being, bearing in mind that the results of the elections have not been made official and no Premier has been nominated for the time being.

“The law has to be observed, nobody can dodge it,” the UDMR leader said when asked about law no.90/2001. However, he emphasised that there are laws in Romania – such as the education law – which everyone disregards without there being any consequences.

“I haven’t discussed this with the President, since there is no official nomination for the Prime Minister’s office. Dragnea hasn’t been officially nominated, nor has anyone else. If you are referring to the law from 2001, which says who can be member of Government, of course, the law must be observed, it cannot be put between parentheses. But the education law should similarly be observed yet nothing happens to anyone. This is the case with other laws too, and nobody is talking about these aspects. Including the law on the use of maternal language. All laws are mandatory. Some aren’t optional while others are mandatory. The law must be observed, nobody can dodge it,” Kelemen Hunor stated when asked whether UDMR would back a PSD Government led by Liviu Dragnea.

Likewise, he agreed with Klaus Iohannis’s statement that he will not appoint a person who received a final conviction.

“The President is only saying what the law says. The problem is not whether I agree with the President. As a matter of fact, I do agree,” the UDMR leader added.

Kelemen Hunor emphasised that he does not believe it is timely for this law to be challenged at the Constitutional Court.

“That would have been the case in 2001. 15 years have passed. If anyone wanted to challenge it, they had 15 years to do it. And that’s not a little,” he said.

The UDMR leader also stated he congratulated Liviu Dragnea through a text message, but claimed he discussed no other topic with the PSD President.

“I’m not a clairvoyant. I don’t know how it (the future Government – editor’s note) will look. Several days from now we will see how the Government and the majority will look,” he concluded.

PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday that he will not ask the Ombudsman to challenge law no.90/2001 at the Constitutional Court but deemed that it would be right to do so.

UDMR’s delegation consisted of UDMR President Kelemen Hunor, Union Representatives Council Chairperson Rozalia Biro and UDMR Executive President Kovacs Peter.

 

“We’re not seeking ministerial chairs and positions; we want partners to implement platform”

 

The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) is not seeking ministerial chairs and positions, but partners in Parliament to put into practice the major elements of its political platform, party leader Kelemen Hunor said on Wednesday after the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis.

“To us it is important to find partners in Romania’s Parliament, in the new configuration, partners wanting to enforce the most important elements of our political platform. We are not seeking ministerial chairs, we are not seeking positions, we are seeking partners to implement the most important desiderata in terms of reforms, constitutional reform, administrative reform, reform in education,” Kelemen Hunor said, adding that the interests of the Hungarian community must be reflected in these desiderata.

He pointed out that, during the meeting at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, he made a short assessment of the result that UDMR obtained in the elections.

“We believe our result is a fair one, a score we have been expecting for many years,” Kelemen Hunor showed.

The UDMR leader emphasised that any decision taken within Parliament and within the Government must take into account society’s expectations in respect to economic growth.

Moreover, he said that in what concerns infrastructure the Union supports the continuation of investments in the Transylvania motorway.

“We would like partners that are instrumental to strong decentralisation, the decentralisation of decision-making and tax decentralisation,” he pointed out.

Kelemen Hunor stressed that UDMR supports the protection of the national minorities’ rights. He said that “corrections” must be made in respect to the employment of maternal language within the administration and in the interaction with local administration.

“We must restore Parliament the necessary role otherwise society will not have confidence, people will not trust Parliament, and a powerful democracy, a true rule of law, also means a powerful and credible Parliament,” the UDMR president underscored.

 

Traian Basescu to President Iohannis: “Back in my day they had the possibility to sleep in their armchairs, now it’s more austere. / I told Iohannis we will be part of any anti-PSD political solution

 

Popular Movement Party (PMP) President Traian Basescu, ex-president of Romania, jokingly told President Klaus Iohannis that back in his day the politicians who took part in consultations “had the possibility to sleep in their armchairs,” referring to the fact that the room in which the current consultations took place only had chairs.

PMP President Traian Basescu stated on Wednesday, after the consultations at the Cotroceni Palace, that he told President Klaus Iohannis that the party he leads will be part of any anti-PSD political solution.

“We are and will be part of any anti-PSD political solution,” Basescu said, adding that his position is valid in both cases – as part of the Government or as part of the Opposition.

“We oppose PSD out of ideological reasons and because of the way they see fit to manage the budget in a populist manner and it’s as if they are preparing Romania’s exit from the parameters needed for Euro Area accession,” the PMP leader emphasised.

He labelled the talks as “exploratory talks.”

“We had talks that we are not necessarily considering consultations on forming the Government but rather exploratory talks. We understood very well why the President wanted to have these talks prior to the validation of MPs,” Basescu concluded.

“You see, Mr. President, back in my day they had the possibility to sleep in the armchairs. Now it’s more austere, more German,” Traian Basescu told Klaus Iohannis at the start of the President’s consultations with PMP’s delegation.

Traian Basescu was accompanied by Eugen Tomac, Valeriu Steriu, Robert Turcescu and Cristian Diaconescu.

 

Talks with ethnic minorities’ group conclude round of consultations

 

The ethnic minorities’ representatives within the Lower Chamber were the last to show up for the consultations at the Cotroceni Palace.

The delegation included Ovidiu Gant, representative of the ethnic German minority, Varujan Pambuccian, representative of the ethnic Armenian minority, Dragos Zisopol, Greek Union MP, Gheorghe Firczak, from the Ruthenian Cultural Union, and MP Aurel Vainer. The latter, who is the representative of Jewish Communities in Romania, will no longer be a member of the future Parliament.

The delegation had no mandate for the talks with President Klaus Iohannis, because such a mandate can only be received from the group that is set to be formed once the new Parliament is validated.

 

Minorities’ group head Pambuccian, on Right-wing gov’t possibility: It is a joke

 

The leader of the parliamentary group of national minorities Varujan Pambuccian said on Wednesday, when asked about the possibility of the formation of a Right-wing government, that this is a “joke.”

“It would mean a minority government and it will be very, very difficult to govern. It is a joke. No,” he said after the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace.

Pambuccian pointed out that the vote in elections has been extremely clear, a context in which the mechanisms provided in the legislation in respect to the government formation must be applied “on auto-pilot.”

“We are in the wake of elections that have been extremely clear in terms of the vote, and everything that comes next is for the mechanisms existing in the legislation to be applied almost on auto-pilot and it all depends on the decisions made inside the party that garnered the most votes,” Pambuccian said.

He voiced hope that the new government will continue the policy of developing ethnicity and diversity.

“It is a minimal thing which the old group, and I am positive that the group that will come next too, has as a desideratum,” Pambuccian showed.

Varujan Pambuccian maintained that he hasn’t had talks with any political formation. “I haven’t discussed with anyone because I don’t have a mandate to discuss with anyone as long as the group doesn’t exist for now,” he explained.

 

Klaus Iohannis at the end of consultations: I will appoint PM from party or coalition that persuades me they will hold majority

 

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday, after his consultations with political parties, that the future Premier must come from a party or coalition of parties that will persuade him they will hold the majority in Parliament.

The Head of State deemed that this was a necessary round of consultations and stated that all those who deigned to take part in it believed the talks were welcome.

“The parties’ representatives presented me their positions, they deemed that the elections were well organised, they informed me how they see possible Government formulas. PSD made a dissonant note, not deigning to take part in the consultations. I am telling PSD that this non-cooperative attitude is unhealthy,” Iohannis said.

He added that he agreed with all the political parties present to convene a new round of consultations after the new Parliament is validated.

Iohannis also stated that none of the political parties present at the consultations came up with nominees for the PM’s office.

Asked about the appointment of a Premier other than the one nominated by the majority, Klaus Iohannis answered: “The Constitution allows me, but I will appoint someone after negotiations, a person who is backed by a majority.”

 

President Iohannis on PSD and ALDE refusal to participate to consultations on Wednesday: An impolite attitude

 

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) refusal to participate in the consultations at the Cotroceni represents an impolite attitude.

“It was correctly interpreted (the article of the Constitution- e.n.). It’s simply an impolite attitude. I can’t figure out what they want to gain. I believe they are wrong,” the head of state said before attending the event organized by the Embassy of Italy at the “Saint Joseph” Cathedral in Bucharest.

 

 

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