President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday evening, at the end of the first round of consultations with the political parties in order to form the new Government, that the future Prime Minister has to come from a political formation or a coalition which will hold the majority in Parliament.
“The Prime Minister must come from a political formation or from a coalition which convinces me that it will hold the majority in Parliament,” President Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Palace.
He explained that the respective political formation must persuade him that it holds the majority with a simple arithmetic calculation of the seats, and that arithmetically it is possible for right-wing parties to form an alliance, but cautioned that this must be also politically feasible.
Asked if Dacian Ciolos is still an option for the position of Premier the head of the state replied: “I cannot give you a public answer on this subject before holding consultations with all political parties.”
“Obviously, once we have a Parliament, we will have a round of consultations and I’ll expect everyone to come then and have their say on the PM, then I’ll be in the position to assess the proposals and think of a nomination,” Iohannis said, adding that none of the parties that participated in Wednesday’s consultations advanced a name for Prime Minister.
“None of the parties today claimed to give the Premier, nor did they come up with proposals,” said the President.
Asked if Traian Basescu could be a solution for Premier Iohannis replied: “If he finds a coalition to support him.”
The President underscored that he expects the Social Democrats to attend the next round of consultations, and that he takes matters very seriously.
Iohannis added that the Constitution gives him the possibility to appoint another Prime Minister than the one proposed by the parliamentary parties, but that he prefers to stay in the realm of negotiations.
“The Constitution gives me this right, but I’ll stay in the realm of negotiations and I’ll appoint a person that is vetted and negotiated upon with a coalition that will hold the majority in Parliament,” said Iohannis.
The President was also asked whether it is enough for two parties that exceed 50 percent to back the same person for PM.
“In reality things are simpler than that. The parties organize in coalitions, they each count their seats and those that have more make a proposal, while the others don’t,” Klaus Iohannis explained.
“ PSD and ALDE didn’t have the will to come to consultations”
Klaus Iohannis conveyed on Wednesday to the Social Democratic Party that the “non-cooperative attitude” the party has toward “the head of state” is “unhealthy.”
“The Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) made a discordant note in this round of consultations by not being willing to come to these consultations. I say to the PSD that this non-cooperative attitude with the President of Romania is unhealthy,” Iohannis stated.
“Moving back deadlines could have been done by law, had someone started earlier”
President Iohannis stated on Wednesday that moving back the deadlines regarding the removal of the VAT and some fees, as per the request leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea had made to Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos could have been done by law “had someone commenced earlier to do it.”
“It’s about moving back the deadlines and this can be done through different mechanisms, for instance through ordinances. If the deadlines are moved back at this late stage of the year, it isn’t that much the [current] Government’s decision. (…) It could have been done very easily by law, had someone begun earlier,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Palace.
When asked about the phone discussion between PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea and Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, in which the Social-Democrat leader requested the PM to postpone the VAT cut and the removal of some fees which were supposed to be enforced starting 1 January 2017, the head of stated answered as follows: “I don’t want to comment upon what the Prime Minister and the Chairman of a party discussed. Only the ones involved in the discussion are to comment, if they wish to do so.”
“I will sign into law bill raising Education and Health wages”
The Head of State also announced on Wednesday evening that he will sign into law the bill raising wages in health care and education.
“I will sign it into law,” the President said at the Cotroceni Palace when asked about the fate of the bill, after the Constitutional Court ruled that it is constitutional.