POLITICS

Hot week on the political scene: President Iohannis convenes new Parliament for Tuesday, PSD and ALDE to nominate “unrefusable” PM at new round of consultations

What was a very tumultuous week on the political scene is coming to an end, however the week that will start on Monday is foreshadowed to be just as tumultuous and feverish.

President Klaus Iohannis has convened the new Parliament for Tuesday, as well as a new round of political consultations with the new parliamentary parties on forming the Government and appointing the new Premier.

The review of the week that is ending centres however on the first round of consultations that President Iohannis held last Tuesday with the political parties that will be represented in Parliament following the December 11th elections. Consultations that PSD and ALDE did not want to attend, announcing their refusal to talk about the Government with the President until MPs are sworn in.

PNL sources suggested that the President and the party that backed him in the elections reached an agreement on a right-wing Government formula. According to rumours that appeared on Friday, it seems ALDE Co-President Daniel Constantin was one of the options being considered for the Premier’s office.

In recent days, ALDE has been intensely courted by both the Liberals and the Head of State, this political party being taken into account by those who are backing the idea of a right-wing ruling alliance – that would include PNL, USR, PMP, UDMR and ethnic minority representatives – in order to control 55 percent of the seats and leave PSD in the Opposition with 45 percent of the seats.

For this plan to work, Daniel Constantin and ALDE’s consent was needed because a mere defection of some of the party’s leaders and MPs risked falling short of aiding the attainment of the ruling majority.

For this reason, some Liberals engaged in negotiations with Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who was expected to keep his Senate Speaker position and possibly take over PNL’s Presidency following a merger ahead of the party’s conference in March. Likewise, the President may have explored, in his talks with Tariceanu, the option of a right-wing coalition.

Tariceanu’s public rejection of an alliance with PNL and the fact that the discrete meeting he had with the President was leaked are signs that these talks failed, and the option of splitting ALDE and of nominating Constantin were rejected by the Liberal Democrats’ leader and the party.

On Friday evening, ALDE Co-President Daniel Constantin stated that the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats will remain consistent and will govern alongside PSD. A fact also confirmed by Tariceanu, who said on the same day that ALDE will move toward a coalition Government with PSD and that they will take part alongside PSD in the next round of consultations at the Cotroceni Palace, tabling a joint nomination for the Premier’s office.

In what concerns the nomination for the Premier’s office, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Thursday evening that PSD-ALDE’s nomination will be presented for the first time at the consultations and will be one “that can be accepted.”

“In what concerns the nomination that PSD will present to President Klaus Iohannis at the consultations, I won’t make this nomination while having in mind an advantage for myself, for President Klaus Iohannis or for PSD. It will be to the advantage of this country. This nomination will be made for the first time at the consultations,” Dragnea said.

He pointed out that all those who lost these elections, including President Klaus Iohannis, this week have “the possibility” to get used to this idea and to understand that, upsets, frustrations and disappointments aside, it was “a vote that must be respected otherwise we drift away from democracy.”

Asked to comment on the fact that the Head of State may refuse PSD’s nomination for Premier’s office, Dragnea answered: “I’m starting off from the presumption of good will. I’m a responsible man, I don’t intend to promote a pointless conflict.”

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