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August 3, 2021

Mystery solved

The name of Romania’s new Premier is Liviu Dragnea.

And, to make this clear, this does not mean that Liviu Dragnea will actually hold the office of Prime Minister. I’m talking here about who will actually lead the new Government.

Forming a Government is an act of overwhelming importance for any democratic state. An act in which each of the state’s entities and each political entity must take part actively and especially constructively. Constructively, not destructively. And this act should not be transformed into an act of false crisis, as I kept saying in my editorials and is happening at this moment too. Unfortunately. Because, yes, we are in a false governance crisis. Just like we were throughout these years.

Firstly, I consider that we should start this moment – which comes after the parliamentary elections and precedes the forming of the new Government – by taking a quick but significant look at the Government that is now still in office and whose mandate is about to end.

This Government is called the Ciolos Government. And, for a year, it was permanently under the spotlight of the public, of the media, being used as a campaign avatar or electoral powerhouse for USR and PNL.

Now, I consider it more than mandatory and commonsensical for this Government not to cease the mandate that millions of Romanians invested it with a year ago without proving the full transparency and punctual presence it clamoured throughout its year in office and especially when it was sworn in.

In fact, I believe here we are talking only about Dacian Ciolos as the idea of Government. Because only Dacian Ciolos was the star of this year of governance, not his Government too. And since we are talking about singular stars that wear the label of Government or governances, I would say that, similarly, the next Government will not mean anything and anyone else but Liviu Dragnea.

However, before we discuss what Liviu Dragnea and the next governance means, I would like to point out something about Mr. Ciolos and his alleged Government – the unnaturalness of his sudden exit from the public scene and the dilemma of the ten days of ghostly governance since December 11.

I find this particularly important, bearing in mind that the political parties that were voted in proportion of 90 percent and that ended up in Parliament almost exclusively thanks to their use of Dacian Ciolos as electoral ad and nominated future Premier suddenly fell silent after 9 p.m. on December 11. As if Dacian Ciolos and his Government never existed or, if they did, USR and PNL never had anything to do with them.

Identical to the moment you take off the costume and the mask at the ball, leaving the character behind and becoming, once again, what you were and what you will continue to be afterward. Don’t you think?

Hence, a first moral fraud, because I did not hear any of these two parties’ representatives at last week’s consultations with President Iohannis mentioning Dacian Ciolos as their nomination for the Premier’s office. As had been stated as clearly as possible throughout the campaign. On the other hand, we heard Traian Basescu’s name and various proposals to have PNL ceded to, taken over by or donated to Calin Popescu Tariceanu or to whoever would be willing to pick it up and carry it on their back.

On the part of Dacian Ciolos, the same deafening silence and 180-degree turn in his whole discourse and attitude.

In these conditions, can there still be talk of any viability or importance of USR’s or PNL’s nominations for the Premier’s office? And why should these nominations represent a novelty or a change, since they announced their option as early as one month ago? Why did it change? For what and, especially, for whom?

The country needs to be governed. And the country needs to be governed transparently.

Leaving aside all the campaign promises and propaganda, Mr. Dacian Ciolos should come now and present us his legacy. Because I, for one, would not like to hear from the new Government the same excuses and accusations cyclically used for 28 years, each time targeting the preceding Government. The more so since, for months, Liviu Dragnea has behaved like an authoritarian boss with Dacian Ciolos, pulling on his sleeve and making him guilty of all sorts of things.

And since I mentioned Liviu Dragnea and the fact that he is about to consecrate his Government, I would say that we must pay attention (in fact this is also the basis of my editorial) to what Liviu Dragnea will mean for the future Government, the current Parliament and Romanian politics from now on. Where and how can we include Liviu Dragnea’s political personality in the hall of political leaders. Because, given his attitude and the approach he has used and showed ever since he took over the leadership of PSD, we can already obviously include Mr. Dragnea in the rarefied area of Romanian political leaders. He recently earned this position.

And because we are already on this note and this extremely rarefied area of political leaders that have emerged in Romania in the last twenty-something years, I must emphasise an essential detail that has become the trait of those occupying this level of power. That of dictatorial, oligarchic tendencies they exhibit in a manner that is as particular and direct as possible. This also includes, obviously, the new holder of one of the current parliamentary Opposition seats, a loud voice and an extremely novel and exotic figure in the Romanian political pantheon – Traian Basescu.

Starting off from this trait, which is certainly not a joke but a fact for these two current leaders (coincidentally or not, both now in Parliament), we can look at PSD’s future Government, the one that is preparing to take office. And, more exactly, we can talk not about the name of its members. Not even about its star, the Prime Minister. But about what this Government will mean against the backdrop of its theme – another level of power conquered by Liviu Dragnea.

Because we are not talking about a Government made of people, but about a Government made of Liviu Dragnea’s will and ambition for power.

And because, generally but particularly too, in a fair and professional political analysis one must follow the events that immediately come after the event that is already ongoing, what I believe is infinitely more important at this moment does not have to do with the Government that is about to be confirmed. But with the next stage that will end with presidential elections approximately three years from now. Because we have to admit that this is Liviu Dragnea’s future target. The future level of power he seeks and which he currently lacks (really?) from the power completion elements.

Obviously, we are interested, as clearly as possible, in what the future Romanian Government – which we should not turn into derision not even for a second – will do. We are particularly interested in the way Romania will be governed from now on by a left wing that earned at the ballot box the right to govern but which is concretely and palpably disavowed by most Romanians. We are interested even more – how could we not be? – in the fact that this governance represents the path to the presidential elections.

Time in which this left-wing Government will have to cross the wailing bridge with a social milieu that is fairly anarchic and torn between political options, as seen in the recent elections. With a Parliament which, in my view, founds itself in an imbalance in terms of the power ratio between the Opposition and the Ruling Power. And with a president who will have to accept to lead Romania not through a conflict with the Government, as happened in the case of Traian Basescu and Victor Ponta, but through a partnership that has to balance the axis of forces that includes the local administration, Parliament, Government and the Presidency.

Last but not least, all of these things have to be done urgently and correctly (!!), considering that geopolitically, just like all the other countries in fact, Romania is in a high level of instability and in a European and international dynamic that is drifting.

Hence, a domestic balance as concise and quickly reached as possible would be very auspicious.

Update: PSD’s nominee for the Prime Minister’s office is Sevil Shhaideh. The only one, according to Mr. Dragnea’s firm statement. President Iohannis not accepting Ms. Shhaideh as the sole nomination and, obviously, not appointing her in office would mean “we’ll see each other somewhere else,” according to Mr. Dragnea’s statements.

Does this “somewhere else” mean… the impeachment of President Iohannis?

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