Parliament has granted on Wednesday the confidence vote to the Government led by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu.
There were 295 votes for the investiture, with 133 being cast against.
The joint sitting of the Chambers of Parliament was attended by 433 senators and deputies of a total number of 463 and 429 votes were cast, of which one vote was annulled.
The Parliament’s joint commissions’ hearings of the 26 ministers nominated by PSD and ALDE started on Wednesday morning and lasted over six hours. Disputes and tense moments were not absent, however in the end the whole list of nominations received a favourable report.
After the hearings, in line with the timetabled established by the two Chambers’ joint standing bureaus, appointed Premier Sorin Grindeanu came before Parliament to present the Cabinet, its platform and to ask for the vote of confirmation.
PSD and ALDE leaders held separate meetings on Tuesday in order to approve the new Government’s list of ministers. PSD President Liviu Dragnea had announced on Monday evening that the list had been finalised, pointing out that the Grindeanu Government will include four new ministries and eight portfolios will be held by women. The official announcement on the final version of the new Government’s membership came on Tuesday, when PSD and ALDE presented the members of the Grindeanu Cabinet in a joint meeting held by the two political parties.
Subsequently, the appointed Premier went to Parliament to file the Government’s structure, the list of ministers and the governing platform.
PM-designate Sorin Grindeanu: I was voted PM of Romania, governing program is for 2017-2020 period
Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu stated on Wednesday after the investiture vote in the Parliament, that he was invested as the head of the Government for a mandate of four years and that the governing program is set for the period 2017-2020, so that there is no question to reject the position.
“Today, I was voted as Prime Minister of Romania, the governing program is set for the 2017-2020 period”, Grindeanu answered the press’ questions regarding the possibility of the Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) to adopt the notice which the Ombudsman will submit on Law 90/2001, according to which members of the Government can only be those persons that do not have criminal convictions and are not found among the cases of incompatibility.
Prime Minister Grindeanu specified that the Government has a calendar very well established for putting into practice all the presented projects in the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections.
“We have a schedule very well established, that we will follow. Some days ago, somebody was giving me as example the schedule that was followed for Romania’s accession to the European Union, until 2007. We will follow this schedule for each Ministry, on each quarter, on each month, on each week, so that all we have promised to citizens will happen”, Grindeanu said.
He has reiterated the idea that the Government which he leads is a political one and rejected the allusions that it would be a Government subordinated to the head of Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea.
“We are a political Government, a Government of the coalition PSD-ALDE [Social Democratic Party-Alliance of Liberals and Democrats]. The Government’s structure on the side of PSD, me being a member of the PSD, we have worked together with the head of Liviu Dragnea, and not only. Thus, all these things I find them slightly forced, but it remains for the future to enforce my sayings. (…) The Government belongs to Romania, not to PSD, not to ALDE, and with this vote it became the Government for the whole country. This responsibility must coordinate us in the activity that we will unfold in the following period, and I ask my colleagues to comply to modesty and respect towards Romanians”, Grindeanu showed.
Prime Minister has mentioned again that on Wednesday evening, at 21:00, the first sitting of the Government will be held .
“We want to get started as soon as possible, today we have the first sitting of the Government, even if it is unusual at 21:00, but all these changes must show decisiveness, determination, and solving the problems of Romanians”, the Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu, concluded.
“I aim for a normal Romania, where abnormality would be an exception”
The designated Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu, stated on Wednesday in the plenum of the Joint Chambers of Parliament, that he aims for a normal Romania, where abnormality would be an exception, not a rule.
“Today I propose to you another goal that, in my opinion, includes all the others (e.n. – from the governing program) – a normal Romania. I propose to you and myself that, at the end of this mandate that you entrust to me, if you vote in favor of the Government, to have another type of country, where people would live better and enjoy the same rights and freedoms. This should be the main objective of the future government. I wish to have a normal country, where things are as they must be, where abnormality would be an exception, and not a rule. The first sign of normality is for politicians elected in public positions to respect what they have promised during the electoral campaign and to put into practice all measures for which they received the vote of citizens. Therefore, in the governing program which is subject to your attention and the Parliament’s vote, you will find all the measures presented in the electoral campaign by Mr. Speaker [of the Chamber of Deputies] Liviu Dragnea. These measures were voted by Romanians and it is normal for them to be found in the governing program of the parties which obtained the majority in the Parliament”, Grindeanu underlined.
He showed that he also wishes to have a country in which economic growth is seen in the citizens’ prosperity.
“The purpose of all our actions is the prosperity of those who voted for us and are paying taxes and fees. (…) We do not come to government to have nice statistics on paper, the economic growth does not have any value if it is not noticed in a way or another in Romanians’ pockets”, Grindeanu stated.
According to him, a normal country means, among others, no queues for paying taxes, good conditions for raising children, a developed healthcare system, highways, but also a country in which the Government must look for ensuring high wages for its citizens.
“In a normal country, the purpose of governing is first of all prosperity for its own citizens. We want foreign investments, but investments that would bring well paid jobs for Romanians. Foreign investments are not a goal by themselves, but a way through which we aim for a better living for Romanians. From this reason, in our program we have proposed a change of the economic vision regarding the foreign investors”, Sorin Grindeanu said.
“Sevil Shhaideh would have been an excellent choice for Government’s lead”
The first proposal of the Social Democratic Party for the position of Prime Minister, Sevil Shhaideh, would have been an excellent choice for the Government’s lead, declared on Wednesday, in the plenary session of the Joint Chambers of Parliament, the designated PM Sorin Grindeanu.
“I thank all those who proposed me for this position and who were by my side in putting together the governmental team and of the governing programme that I subject today to your debate. I would like to mention right from the start, the fact that the first proposal of PSD for the position of Prime Minister, Mrs. Sevil Shhaideh, would have been an excellent choice for leading the Government and it is a good thing that she will be by my side in the future team of the Executive that I will put to vote today in Parliament,” Grindeanu said.
He then hailed PSD leader Liviu Dragnea’s “balance”.
“I especially hail leader Liviu Dragnea’s balance, who, in the past few weeks, has behaved as a true statesman, placing the national interest above his personal interest or that of the party he leads. A very damaging political crisis to our country was thus avoided and Romania can have today a Government that can start straight ahead enforcing the programme voted by Romanians at the elections on December 11,” affirmed Sorin Grindeanu.
The designated Prime Minister added on Wednesday that if he receives the vote of confidence, he will convene the first Government meeting, so that the new Cabinet become operational as soon as possible.
PSD’s Dragnea: I learned that more important than winning is how you manage victory
The head of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, stated that for every political leader it is important to win the elections, but added he learned that more important than this is the way you manage the victory, that is why on Wednesday the Parliament votes the investiture of the new Government and not the suspension of the President.
“For every political leader it is very important to obtain victory in elections, but I have learned, these days, that more important than obtaining the victory itself is the way you manage this victory, and for this reason, today we vote in the Parliament the investiture of the new Government and not the suspension of the President”, Dragnea said, in the plenum of the Joint Chambers of Parliament, at the sitting for the investiture of the Grindeanu Government.
He added that, through his voice, the alliance PSD-ALDE (Social Democratic Party – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) sends the “firm decision” that application of the governing program will be done fully and not 20pct, 50pct or 65pct.
“This Government is not a Government of stars, is not a Government of TV celebrities, is not a Government with ties to other structures or institutions, it is a Government formed by young people and people with experience, a Government that has energy and competency, a Government that assumes and understands the single goal of this governing act – developing Romania”, Dragnea stated.
He specified that PSD will vote and will support the Government, but will follow with the highest exigency the act of governing, because the party has political responsibility towards citizens.
“I assure you that the governing act will not be done at the party’s headquarters, decisions and orders of the Government will be signed at the Government House, the Government is the executive power and it is the Prime Minister’s and his team’s duty to take decisions in regards to leading this country. PSD and ALDE have the responsibility, legitimacy and the duty towards Romanians to ensure that this Government will transpose in reality all the measures that we have presented in the campaign and for which we have received Romanians’ trust”, Dragnea concluded.
PNL’s Turcan: Government’s structure: slap given to Romanians, PNL will vote against
Interim leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Raluca Turcan, announced on Wednesday that the Liberals will not vote for the Executive led by Sorin Grindeanu, maintaining that the team proposed “is a slap given to Romanians” and that it won’t be a Government of Romanians but of Liviu Dragnea.
“The structure of this Government, supported by the PSD [Social Democratic Party], ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] and UDMR [Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania] is a slap given to Romanians. Many people in good faith have bought into the PSD’s promises. Once the electoral campaign over, PSD is showing its true face. Defiant, unfortunately! I am not only referring to the fact that many proposals from the campaign have already been dismissed by PSD. But the Government’s list shows a PSD incapable to modernize, the personal fief of an abusive leader, who is trying to exert power in the entire Romania, just as he has in Teleorman county. What is it, if not a huge abuse of confidence – to give citizens the feeling, by attending all television shows, that all the members of Romania’s Government are not worth a dime and that they are in fact your servants to whom you send in an envelope the decisions you took that day? At 10 years from Romania’s accession to the EU, this is all PSD has to offer Romania? If there were any more people who doubted that PSD has the ability to draw Romania backwards, today they receive the ultimate proof of the feudal kind of vision that Liviu Dragnea and PSD have to offer Romania,” Turcan said in Parliament in plenary session, where the investiture vote will be cast for the designated PM Sorin Grindeanu and the Government.
The Liberals’ leader considers that this Government will have a short life.
“PNL will not vote this Government, that we think will have a short life, just as the PSD’s glossed up image during the electoral campaign was short-lived. This Government does not meet the standards of competence, autonomy, transparency wanted by most Romanian citizens at present. This Government will deal especially with satisfying Mr Dragnea’s interests, of allowing thieves and plagiarists run free,” stated Turcan.
The PNL leader appreciated that the PSD-ALDE-UDMR coalition’s vision is “populist beyond limits and economic policies have no rules.”
She announced that PNL will monitor the implementation of the PSD-ALDE-UDMR programme and will draw a weekly report.
“Mr. designated PM Sorin Grindeanu, if we find dialogue channels in the public interest, we will be happy to contribute to the improvement of legislative solutions. But until you emancipate from Mr. Dragnea’s stronghold, we cannot endorse this Government in any way,” Raluca Turcan added.
Senate President Tariceanu: Today’s significance is greater than just simple investiture vote
The Senate’s President, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, who is also the co-Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) considers that the significance of today, Wednesday, the day on which Sorin Grindeanu Government requested the vote of confidence of Parliament “is far greater than a simple investiture vote.”
In 2012, Romanians cast an overwhelming vote, but a negative vote, it was a cry of desperation and fury addressed at the PDL [Democratic Liberal Party] and the President at that date. Today, here I am in front of you, for another investiture vote of the PSD [Social Democrat Party] and the ALDE [Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] Government. And now we have a choice that is just as clear of Romanians, but this time, it is a positive vote, a vote of hope. Of course that on December 11, Romanians chastised those parties who did not understand that the observance of citizens’ liberties and rights was not a whim,” Tariceanu said on Wednesday, in Parliament plenary.
He pointed out that Romanians voted for a country that has the courage to support its interests in the EU and for “a sovereign Romania that guides its political activity based on the national interest.”
“Today’s significance is far greater than a simple investiture vote. We must go back to the institutional logic imposed by the Constitution. The correct logic of cooperation between the two institutions is that in which the Parliament legislates and the Government has an executive role, that is enforces the legislative framework and manages the current affairs of the country in compliance with the guidelines set by Parliament,” added Tariceanu.
The President of the Senate emphasized that “decisions in a democratic state are not taken either against institutions of force, or in favour of those institutions, but away from their influence.”
“Citizens, as you know, do not elect the heads of the institutions of force. This is an idea that I recall and that we should take into account for the future. The [intelligence] services with the services, civilians with civilians. The decisions in a democratic state are not taken either against or for institutions of force but away from their influence. Their role is to serve the state and the citizens and not to become power centres outside any framework of democratic control. I would not want to get to a period in which these institutions functioned after comrade Stalin’s logic – ‘no one is innocent, just a person we haven’t dealt with enough.’ Therefore, I believe that through the proposal of the ministers we have clearly showed that,” Tariceanu also said.
The President of the Senate maintains that Wednesday’s vote in Parliament’s plenary session “must stand for a new beginning for Romanians.”
UDMR’s Kelemen: We want to contribute to regaining confidence in Romania’s society
The leader of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), Kelemen Hunor, emphasized that the vote in Parliament for Sorin Grindeanu Government was granted with a partnership in mind, in the spirit of the political agreement signed with the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE).
“We want to contribute to regaining the confidence in Romania’s society, because we want to have a country that will know economic and social success, a country in which everyone wants to live in safety and to project a future for his family. Under these circumstances, we will vote the Government’s list and the governing programme with a partnership in mind and a parliamentary cooperation in the spirit of the signed political agreement,” Kelemen Hunor stated on Wednesday, in Parliament’s plenary session.
He maintained that after 27 years from the fall of the communist dictatorship and ten years from Romania’s accession to the EU, it can be stated that “Romania’s society is in a profound crisis and suffers more and more by the day, of an acute lack of trust.”
“Nobody trusts anyone: the state institutions, including the institutions of force do not trust their own citizens and treat them permanently as suspects and guilty, being just a matter of time before they prove their guilt. The institutions of control treat as thieves who leech on the state all those who ensure or should ensure economic growth and the creation of jobs. Most people do not trust ethnic minorities. Most of the times, they question their loyalty and permanently consider these communities a danger, that in fact does not exist. Under these circumstances, we mustn’t be surprised when we notice that citizens also don’t trust the state, the state’s institutions and do not feel safe in their own country. They permanently see the double standard being applied, the lack of respect, of solidarity, the arrogance and contempt,” Kelemen said.
He further declared that parliamentarians have the obligation to show that “politics can be conducted honestly, correctly, without lies and taking into account the expectations, the wishes and needs of local communities.”
“We have the duty to give back to people the confidence in Parliament’s institution and in the political act, we have the obligation to bring back political decisions in Parliament, to give back the Parliament the weight and role established in a democratic society, as regards both the regulation procedure as well as the control exerted by the Government and the institutions of force. The governing coalition PSD-ALDE has an essential role and crucial responsibility, but the other parties or political formations will play an important part as well,” the UDMR leader further said.
PM Grindeanu after the investiture vote: Governing act to be coordinated on directions of responsibility, modesty and respect for all Romanians
The designated Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu, stated on Wednesday, after the investiture vote, that the governing act, which he will exert in the Executive led by him, will be coordinated on three directions: responsibility, modesty and respect for all Romanians.
“I want to thank you for the vote you have granted today, this means for us, for the Government of Romania, a big responsibility, a responsibility that is not only given by your vote today, the responsibility is also given by Romanians’ vote of December 11. Therefore, the governing act that we will exert will be coordinated on these directions: responsibility, modesty and respect towards all Romanians”, Grindeanu said, in the joint sitting of the Chambers in Parliament, after the granting of the vote of investiture.