The no-confidence motion “Romania cannot be confiscated. We defend democracy and the Romanians’ vote” is due to be debated and voted for on Wednesday in the plenary sitting of the Senate and the Deputies’ Chamber.
The document was presented on Sunday in the sitting of the reunited chambers by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) – major at rule) Senator Mihai Fifor.
The motion is initiated by PSD and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) parliamentarians against the Government headed by Sorin Grindeanu.
In order to be adopted, at least 233 votes “in favour” are needed. The vote will be secret and shall be cast by means of balls.
PSD and ALDE parliamentarians claim in the motion that two of the 27 members of the Government, voluntarily under the command of one deputy, are sharing ministerial positions and launch ridiculous attacks in all directions.
“Demonstrating contempt towards the democratic rules of the state’s institutions functioning, immaturity and political irresponsibility, the Prime Minister and one of his ministers, instead of observing the investiture vote and the trust bestowed in them by Parliament, understood that governing can be carried out as a personal matter, that constitutional and legal provisions are facultative and they can defy the vote granted by citizens and democracy. Two of the 27 Gov’t members, placing themselves voluntarily under the command of one deputy, high-ranking official, are sharing the ministerial positions and are launching ridiculous attacks in all directions, exhibiting an unwelcome and mind-blowing caricature of the governing act. The only thing the Ponta-Grindeanu-Jianu ‘Government’ achievement, is to prove that there are politicians who have lost their common sense compass, their honour and dignity, confirming one more time the PSD and ALDE leaders’ righteousness in their decisions to withdraw political support,” reads the text.
The censure motion was submitted in parliament after the PSD-ALDE governing coalition withdrew political support of Grindeanu’s Government and the premier refused to resign.
PSD leadership holds emergency meeting with party MPs, after UDMR refuses to back no-confidence motion. Ponta-Grindeanu camp is optimistic and convinced that the motion will fail
After UDMR’s refusal to back the no-confidence motion, on Tuesday afternoon the PSD leadership summoned the party’s MPs for new talks, in order to see on how many MPs it can rely during Wednesday’s vote of the no-confidence motion filed against the Grindeanu Government.
This was the second meeting with the party’s MPs in 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea is preparing to nominate a new Premier. According to PSD sources, Liviu Dragnea has already made a list of options for the Premier’s office.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea has eight names that will be presented to PSD’s National Executive Committee, the body that will elect the future nominee for the Premier’s office.
On the other hand, the Ponta-Grindeanu camp is optimistic and convinced that the motion will fail.
PSD’s Dragnea: I’m being realistic, censure motion will pass
The main ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD)’s Chairman Liviu Dragnea said on Tuesday night he is realistic as regards the odds for the no confidence motion to pass.
“I’m being realistic. The censure motion will pass tomorrow,” Dragnea told the journalists about how he feels on the no confidence motion vote due on Wednesday in the Parliament, against Grindeanu government.
The PSD leader was present at an informal reunion at a Bucharest hotel, alongside the larger leadership of his party, members of the National Executive Committee, MPs, county organisations’ heads, outgoing ministers of the Grindeanu Cabinet, as well as leaders of the minor ruling Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), headed fronted by this party’s leader, and Senate President, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.
Upon his arrival, when asked how he sees the censure motion vote considering the failure of the negotiations with the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) earlier in the day, Dragnea said: “At its very beginning, the majority was not set with the UDMR.
Tariceanu: We have a majority for the motion
Senate’s Speaker, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, stated on Tuesday that the negotiations with UDMR have been stopped, and each party will follow its own agenda. As for the majority, Tariceanu claims that there are no questions about it from the government coalition.
“We didn’t fight, we separated ourselves in very good relations, but each of us will follow our own agenda” Tariceanu stated.
The Senate’s Speaker explained that the laws initiated by UDMR couldn’t be voted in the Senate’s plenary session in a short time, an analysis being necessary.
“It’s not about compromises, but such a law, or all of the three laws must be very well conceived, settled, analyzed, and the decisions must not be taken under time pressure. (…) We had all the availability, but in front of the large volume, we figured out that we cannot manage these issues in such a short time. We stopped”.
Tariceanu also announced that there are talks with all the parties in the case of the censure motions, and in this case, the government coalition has an undoubted majority.
“We have a figure that we announced to you. We have a good and hard majority in order for the motion to pass. (…) We’ve made also the reverse calculation. We know who those who will vote against the motion are, therefore we assured that things are ok” Tariceanu stated.
Asked about the number of the dissidents inside the coalition, the Senate’s Speaker said that they are around 16 or 17.
Ponta: Without UDMR’s votes, the no-confidence motion won’t pass; 13 PSD MPs won’t vote for it
Government Secretary General Victor Ponta stated on Tuesday, at the Palace of Parliament, that the no-confidence motion against the Grindeanu Government will not pass the joint plenum of the two Houses of Parliament, considering that UDMR does not endorse it and 13 PSD MPs will not vote in favour.
“Had they secured the votes, they wouldn’t have made this huge mistake with last evening’s negotiations. UDMR demanded what they’ve been demanding in the last 16 years, UDMR is not at fault, but they shot the silver bullet, they took UDMR’s votes and after that you saw that UDMR is not participating and it’s very good that they’re not, just as no other party is participating, which is normal, because it’s an internal battle within PSD. You don’t interfere in other people’s battles, because you don’t like others interfering in your internal battles either. I’m convinced that 13 votes will surely lack. You can’t topple your own Government by negotiating each vote,” Ponta stated.
The Secretary General added that his message for the members of PSD is that they still have 19 hours to find a “rational” solution.
“I’m explaining to all of my colleagues that 19 hours are left to reach a rational solution; after that it’s no longer possible, because after that either the motion will be rejected – which is obvious without UDMR’s votes – and then we’ll have a Government in office at least until September-October, but one at odds with its own party, or the motion will pass and then everything will be in the hands of Mr Iohannis, nothing in our hands,” Victor Ponta concluded.
Ponta was at the Palace of Parliament on Tuesday, at the office he has as chairman of the Lower Chamber’s European Affairs Committee, where he was joined by Daniel Constantin, Eugen Teodorovici, Sorin Campeanu, Mircea Banias, Alin Vacaru.
Daniel Constantin: I believe critical mass has been reached for the motion to fail
Lower Chamber lawmaker Daniel Constantin stated on Tuesday, after his talk with Victor Ponta, that “the critical mass has been reached” at this moment for the no-confidence motion to fail, but he did not want to reveal the number of ruling coalition MPs who are siding with Sorin Grindeanu.
Asked how could a Government govern with the backing of 20 MPs at most, Daniel Constantin said: “You’ll see tomorrow what the backing will be and we’ll discuss after that how it could govern. One way or another, there were situations before too, we’ll discuss this at the appropriate moment.”
In what concerns the fact that Eugen Teodorovici attended the talks with Ponta, Teodorovici having previously announced he would vote for the motion, Constantin said that “some things are beyond political activity.”
“We can’t stop saluting ourselves on the hallways of Parliament. We discuss, debate what happens in politics, but this doesn’t mean we’re trying to convince Mr Teodorovici to join one side or the other. He has his own convictions, we saw they are very strong and each one maintains his political convictions,” he said.
Constantin also stated that Grindeanu’s supporters did not call their MPs to convince them no to vote for the motion.
“We didn’t busy ourselves, like Mr Tariceanu and Mr Dragnea did, with calling people, promising offices, doing certain things. I’m doing this out of conviction. The talks we had, we had them out of conviction and they were primarily generated by MPs that called us and said: “we do not agree with this either.” You can’t topple your own Government, we can’t continue with this manner of politicking. Nobody wants to relate to a single person anymore, whether we are talking about the ALDE President, whether we are talking about the PSD President. They all want to change, to be participants in decision-making. (…) These are the parliamentarians’ dissatisfactions. That last-hour negotiation has intervened now too, and, you know how the saying goes, give someone power to see who he really is. This sums up what the two have done in yesterday’s negotiations, putting absolutely anything on the table, showing us they are capable of doing anything only to keep power, only not to lose certain privileges. (…) You can’t agree, in two hours, to something that has been discussed for 16 years. These are fundamental things,” Daniel Constantin added.
How other parliamentary parties have positioned themselves so far
USR will not take part in no-confidence vote: A circus, a battle between thieves and incompetents
USR’s leadership decided on Saturday that the party’s MPs will not take part in the vote on the no-confidence motion against the Grindeanu Government, the party’s leaders labeling the situation “a circus that has occurred between two gangs, a battle between thieves and incompetents.”
“USR will not take part in the vote on the no-confidence motion, because we consider that this is a circus that has occurred between two gangs, more precisely between Dragnea and Grindeanu. We don’t want to intervene in this circus. Citizens are not present in this debate. It’s a battle between thieves and incompetents and we don’t want to take part in their internal struggle,” USR acting President Elek Levente stated.
He pointed out that the members of USR’s Political Committee did not decide whether the party’s MPs will not show up for the meeting in which the motion will be put up for vote or whether they will show up but abstain.
“USR will not take part in any discussion about joining the Government or anything else of this kind. USR considers that, at this moment, holding snap elections is the only honourable option, considering that PSD lost its moral credibility and can no longer form a Government,” Elek Levente added.
PNL MPs will abstain. MPs representing the ethnic minorities’ group will vote as they see fit
PNL President Ludovic Orban stated on Monday that PNL MPs will be present at the meeting in which the no-confidence motion will be put up for vote but will abstain, stating that the continuation of the political crisis can have serious consequences for Romania and that the Liberals have decided not to interfere in “PSD’s settling of scores”.
“The Political Bureau meeting took place today, meeting in which we debated the party’s position on the no-confidence motion that PSD tabled against PSD. We took the decision for PNL MPs to be present in the hall and abstain. The mafia-like settling of scores within PSD, which has nothing to do with the country’s interest, has generated a political crisis with grave consequences for Romania’s image in the world, for the economy and for society. We challenge the Government to put an end to this crisis that they provoked out of obscure interests and for objectives that we cannot understand,” PNL President Ludovic Orban stated.
Ludovic Orban stated that PNL will not interfere in the settling of scores between the “two PSD clans”.
“Today we are in the situation in which an imposter is abusively occupying the Victoria Palace, and we don’t know if in Parliament there is still a majority that would be in line with the will expressed by citizens. The perpetuation of the political crisis may have grave consequences for Romania; consequently, we’ve decided, as political party, not to interfere in this settling of scores between two clans from within PSD, because we are against both the Dragnea clan and the Ponta-Grindeanu clan,” Orban added.
Orban: I trust PNL MPs will respect the position on the motion. We’re discussing
PNL President Ludovic Orban stated on Monday that he is confident all PNL MPs will respect PNL’s position on the no-confidence motion, stating he will hold a meeting with them later that day and that he was not contacted by “the old reds’ farmers’ co-op” for negotiations.
“I trust all PNL MPs, I trust they will respect the party’s political position (…) and the will of the citizens who voted them and sent them in Parliament. (…) At 2.30 p.m., I convened a meeting with all PNL lawmakers. (…) I’m confident there will be no sanctions because all PNL lawmakers will respect the party’s decision. PNL is in the Opposition, I will no longer allow any under-the-table negotiation, any backstage negotiation and no game rigging with the ruling party,” PNL President Ludovic Orban stated.
The PNL leader added that nobody from “the old reds’ farmers’ co-op” contacted him for negotiations.
MP Pambuccian: National minority MPs will attend no-confidence vote; act as they see fit
The MPs representing national minorities will attend the no-confidence vote session and act as they see fit, group leader Varujan Pambuccian said Monday.
“First of all, we have started from the clear premise that this is not our war in the least. This is an intestine war between two factions of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) that is surely engulfing the entire political scene. We have not started it; we had no contribution to it. Consequently, the group has decided that each of its members will act as he or she sees fit. All of us will be there because absence is a form of voting and none of us will know how our colleagues vote. All of them will surely vote either for, or against or will abstain,” said Pambuccian.
He went on to say that none of the group’s MPs will know how his/her colleagues will vote, and so the group is protected.
“None of us, me included, will know how the other colleagues vote, so that the group may be protected when passing through a tribulation that is no fault of it. This is a small group that has its own purposes that are not in the least connected to the big political fights and that has to be as well protected as possible and it should get out of such fights as well as possible,” added Pambuccian.
He said national minority lawmakers usually do not cast ballots in no-confidence votes, but this time any gesture would have been misconstrued as support for one side or the other, given that this is “an all-out fight.”
Pambuccian said he was phoned by PSD national leader Liviu Dragnea, former PSD national leader Victor Ponta and national leader of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Kelemen Hunor.
“Mr Dragnea, Mr Ponta and Mr Kelemen have all phoned me these days, and I told them that I did not have any formal or informal talks with either of the rebellious faction leaders. I asked them for talks with one leader of each of the two factions, whom I told what I told you I expect to happen. What happened is the group agreed on this formula and here we are in the most neutral formula,” added Pambuccian.
He said he had not talked to embattled Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu yet.
“I talked to Mr Ponta on the phone as representing Grindeanu. I met Mr Jianu for talks and I also had a conversation with my colleague, PSD Secretary General Marian [Neacsu] and that was all,” said Pambuccian.