Parliamentary parties were invited Monday to the Cotroceni Presidential Palace for consultations with President Klaus Iohannis over the designation of the future prime minister.
The first delegation received by Iohannis were the representatives of the ruling coalition made up by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) at 15:00 hrs; the National Liberal Party (PNL) followed at 16:00hrs, while the Save Romania Union (USR) was there at 17:00 hrs. The People’s Movement Party (PMP) delegation was scheduled for 17:30hrs, and representatives of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) for 18:00hrs. The national minority parliamentary group was scheduled for 18:30 hrs.
Romania’s future prime minister has to be “an honest person who is not legally embattled” and who is backed by a parliamentary majority, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday in Brussels.
The consultations between Iohannis and PSD-ALDE ended after only 15 minutes. Dragnea and Tariceanu made no statements
The consultations between President Klaus Iohannis and the PSD-ALDE delegation ended after only 15 minutes; at the end, the two political leaders made no statements to the press, related to the conclusions of the talks.
Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu stayed only 15 minutes at the consultations, although they had one hour available.
Dragnea: I hope Iohannis will nominate Tudose as PM this evening; the new Government should be vested until Thursday
The PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, expressed his hope on Monday, before the consultations with the Head of State, that President Klaus Iohannis will nominate this evening Mihai Tudose for the position of the PM, so that the new Government will be voted in the joint plenary session of the Parliament and take the oath on Thursday.
Being asked what guarantees does he have that President Klaus Iohannis will accept PSD’s proposal to nominate Mihai Tudose as PM, Dragnea said that he cannot guarantee this, but he is sure that the Head of State will make a decision to this end.
“I cannot have any guarantee, because I cannot guarantee for the President of Romania, but, considering all the recent statements and public positions, I am sure that the President of Romania wishes the pretty quick establishment of a Government which will not call into question the economic and social stability of the country. I express my hope that the President of Romania will accept the proposal of the parliamentary majority” Liviu Dagnea stated.
Also being asked about the calendar for the establishment of a new Government, in case that President Iohannis will nominate Tudose this evening, the Social Democrat leader said that the new Cabinet should be established until Thursday.
“If the President will make this nomination, and if he will do it today, as we hope, we’ll start the parliamentary proceedings. So if the nomination appears today, we estimate that the Government will be voted on Thursday afternoon or evening, and maybe it will take the oath in the same evening” Liviu Dragnea concluded.
PNL’s Orban: We told Iohannis we’ll assume responsibility of governing only if we hold the majority. Our goal, blocking PSD
PNL President Ludovic Orban stated on Monday, after consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that the Liberals told the Head of State that PNL can assume the responsibility of governing at any moment, provided they have a majority backing them, which he failed to obtain, so that their goal now is to block in Parliament the forming of a PSD Government.
“The PNL delegation presented Romanian President Klaus Iohannis the party’s political position, a position adopted today. (…) Our position was that PNL is ready at any time to assume the governmental responsibility, but only on the basis of a solid, coherent parliamentary majority that would allow the putting into practice of a Liberal governing platform,” Orban said at the end of the consultations.
He pointed out once again that the talks he had with the parliamentary parties other than PSD failed to lead to the forming of such a majority, “for various reasons.” “Consequently, we’re waiting for the President’s decision,” the PNL leader said.
Asked why he did not nominate a Premier anyway, he said PNL is not “engaged in politics just for the sake of it.” “You nominate a Premier when you have behind you the vote of a certain majority,” he said.
Ludovic Orban also stated that PNL will vote against any Government that includes the PSD, and the current goal is to block any Social Democratic Government.
“We consider he [Mihai Tudose] is not yet appointed Premier, we haven’t reached a vote in Parliament, and our decision is clear, of getting involved in preventing a PSD Government,” he said.
The consultations between PNL and Klaus Iohannis lasted approximately 15 minutes.
Liberals decided to go to consultations without a PM nominee and with option to remain in the Opposition
The Liberals decided on Monday, at the National Political Bureau meeting which brought together the party’s central and county leaders, to go at the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis without a nominee for the PM’s office and with the option to remain in the Opposition, reaching the conclusion that an alliance with the rest of the parliamentary parties other than the PSD would not offer them a solid majority to govern.
The decision was taken by PNL leaders with a majority of votes. However, there were two county branches – Bistrita and Teleorman – and a Vice President – Florin Citu – that expressed their opinion that the Liberals should form the Government.
Likewise, the Liberals decided to vote against any Government backed by PSD.
Last but not least, PNL leaders consider that snap elections would be the best option at this moment.
PNL President Ludovic Orban stated, before the National Political Bureau meeting, that he had meetings and talked with the representatives of all parliamentary parties other than PSD, but pointed out that at this moment it is “very difficult” to outline an alternative majority centring on PNL.
Ludovic Orban said that, following the talks he had with the representatives of Opposition parties, at this moment it is “very difficult” to form an alternative majority. “We’re having these talks and we’re investigating the possibility of forming a parliamentary majority without PSD. There are several encouraging signs, but we haven’t neared this objective yet,” the PNL leader said.
Asked whether those whom he talked with are willing to support a parliamentary majority centring on PNL, Orban said that “some do, others don’t.” He pointed out he will inform the party’s leaders and MPs about the talks he had with the representatives of the other parties, before deciding on the mandate PNL will have at the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis.
“We must decide whether we will go with a nominee for the PM’s office, I believe this is the first thing we must decide. Before discussing any names, we must decide this,” Orban pointed out.
In what concerns the possibility that he may be the person that PNL nominates for the PM’s office, as a series of Liberal leaders suggested, Ludovic Orban avoided confirming or denying this. “Let’s not rush. I told you, we’re not selling the bearskin,” the PNL leader stated.
Ludovic Orban nevertheless pointed out that snap elections remain one of the options that the Liberals prefer. “Definitely, of course. In my opinion, those who were voted massively on December 11th have lost their legitimacy to rule Romania, showing they cared too little about the electoral promises and their objective was to settle scores within the party, not at all to govern in order to do good to Romanians,” Orban concluded.
USR after consultations: We told President we don’t back PSD Gov’t, least of all a PM like Tudose
Save Romania Union (USR) President Elek Levente stated on Monday, when leaving the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that he told the Head of State that his party will not support a PSD Government, least of all a Premier like Mihai Tudose who, he claimed, plagiarised his Ph.D. thesis.
“We conveyed to the President the message that we won’t support a PSD Government, least of all a Premier like Mihai Tudose, who is a proven plagiarist. We’re willing to support a non-PSD Government on certain conditions: the continuation of the anti-corruption fight, the nomination of the Justice Minister from USR’s ranks or from outside USR but someone who would guarantee nobody would lay their hands on the judiciary, and the modification of the electoral legislation so that mayors would be elected in two rounds,” Elek Levente stated.
Basescu nominates MEP Siegfried Muresan for PM’s office: He represents the Macron and Trudeau generation
PMP President Traian Basescu announced on Monday, at the Cotroceni Palace, after the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that his party nominated MEP Siegfried Muresan for the PM’s office, because he is a young but experienced politician who is part of the Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau “generation.”
“We contrast him to the PSD-ALDE Alliance’s nomination. (…) He’s a member of the EPP Group, as PMP member, he’s the spokesperson of the EPP, he’s the Deputy Chairman of the Budget Committee, he’s member of the Parliamentary Committee for EU – Republic of Moldova Cooperation. (…) I believe our nomination represents the Macron generation, but also the Trudeau generation from Canada,” Basescu stated after the consultations.
He said Siegfried Muresan is a successful, experienced politician who corresponds to the citizens’ expectations.
“I believe we made a nomination that corresponds not only to the facial composite sketched by Dragnea and Iohannis, our nomination corresponds to the facial composite sketched by any Romanian citizen,” Basescu said.
The PMP leader said there are premises for a majority that could be formed with the help of PNL, UDMR and USR, provided they accept to collaborate.
UDMR after consultations: PSD-ALDE hold majority, it’s their right to form Gov’t; not ruling out backing new Gov’t
UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated on Monday, at the end of the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that he told the Head of State that PSD and ALDE continue to hold the parliamentary majority and, consequently, it is their right to form the future Government, adding that the Hungarians are not ruling out backing the future Cabinet at the confirmation vote.
“I said that during last week’s no-confidence vote we all saw there is a majority. It’s true they have a smaller majority than half a year ago, but there is a majority and the principle of the majority must continue to function. The majority must have the possibility and has the right to nominate a Government and to ensure parliamentary support and to govern. From this standpoint, we have no PM nominee, we’re not part of the majority and there is no question of us joining the coalition and being part of the Government. (…) We have a parliamentary collaboration agreement with PSD-ALDE. (…) We’re not ruling out backing the Government at the confirmation vote and continuing to have parliamentary collaboration,” Kelemen Hunor stated.
Minorities’ parliamentary group waiting for President Iohannis’s decision on prime minister
Varujan Pambuccian, the leader of the parliamentary group of the national minorities (other than Hungarian, ed. n.) stated on Monday, at the end of consultations with President Klaus Iohannis that they are waiting for the latter’s decision on the appointment of a new prime minister.
“Our parliamentary group is waiting for the President’s decision and we’ll see, upon his decision, if he has a Cabinet, what it will look like. If not, what can be done further on. I obviously did not have any proposal for the position of prime minister. It would be preposterous for a small group to come with such a proposal, because it has no chance to reach a majority,” Pambuccian said.
As regards how the group would vote a possible government led by the Social Democrat Mihai Tudose, Pambuccian specified that the minorities’ group “is likely to behave as at odds as in the vote for the motion.”
He also said that he did not engage in any negotiations with anyone in support of a certain candidate for the position of prime minister.