Mihai Tudose announced on Monday evening, at the end of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) National Executive Committee (CExN) meeting, that he resigns as prime minister of Romania.
“I am leaving with my head up high,” Tudose said.
He pointed out he would not ensure the ad-interim leadership at the Victoria Governmental Palace.
“Yes, this evening or tomorrow morning,” said Tudose on Monday evening at the end of the CExN meeting, when asked if he was going to resign.
The Prime Minister announced that the Prime Minister’s schedule on Tuesday will be taken over by Deputy PM Paul Stanescu.
Asked how he lost so fast the party’s support he said: “The party decided another Government is needed, with a different kind of approach. (…) There is always room for better. I didn’t want to break up the party,” Tudose said.
The resigning prime minister admitted that he may have a part of the blame. “Maybe I have my share of blame. This is how the party decided. As I said in the beginning, I assume it, the CExN appointed me, the CExN said there is room for better,” Tudose said.
Asked what he has to reproach himself, the PM said that the governmental activity was appreciated by the party colleagues. “I reproach myself that I haven’t made more kilometers of motorways, didn’t make more hospitals operations, but, you see, today we had a fortunate event, an almost 500 million investment, (…) as I promised. I am leaving with my head up high, I didn’t end the year badly, the colleagues have appreciated the governmental activity,” Tudose said.
He added that now the relation with PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea is a good one.
“Now it is good,” he said, adding that until the moment of the decision in the CExN meeting the relation with the PSD head was a “tensed” one.
About what he would do next in the PSD, Tudose said he has the office of party vice chairman. “I am the vice chairman and I understand that the position isn’t threatened, if you have other information…”.
Premier Mihai Tudose on Monday night has tendered his resignation from office, the paper being due to be put forward to the Presidential Administration on Tuesday, informed a release by the Gov’t .
PSD’s Dragnea on PM Tudose’s resignation: General conclusion was it can no longer be continued like this
The general conclusion of the PSD’s National Executive Committee, which voted late on Monday to withdraw political support for Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, was that “it can no longer continue like that,” said the party’s leader Liviu Dragnea.
According to him, there were “more reproaches to Mihai Tudose”, among them being his latest TV appearances.
“There were more reproaches, I cannot reproduce all of them here, it would mean we will stay for five hours. The general conclusion was that it cannot be continued like this because there is a conflict between the party and the Government, as well as within the Government. The colleagues referred to his latest TV appearances, there was dissatisfaction among party members since they all expected the new year to begin with some presentations of a 2017 governance report and a presentation of the measures that should be taken in 2018 for Romanians, measures in the governing programme. Instead, they saw some television appearances that should not have been, in the sense that this kind of public statements must be made in the National Executive Committee, namely issues related to the relationship with ministers or other relationships or other issues that should be discussed within the party and, once the decisions are taken, they are communicated,” said the PSD leader.
He argued that “a state of tension has been created, which has increased in the last period.”
“I also think that some of my colleagues, whom I have left in the last week to produce letters, produce posts to say their point of view, have also contributed. There was an avalanche of more or less elaborated points of view, issues that should have been discussed in the party, and all these things have escalated and it has come to the situation where 60 colleagues have said that, in realistic terms, we can no longer have the guarantee that over a month or more than three weeks or more than two months, we will not end up in the same situation because we went through the same situation in October , also following a television show that referred to two colleagues. And there were many more things said, but, I repeat, not necessarily on a collegial tone,” mentioned the PSD president.
“Proposal for PM, discussed in PSD CExN on Tuesday”
The proposal for the prime minister’s office will be discussed on Tuesday in another meeting of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) National Executive Committee, as the party leading forum decided on Monday, PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea announced on Monday evening.
“We have decided that tomorrow, starting at 11:00, the colleagues should come back to the CExN, to have an open, transparent and long talk – if needed, to discuss proposals for the prime minister’s office, so that after this discussion we have as less reasons as possible to fear that we’d end up in the situation we ended up in today for a third time,” Dragnea told a press conference at the PSD headquarters.
He showed that the discussion on Monday was a “long, serious one, with very many things said, even profound, during which people discussed very openly, not arguing, but being very open,” and in the end the proposal for the prime minister to resign was submitted to voting in the end.
“A decision adopted by 60 votes to 4 and 4 abstentions, and Mihai Tudose who didn’t vote. In the beginning of the meeting, Mihai Tudose said that if the CExN asks him to resign, he will do so, as he said when he was invested,” the PSD leader pointed out.
“I believe President Iohannis will observe Constitution, take majority into account”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea said on Monday that he is convinced that President Klaus Iohannis will observe the Constitution as he has done until now and will take into account the majority in Parliament when nominating a new premier proposed by the PSD-ALDE coalition, adding that social-democrats assume the fact that the head of state is not “happy” at this time.
“I have to be realistic and fair and say that President Iohannis is not happy with the situation to which we have come and we assume that. At the same time, I believe that President Iohannis, as he has shown so far, will observe the Constitution and will take into account the majority that will support our proposal,” Liviu Dragnea told a press conference at the end of the party’s national executive committee meeting when asked whether the head of state would accept a third prime minister proposal of the PSD-ALDE alliance.
Political parties’ reactions after Tudose’s resignation from office
Chitoiu: ALDE has taken note of PM Tudose’s resignation. Decision on new nomination must be taken following a thorough analysis
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Secretary General Daniel Chitoiu points out that ALDE has taken note of Premier Mihai Tudose’s resignation and that the new nomination for the Prime Minister’s office will be made by the PSD-ALDE coalition. Chitoiu states that the decision on the new nomination “must be taken following a thorough analysis.”
“ALDE has taken note of Prime Minister Mihai Tudose’s resignation, as a result of PSD’s withdrawal of its political support. The new official nomination for the office of Premier will be made within the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition. However, the decision concerning the nomination of the new Prime Minister must be taken following a thorough analysis, so as to make sure that the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition’s governance programme will be implemented,” Daniel Chitoiu states in an ALDE communique.
According to the source, ALDE will have two major objectives in mind. On one hand, the governance agenda and the new Premier’s vision on the implementation of the governance programme.
“After the PSD-ALDE coalition’s first year in Government, Romania has the biggest economic growth in the European Union, pensions and salaries have grown, taxation has been reduced, the absorption of European grants has been unblocked, and through the promotion of the judicial laws we have taken important steps toward protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens and limiting the influence of the parallel system of power,” Daniel Chitoiu emphasises.
The second ALDE objective consists of “the clear stance against the parallel system of power, and supporting the rights and freedoms of citizens.”
“There should no longer be public doubt about the deleterious influence of the parallel system of power on the Premier,” ALDE’s Secretary General states.
“At the same time, we must state that there have been some shortcomings too, especially in what concerns the coordination of the team of ministers and secretaries of state, and there is the need for a Premier who would solve these problems and would continue, in an accelerated manner, the implementation of the measures included in the PSD-ALDE coalition’s governance programme,” Daniel Chitoiu concludes.
Codrin Stefanescu reveals who the “venomous character” that Dragnea mentioned on Monday evening is
PSD Deputy Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu revealed, on Tuesday morning, on DigiFM, who is the “venomous” character that party leader Liviu Dragnea mentioned on Monday evening, when he stated – without naming him – that he is part of “an institution” and “has done and is doing a great deal of harm.”
“The venomous character is Mr Pahontu (director of the Protection and Guard Service – editor’s note), the one Liviu Dragnea talked about last year too. The role that Mr Pahontu and others around him play in our Romanian politics, and the thing about the messengers who are sent to some people with promises that they will become ministers, and the orders they give, will be clarified. Very many of our Government colleagues holding important offices are struck by this type of message and messengers carrying various orders. In Romania there are a lot of people who hold important offices and who are using those institutions, their subordinates, and the budget funds earmarked for those institutions, for their personal interest or the interest of a group we have dubbed the deep state. Mr Pahontu is one of the leaders in charge. The messengers are below Mr Pahontu. Mr Pahontu, as Mr Dragnea says, is a main puppeteer who decides,” Codrin Stefanescu told DigiFM.
On Monday evening, after the Executive Committee meeting in which the decision was taken to withdraw the political support for Premier Mihai Tudose, PSD President Liviu Dragnea was asked why he replaced Mihai Tudose, and the Social Democrat leader said that within an institution there is “a venomous character” who has done a lot of harm. Dragnea did not want to name names, but gave assurances that this character will not do the same with the next Premier too.
Orban: PNL upholds calling snap elections
The National Liberal Party (PNL, opposition) upholds the idea of snap elections, Chairman of the party Ludovic Orban stated after the announcement of premier Mihai Tudose regarding his resignation from office.
“PSD [Social Democratic Party – major at rule – ed.n.] has lost credibility. PNL upholds the idea to call snap elections, a delegitimization of Parliament and the creation of a new majority. Certainly, it would be the best solution, in case it is possible. We, as National Liberal Party, we clearly uphold these ideas of snap elections,” the Liberals’ leader told AGERPRES, asked how he sees premier Mihai Tudose’s announcement that he would resign from office.
According to him, Romania has unfortunately landed “in the hands of a toxic group”, which “whatever it does, it does against Romania’s interests.”
PNL leader specified that the rejection of two governments could lead to snap elections, adding that he cannot foresee what the head of state will do in this situation.
“I am sure he will look for the best solutions,” he pointed out.
Orban highlighted the need “for a new beginning”, showing that PNL backs Romania’s exit from “a severe political, governmental and institutional crisis.”
“A new beginning is needed. It is extremely difficult to form a new Government on Parliament’s current structure. (…) PSD’s presence in any setting will compromise that Government,” the PNL added.’
He labeled the PSD Government as “catastrophic”. “All PSD did was set off sparks for a larger chunk of power,” Orban concluded.
PNL Chairman showed that PNL’ executive bureau will reunite on Tuesday for a sitting to analyse the situation and for the presentation of the liberals’ stance as to premier Tudose’s resignation from office.
Save Romania Union asks president Iohannis to decline appointment of a new PSD-ALDE Premier
The Save Romania Union (USR, opposition) asks president Klaus Iohannis to decline the appointment of a new Prime Minister on the ruling PSD-ALDE coalition’s behalf and backs snap elections’ solution, since the said coalition of the Social Democratic Party and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats “has lost any legitimacy to rule Romania.”
“USR believes that the withdrawal of the political support for Tudose gov’t, the second in the past 12 months confirms the failure of the PSD-ALDE majority to ensure Romania’s ruling. Any Gov’t would be better than the PSD-ALDE Gov’t which for a year now has been working for the exclusive interest of the PSD leader,” the USR specifies in a Facebook post.
According to the USR, Romania needs a “stable, honest, competent governing to perform in society’s interest,” and “not to help break loose the PSD and ALDE leaders Liviu Dragnea, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and other criminal politicians of the said parties.”
The specifications of the USR follow the resignation by Premier Mihai Tudose from office, after political support has been withdrawn from the latter during the sitting of the PSD National Executive Committee.
Ex- PM Ciolos: PSD-ALDE to take country downhill, alternative is needed
Former premier Dacian Ciolos considers that the Social Democratic Party (PSD, major at rule) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE, minor at rule) “are not capable to take on governance responsibly”, and they “will take the country down the drain”, specifying that there is the need for “an alternative” built together with all those who have shown concern for the way Romania has been led in the last year.
“One year and eleven days of PSD-ALDE governance: “two prime ministers were deposed in party battles, two governments were beheaded by petty political ambitions. I do not think there exists a precedent in Romania for a party with a comfortable majority in Parliament to behead two governments in one year,” Ciolos wrote Monday evening on Facebook.
In his opinion, the PSD-ALDE ruling adds “a dangerous ingredient” for the country, namely “political instability.”
“Beside populism and incompetence, PSD-ALDE ruling adds a dangerous ingredient for the country: political instability. PSD and ALDE are not capable of taking no ruling in a responsible way, a responsibility that comes from the vote they received from people who believed in them. The result can be only one: the country will fall apart. As far as I am concerned, the PSD-ALDE coalition has failed,” Ciolos further wrote.
He highlights that Romania cannot afford another Gov’t “created from the moral crisis in which the PSD-ALDE coalition swarms.”
“An alternative is needed. An alternative that has to be built by all those who have shown concern for the way this country has been led for a year now and who are now called for to think of solutions. If snap elections are called, we accept to be part of this solution,” the former premier concludes.
Political analyst Parvulescu: Forcing another prime minister’s resignation – expression of a localist vision
Political analyst Cristian Parvulescu considers that the current political crisis ushered in by “forcing” another prime minister’s resignation is the expression of a “localist” vision that places “the party’s and a political leader’s personal interests” over national and European interests.
“The government operates by other rules than the party, and whoever takes over as PM, if he attempts to exercise his constitutional responsibilities, will come in conflict with the party because the governing priorities are different, there’s a different level of approach and relating, the PM inevitably works with his foreign counterparts and is bound to reference to the European scale and context, and therefore is fated to get in conflict with the interests of a party dominated by local coteries and which has difficulty in developing a national vision, let alone one at local level,” Parvulescu told AGERPRES.
In his opinion, what is surprising is the massive vote of “59 to 4” to withdraw support to the premier, which thus restores the authority of PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea that had been lately “dented by confrontations with Mihai Tudose.”
According to Parvulescu, PSD “affords the luxury” of changing the Premier twice in one year, but thus triggers “a chronic governing instability” in Romania.
“On the other hand, one must set everything in context, as ever since 2008 no prime minister has carried through a complete four-year term, not even Boc or Ponta, who served the longest terms, did not make it any further than three years and the other prime ministers all have been in office for less than one year, currently ending up with half-a-year term. This is a grave instability that is the consequence of PSD’s internal issues. With this crisis that nobody wants to acknowledge, two logics have been laid bare: the party logic and the governing logic,” the analyst explained.
Magdin: Social-democrats prove cannot keep Prime Minister more than six months
Currently, the Social Democratic Party (PSD, major at rule) proves that it cannot keep a Prime Minister more than six months, regardless of the proposal Liviu Dragnea is going to submit to the Cotroceni Palace (presidential seat, ed. n.), increasing the leverage of President Iohannis regarding the nomination of the future head of the Executive, analyst Petre Magdin told AGERPRES.
“This way, one of the fundamental mantras of the party is affected, namely that the PSD is the party of organisation, discipline and stability. Apart from this, no matter the proposal of Liviu Dragnea for PM to surrender to Cotroceni, be they Mr. Stanescu or Mr. Fifor, or another black swan, the leverage of president Iohannis grows higher as regards the future PM’s nomination,” Magdin said.
As for the early elections’ possibility, the analyst says “chances are scarce, simply because the majority in the Parliament is comfortable, and the Opposition so far is not aggregated and organised around a unifying, coherent project.”