President Klaus Iohannis’s decision to name Viorica Dancila as Premier, at PSD-ALDE’s proposition, following his negotiations with the parliamentary parties on Wednesday, has triggered a wave of reactions on the political scene. Even though apart from PSD and ALDE only the PMP came up with a nomination for the Premier’s office, while PNL, USR, UDMR and the group of ethnic minorities’ representatives in Parliament did not, the President’s decision to “give another chance to the PSD-ALDE coalition” is vehemently criticised by the Opposition, but also by civic organisations that promise great mobilisation at the protest scheduled for Saturday.
Dragnea: President Iohannis has chosen stability, confirmation vote will take place on January 29
“The President has chosen stability, despite pressures – from the Opposition parties and from others – to refuse the PSD nomination, and we thank him for that and appreciate it. The onset of a political crisis would have been a grave thing for Romania and the President wanted to avoid this,” Liviu Dragnea stated.
The PSD leader added that next Monday the Social Democrats will convene the party’s National Executive Committee to nominate the members of the Government, and the confirmation vote will take place in Parliament on January 29.
Firea after Viorica Dancila is named PM: A great chance for Romania and for Bucharest
Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea congratulated Viorica Dancila and stated that her appointment as Prime Minister is “a great chance for Romania and for Bucharest.”
“Congratulations, Viorica Dancila! Good luck in the new mission of heading the Government! Bucharest projects that require the Executive’s support will surely take shape! A great chance for Romania and for Bucharest!” Gabriela Firea wrote on Facebook after the President announced he will name Viorica Dancila as Prime Minister.
The posting is accompanied by a photograph that shows Gabriela Firea alongside Viorica Dancila.
Acting PM Fifor: PSD couldn’t have made a better nomination
Acting Premier Mihai Fifor states that PSD could not have made a better nomination for the office of Premier, pointing out that Viorica Dancila has “an incontestable European profile” and “solid political and administrative experience.”
“Since yesterday, Romania has a new Premier-designate, Mrs Viorica Dancila, one of the most experienced and respected Romanian MEPs. I said it at the ExCom [meeting], and I stress it now too… PSD couldn’t have made a better nomination,” Fifor wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
According to the acting Premier, Viorica Dancila will continue to implement the governance programme in order to honour PSD’s commitments.
“Having an incontestable European profile and solid political and administrative experience, Viorica Dancila will continue the implementation of the governance programme, in order to honour the commitments that PSD took before millions of Romanians in December 2016. Congratulations and good luck, Viorica Dancila,” Fifor added.
Raluca Turcan: Designated Premier, perfect image of PSD-ALDE’s offer for Romania. PNL will vote against the third PSD-ALDE Government
National Liberal Party (PNL) First Vice President Raluca Turcan states that the designated Premier is the perfect image of PSD-ALDE’s offer for Romania, and that PNL will vote against the third PSD-ALDE Government and will censure its every transgression.
“PSD and ALDE have nominated four Premiers in a single year. They ousted their own Governments, they fought each other, they backed weak and vulnerable people, they ignored the expectations of millions of people. These irresponsible people must pay a big price for what they have done to Romania. All of us, those who care, should learn some lessons: quality politics means a vote for responsible and professional people; removing PSD entails voter turnout and a VOTE for viable political formulas,” Turcan wrote on Facebook.
She added that PNL will vote against the third PSD-ALDE Government and will censure its every transgression. Moreover, she added that PNL must do a lot of work within the party, within Parliament, to consolidate itself as the sole alternative to PSD, ready to offer a governance of good quality that serves the public interest.
“The whole country can see, can understand, can feel that PSD-ALDE’s objective has been, from the start, getting thieves scot-free. I believe no normal person can still believe that the country has a future without lowering corruption and theft. And PSD and ALDE are incapable to offer this. They work solely for the thieves who are among them or in their wake,” Raluca Turcan added.
USR: It’s regrettable that President Iohannis has missed the chance to limit the disaster caused by PSD
The Save Romania Union (USR) considers that it is regrettable that President Klaus Iohannis has missed the opportunity to limit the disaster caused by PSD, that he missed the chance to use his legitimate constitutional prerogatives to name a decent Premier, emphasising that “another chance for PSD means that Romania will unfortunately remain the victim of the medieval whims of Liviu Dragnea, who is pushing us every day farther away from Europe.”
“Save Romania Union’s National Bureau considers that PSD-ALDE coalition’s nomination for the office of Prime Minister – Vasilica Viorica Dancila – does not observe the competence criteria that President Klaus Iohannis had publicly mentioned. The USR notes that PSD’s only criterion for the selection of the Premier is obedience toward the supreme leader and satisfying his interests in avoiding justice and keeping his wealth,” reads a USR communique.
The USR points out that, in the past, Viorica Dancila stood out as a staunch supported of Government Emergency no.13 and of all the amendments to the judicial laws, via statements before and letters to the European Parliament.
“Romania needs a Premier from outside the PSD-ALDE toxic coalition, one who would govern for the interests of the citizens and for the prosperity of the country. The President had a chance and he decided to give it to PSD,” USR President Dan Barna stated.
“It is regrettable that President Iohannis missed the chance to limit the disaster caused by PSD, missed the chance to use his legitimate constitutional prerogatives to designate a decent Premier. Another chance for PSD means that Romania unfortunately remains the victim of the medieval whims of a Liviu Dragnea who is pushing us farther away from Europe with each passing day,” the communique reads.
USR points out they will not vote for the “Dragnea 3 Government,” and will continue to fight in Parliament and in the street to block the dangerous initiatives of the current majority.
Basescu: The President chose the most comfortable solution for him. Could the Grivco love be to blame?
Popular Movement Party (PMP) President Traian Basescu states that President Klaus Iohannis has chosen “the most comfortable solution” for him, by appointing Viorica Dancila in office. “Could the Grivco love be to blame?” Basescu adds.
“I’m convinced that Parliament would have never voted against two Governments and in favour of snap elections. Unfortunately, the President chose the most comfortable solution for him, by naming the Teleorman-born Viorica Vasilica Dancila, further to the happiness of Daddy (Liviu Dragnea’s nickname on the internet – editor’s note). Could the Grivco love be to blame?” Traian Basescu wrote on his Facebook page.
Dacian Ciolos: PSD-ALDE coalition has received the third chance, not the second one. I believe our disappointment must be turned into the capacity to offer an alternative, by way of actions
Ex-Premier Dacian Ciolos states that on Wednesday evening the PSD-ALDE coalition was given the third chance, not the second chance, and tells Romanians who want to join the ‘Romania 100’ Platform to replace disappointment and frustration with the promise that they will manage to propose solutions that would be accepted and supported by society. “In the next elections we must be the voice of decency, normality, and hope,” the former technocratic Premier said.
“This evening I sent a message to the more than 40,000 followers of the ‘Romania 100’ Platform, a message just as appropriate for each of those who want to join us: This evening the PSD-ALDE Coalition received not the second but the third chance, after it did not make at least a minimum effort to understand its mistakes. There is a logic of democracy which, unfortunately, seems to apply no longer in the case of these two parties. I believe our disappointment over such situations must be turned into our capacity to offer an alternative, by way of actions. Let us replace disappointment and frustration with something else: with the promise that we, each of us, will act differently, will manage to propose solutions that would be accepted and backed by society. In the next elections, we must be the voice of decency, normality, and hope. Otherwise, each failed Government is one less chance for our normal existence and evolution as a country and as a society. We have each other. We are not few and we are not powerless either. We will resist, and we will build a real alternative. Together!” Dacian Ciolos wrote on Facebook on Wednesday evening.
Orban: We have 10,000 candidates for PM’s office who are better than Dancila
PNL President Ludovic Orban stated on Thursday, for EuropaFM, that he does not want to compare his party to PSD but that, if he were to do so, the Liberals have 10,000 candidates for the PM’s office who are better than Viorica Dancila. He added he does not understand why the Opposition is being criticised precisely by those who do not back PSD.
“Usually, Opposition parties do not draft their governance programmes in the first year. We were asked to draft a governance programme from the first year of Opposition. I don’t want to compare myself to PSD. If I were to do so, we have 10,000 candidate Prime Ministers who are better than Dancila. I want the public policies, concrete solutions, that PNL offers to have solid grounds, to answer the real needs of the people and, most of all, I want us to come up with solutions that are sustainable, implementable,” Orban said.
Ludovic Orban emphasised that he wants to make PNL a party that fights against PSD, and stated that he does not understand why those criticising PSD also criticise the Opposition.
“I’m the President of PNL, I have a mandate from my PNL colleagues and, most of all, I have the obligation to take PNL to the point in which it can defeat PSD and can offer Romania a real chance to overcome the difficulties and problems it faces. (…) It’s unprecedented for most of the opinion-makers or of those who use Facebook, and who are against PSD, to criticise the Opposition. It’s unprecedented. Why would you criticise the Opposition?” he said.
Viorel Catarama: The Opposition lost a great chance to take over the Government
Viorel Cataraman, First Vice President of PNL’s Bucharest District 2 branch, told MEDIAFAX that on Wednesday the Opposition lost a great chance to take over the Government, and that the proper solution would have been for all Opposition parties to nominate a single person for the Premier’s office, namely the President of PNL.
“We have certain confirmation that the Romanian President observed the Constitution, the CCR and the country’s laws. It’s good to know this for the future. The decision that the President took was based on the way the Opposition behaved too. In my opinion, all parties that are not part of the ruling coalition should have come up with a joint nomination, and that nomination should have been the head of the Opposition, namely the leader of PNL. The Opposition didn’t do this and gave the President no chance to try and see whether a new majority could be formed,” Viorel Catarama told MEDIAFAX.
He says Opposition parties lost a great chance, pointing out that PNL should have started talks with the rest of the political parties.
“I believe that if the PNL President had been nominated for the Premier’s office then a new parliamentary majority would have been formed. The Opposition lost a unique position to take over Government. The Opposition surrendered without a fight. An immense chance – for both the Opposition and for Romania – was missed, namely the Opposition taking over the Government, centred on PNL, something that would have changed the direction in our country. The first step should have been taken by PNL, which should have designated its president as candidate and should have carried out negotiations in this sense. (…) We will discuss within the leadership bodies this kind of situations so that in the future we will act appropriately,” Catarama added.
In what concerns Premier-designate Viorica Dancila, the Liberal considers that she will continue the policies seen over the last year, with a negative effect on the economy.
“She will continue the same policy of destroying the private sector, discouraging exports, encouraging imports, the policy to widen the electoral pool via various discriminations. They can’t get out of this pattern that has consecrated them and that will do harm to Romania,” Viorel Catarama told MEDIAFAX.
How PNL sees the criticism levelled against President Iohannis after he gave in before PSD-ALDE: Revolt is just as justified as thinking ‘Opposition is to blame for not having votes’
On Thursday, PNL Spokesperson Ionel Danca stated that the revolt against President Klaus Iohannis’s decision to name Viorica Dancila as Premier is just as justified as thinking that “the Opposition is to blame for not having enough votes to stop PSD-ALDE.”
“The revolt against the Romanian President’s decision to name the parliamentary majority’s candidate as Prime Minister is just as justified as thinking that the Opposition is to blame for not having enough votes to stop what PSD-ALDE are doing in Government,” PNL Spokesperson Ionel Danca wrote on Facebook.
Ionel Danca wrote that when the legal instruments that can be used to fight against PSD-ALDE are insufficient, the solution is “the return to popular vote.”
“The President’s constitutional prerogatives and the parliamentary Opposition are the only legal instruments that can be used against the authoritarian majority won by PSD-ALDE with the Romanians’ vote. And when these instruments become insufficient, the solution for changing the parliamentary majority is the return to the popular vote, if it’s constitutionally possible to do so,” Danca said.
Nevertheless, the PNL Spokesperson pointed out that fighting with the use of laws “is not very interesting.”
“However, it’s true that the fight that employs laws, articles, procedures, norms, regulations, is not very interesting and spectacular… and may even generate disappointment. But the National Liberal Party’s parliamentary opposition continues, with all legal and constitutional instruments, until PNL wins the elections, just as I’m convinced that the President will continue to use all the legal levers he has at his disposal to block/reject the noxious initiatives of the PSD-ALDE coalition,” Danca concluded.
Tomac: Iohannis, Dragnea’s most trustful partner; Dancila – mediocre, Iohannis – indifferent
PMP Executive President Eugen Tomac stated on Thursday that President Klaus Iohannis has become Liviu Dragnea’s most trustful partner, stating that the President could have asked PSD to nominate someone with a modicum of political and administrative experience, if he had not looked upon Romania with indifference.
“Mediocrity, in all its splendour, in power! I’m not surprised that Iohannis has become Liviu Dragnea’s most trustful partner. It’s part of his way of seeing things, with indifference and disinterest toward Romania. For three years, he has generated no idea, no project, no initiative with which to convince us he can do more,” PMP Executive President Eugen Tomac wrote on Facebook.
Klaus Iohannis gave Liviu Dragnea “a free rein” by naming Viorica Dancila, the PMP Executive President said.
“Now, with this nomination, when he once again gives Dragnea a free rein to do everything he wants with this country’s future, the President confirms what all of us had sensed for long but didn’t want to draw the line and state loudly that these are his limitations. Indecision and powerlessness, this is what defines the one whom Romanians who did not want to hand over all power to the PSD voted for,” Tomac said.
The PMP Executive President stated that there is no excuse for this decision, being of the opinion that Vasilica Viorica Dancila “perfectly illustrates the profile of mediocrity in politics.”
“Iohannis, if he really wanted so badly to conserve this deafening tranquillity, could have asked for another PSD Premier, one with a modicum of administrative and political experience,” Tomac said.
Tomac stated that PSD had people who, at least, would not have put Romania in an awkward situation on the European and international plane.
“He preferred to hand over the country once again to Dragnea, who will destroy everything by nominating in key offices persons who are weaker and more docile than this mountain of incompetence that a disinterested President and a PSD condemned to praise Vasilica have named as Premier,” Tomac concluded.
‘Corruption Kills’ online community: By naming Viorica Dancila, President Iohannis has made an unacceptable gesture of complicity with PSD
The ‘Corruption Kills’ (Coruptia Ucide) online community has reacted to President Klaus Iohannis’s decision to name Viorica Dancila as Premier and says that the Head of State made “an unacceptable gesture of complicity with PSD.” “Our struggle remains the same. Our stake remains the same. See you on Saturday, in University Square!” reads the message posted by Corruption Kills.
“Today, President Iohannis made an unacceptable gesture of complicity with PSD, by naming Liviu Dragnea’s puppet – Viorica Dancila – as Premier. We welcomed the President’s gesture through which he communicated that he wants to fight for a rule of law in which politics would not become a front for corruption. Unfortunately, today we notice that the President’s stake was entirely different: a political arithmetic full of cynicism. However, we always knew that we are the only ones we can really rely on. Politicians can be our allies only as long as they have the same stakes as we do, and the most important of them is the fight against corruption. Unfortunately, today, the President chose to give a third chance to those for whom saving corruption has been the only preoccupation. We remain the same. Our struggle remains the same. Our stake remains the same. See you on Saturday, in University Square!” reads the message posted on Wednesday evening on the ‘Corruption Kills’ Facebook page.
A large protest is scheduled for Saturday, January 20, in Bucharest’s University Square, protesters from all over the country being invited to take part in it. The action is entitled “All roads lead to Bucharest. Our generation’s revolution.”
Klaus Iohannis loses Facebook likes. President’s page comes under wave of negative comments after appointment of new PSD PM
The decision to name Viorica Dancila as Premier has impacted President Klaus Iohannis’s Facebook page, after many users decided to withdraw their ‘likes.’ Moreover, the President’s postings have received many negative comments.
“Weakness and opportunism, cowardice and pretences don’t go together, Mr President. You’ve betrayed Romanians, based on a petty calculus. The paradox is that you will discover, far too late, that you’ve judged this completely wrong, because voters see and penalise hypocrisy,” reads one of the hundreds of negative messages addressed to Klaus Iohannis.
“Ever since you took office, there has been only one moment I felt I didn’t vote for you for naught – January 2017, when you took to the streets, alongside the protesters. Apart from that, the same message: ‘I’m concerned.’ I would like to inform you that we, your voters, are desperate, we went beyond the stage of concern in December 2016. Your ‘concern’ linked to the rapid appointment of a Prime Minister in order to avoid ‘instability’ seems outright ridiculous against the backdrop in which the country has been led, for a year, by a gang of individuals whose sole concern is to draft laws that would get them out of jail or allow them to steal without negative consequences. This is the real instability, to continue allowing these individuals – who have no vision/technical or administrative knowledge in the fields needed in a Government/Parliament – to be in power. Had there been no Parliament and no Government in the last year, I believe the country would have been more stable than it is with the current Government and Parliament. So stop being ‘concerned,’ take action!” reads the message posted by another angry user.
Likewise, in just 15 minutes, around 100 users withdrew their ‘likes’ from Klaus Iohannis’s Facebook page.
President Iohannis faced a similar situation in February 2016. Back then, President Klaus Iohannis lost a significant number of followers – more than 10,000 – on account of the statement he made following the Tax Authority’s decision to evict the Antena Group television stations.
Asked by an Antena 3 journalist for his opinion on the Tax Authority’s action, Klaus Iohannis stated: “I believe you have reached an unpleasant and pointless situation. Firstly, I believe freedom of expression in the media cannot be suppressed over commonplace administrative reasons. Secondly, I find this zealous approach on ANAF’s part at least inappropriate if not debatable.” He added that based on the talks he had he noticed that the relevant authorities are showing openness in this case.
‘Initiative Romania’ protesters outside Cotroceni Palace: The way the President answered Romania’s citizens today is disappointing to say the least
On Wednesday evening, several persons staged a protest outside the Cotroceni Palance, the action being organised by ‘Initiative Romania,’ which condemns President Klaus Iohannis’s decision to name Viorica Dancila, stating that the President did not make a minimum effort to make the appointment of PSD’s candidate conditional on observance for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. Protesters held pieces of paper reading “Why?”
The protest was announced on Facebook by ‘Initiative Romania.’ Protesters held pieces of paper reading “Why?” and “When do we notify Venice Commission?” Gendarmes ID-ed them and tried to persuade them to leave. “It seems the President has left us alone,” a young protester said.
“The President could have chosen anyone from PSD, but not Mrs Dancila, who is the female version of Liviu Dragnea. (…) He simply surrendered, the President surrendered all power in the hands of a gang with vested interests,” another protester said.
“For a year we have been protesting to protect the judiciary from political subordination, we have contributed to the creation of civic networks, we have initiated an honest institutional dialogue with public authorities, including the Presidency, we have developed anti-corruption projects, we have monitored institutions in order to consolidate their integrity and transparency, we have given our hopes, involvement, nights and money for a better Romania. All we asked for in return was good faith, solidarity and determination to work together to keep the country on the path of democracy and rule of law,” the organisation stated in the message which called for the protest action.
It also pointed out that the way the President answered Romanian citizens is a disappointment to say the least, and that the arithmetic of parliamentary majorities can be understood but the same cannot be said about the President not making a minimum effort to render his appointment of PSD’s nominee conditional on the observance of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, about the reason for which he decided to appoint Viorica Dancila in office “even though everybody knows that this is tantamount to appointing the House Speaker – criminally convicted and indicted – at the helm of the Government,” and the reason for which “he has been ignoring, for more than 6 months, the repeated calls – on the part of the civil society, European Commission, European Council and the embassies of EU member states – to notify the Venice Commission.”
International press reports on Viorica Dancila, Romania’s new designated Premier
The main international news agencies, as well as numerous publications from many countries, have covered Viorica Dancila’s designation as Romania’s new Prime Minister following Mihai Tudose’s resignation.
“Romania’s President names MEP Dancila as Prime Minister designate,” Reuters writes, adding that President Klaus Iohannis stressed that “parliamentary arithmetic” was behind his decision.
“New Romanian Prime Minister approved by President,” writes The Financial Times. “The Romanian President has endorsed the ruling party’s candidate for the Prime Minister’s office, putting an end to a period of political uncertainty and naming the country’s first female leader,” the British journalists wrote.
In an article titled “Romania: Viorica Dancila set to become first female prime minister,” Deutsche Welle states that she is “largely seen as an ally of Dragnea.” Deutsche Welle also points out that Dancila “vehemently defended legislation to change anti-corruption laws in Romania, including reforms that critics said would make it harder to prosecute corruption at high levels of Government.”
“First female Premier set to lead Romania amid anti-corruption protests,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “Romania’s President named a new Prime Minister on Wednesday, the country’s third in a year, as the ruling party tried to survive one of the biggest anti-corruption movements in modern European history,” the journalists write.