Following the Gov’t announcement that PM Viorica Dancila won’t show up on Friday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, President Klaus Iohannis came out publicly Friday morning demanding Premier Dancila’s resignation for playing into the hands of the Social Democratic Party and turning the government into a vulnerability for Romania.
The day before the head of the state had said that he was supposed to meet on Friday with PM Viorica Dancila to discuss the harmonization of the National Bank’s policies with the government’s fiscal policies.
Iohannis: I am publicly requesting the resignation of Prime Minister Dancila
President Klaus Iohannis stated, on Friday, that he is withdrawing his trust in Prime Minister Viorica Dnacila, claiming that she cannot handle the position of Prime Minister.
In context, the head of state publicly requested the resignation of Viorica Dancila.
He reminded of the oath Prime Minister Viorica Dancila took when she was sworn into office – “I swear to give all of my strength and knowledge for the spiritual and material well-being of the Romanian people, to respect the Constitution and the country’s laws, to defend democracy, the fundamental rights and liberties of citizens, the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Romania. So help me God!”
“It is the oath we take, we who obtain and fulfill public positions. This not only means that we are respecting the Constitution, to the letter, but also this means that the principle of loyal collaboration is being respected, the need for consulting in the benefit of the Romanian state is respected, between president and Prime Minister, that the Constitutional Court’s decisions are being respected, all of these in the interest of Romania and Romanians. Mrs. Dancila preferred to execute the orders coming from the party. Given all of this, I am withdrawing my trust in Mrs. Dancila”, Iohannis said.
In his opinion, Viorica Dancila cannot handle the position of Prime Minister of Romania and is thus transforming the Government in a weakness for Romania.
“It’s been three months (since the Dancila Government was invested – ed. n) that I’ve been able to draw a conclusion. Mrs. Dancila cannot handle the position of Prime Minister of Romania and is thus transforming the Government in a weakness for Romania. This is why I am publicly requesting the resignation of Mrs. Dancila from the position of Prime Minister of Romania”, said the Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis.
“BNR cannot be taken over politically”
He accused that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) wishes to politically take over the National Bank of Romania (BNR).
“BNR’s role is a very clear and BNR’s main attribute is its independence towards the political will, towards Government and other state authorities. It is quite obvious that PSD is questioning this independence. This could be seen clearly from the statements of some characters from the leadership of PSD and this worries me. BNR cannot be taken over politically, BNR must remain independent in order to put into practice an independent policy in Romania’s interest”, said Iohannis, at Cotroceni Palace.
He showed that Friday, at 11:00, he should have had a meeting with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, the main theme being the conflict between the Government and BNR, only that this meeting did not take place.
The head of state pointed out that it is desirable that BNR policies and Government policies be correlated and discussed.
“Because this hasn’t happened, obviously, I wished to be the mediator. Mrs. Dancila did not understand this”, the head of state added.
“Secret foreign policy memorandum discussed in Government – big mistake”
He continued to express his discontent against the Government saying also that the secret foreign policy memorandum discussed last week in the Government meeting – regarding the relocation of Romania’s Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – was a big mistake.
“Last week, a secret document, a secret memorandum on foreign policy, was discussed in the Government. That was a big mistake, because in foreign policy matters, if we are talking about secret documents, which are obviously sensitive, otherwise they would not be secret, the president should have been consulted, which did not happen. In the Constitution, in all decisions of the Romanian Constitutional Court, in the Romanian political practice, it is stated and it is known that an institutional consultation between the prime minister and the president is necessary, in Romania’s interest , not somebody else’s. It is in the best interest of Romania, and not in the interest of any individual, for public authorities to loyally cooperate,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He stressed that “these things and these needs of the state have not been understood” by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.
Chamber Speaker Dragnea maintains Iohannis “invented” a conflict between Government and National Bank
On the other hand, Chamber of Deputies Chairman Liviu Dragnea declared Thursday that President Klaus Iohannis “invented” a conflict between the Government and the National Bank in order to appear as a mediator.
“You can’t just say, based on sources, that you convened her [Prime Minister Viorica Dancila – ed.n.] at Cotroceni, on Friday. What do you mean you convened her? He invented, for example, a conflict between the Government and the National Bank, conflict which does not exist, in order for us to appear with our president as mediator. Such a thing cannot be accepted and we, as a party, will not accept it, and neither will Mrs. Prime Minister. I also said at the meeting we had, which the president made public, after Mrs. Prime Minister’s swearing in, that we talked about and we agreed, and hoped that it was going to happen, that the relationship would be one of mutual respect, of good-faith, collaboration, mutual informing on all issues, especially those concerning foreign policy. Or,these things did not happen,” Dragnea affirmed at private TV broadcaster Antena3.
He added that this thing is not right and the ones from the Government will act in consequence.
“We cannot go on like this, to see that nothing is happening, and all of us to be pawns in an electoral campaign strategy of Romania’s president,” Dragnea stated.
PNL’s Turcan: Viorica Dancila must urgently resign
First Deputy Chair of the National Liberal Party (PNL), deputy Raluca Turcan, is requesting the resignation of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila because she “has demonstrated that she cannot live up to her responsibilities”.
“Viorica Dancila has to resign urgently! Viorica Dancila has demonstrated through all her actions that she cannot live up to her responsibilities. “Viorica Dancila has confirmed all doubts about her ability to cope with her position. Due to lack of knowledge or out of obedience to Liviu Dragnea, she has flagrantly placed herself outside of Romania’s Constitution. To make serious economic confusion, to attack the National Bank of Romania and to refuse the mediating action of the President of Romania is unconstitutional. Moreover, to engage in foreign actions outside the constitutional framework shows a criminal-like behavior, a copycat of the behavior that established Liviu Dragnea,” said Raluca Turcan.
According to Raluca Turcan, “it is not the convicts who approve the mandate on foreign policy, but the President of Romania”.
“The President of Romania is the guarantor of Romania’s observance of the European commitments that Viorica Dancila and Liviu Dragnea are guilty of breaching,” Turcan said.
Public reactions at President Iohannis urging PM Dancila to resign. Senate head Tariceanu: Parliament gives PM, Gov’t vote of confidence, exclusively competent to withdraw it too
In remarks after President Klaus Iohannis’s announcement that he requests the resignation of PM Dancila, Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu argued that as the body competent for giving the PM and the government the vote of confidence, Parliament is the only competent to withdraw it as well.
“As regards both the capacity to lead the government and the necessary political support, the only competent to give a verdict is Parliament. Parliament exercises control over the Executive, Parliament vests the Prime Minister and the government with confidence, and is the only empowered to withdraw it. The President has nothing to do with this. I think Mr. President is not well aware of the constitutional responsibilities of his office because yesterday I heard a completely ungrounded statement – and I would refrain from offensive epithets – I only want to give the President a heads-up that the Premier never needs a mandate to go on a foreign visit. Viorica Dancila speaks on behalf of the government and obviously, on behalf of Romania, the President is not the only voice who speaks on behalf of the country,” Tariceanu told Antena 3 private broadcaster.
He added that the head of state may ask for the Prime Minister’s resignation just as any disgruntled citizen, but that this does not throw any more weight in the balance because the President has no prerogatives in this respect.
The Senate Chairman said that Viorica Dancila is a highly engaged and responsible PM.
“I saw the government doing a very serious job, in PM Dancila I saw a highly involved and responsible Prime Minister, never prone to taking things superficially, on the contrary, she deeply ponders, weighs in and decides on matters, it’s obvious that she has experience with the European Parliament, which is an important asset. It seems to me that Mrs. Dancila’s designation as PM was an inspired choice. I have full confidence in her, I throw my full support behind her,” Tariceanu said.
The ALDE leader considers President Iohannis has seriously misassesed his move when he spoke about PM Dancila’s needing a mandate for an official visit to Israel.
“No further than last evening, when I saw the President’s statements on the alleged mandate, I discussed with several colleagues, the Social Democrat Chairman included; we swapped opinions on this subject, and we all agreed that the President makes a serious error of appreciation when he attempts to look what he really is not. The President is not competent for controlling the PM and I tell you this also based on my four-year experience as head of government with a far from comfortable President, we all know Traian Basescu, but not even he did not dare to say that I went on a foreign visit without a mandate,” Tariceanu added.
PSD’s Dragnea: There’s no reason for PM Dancila to resign
National leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said on Friday that there is no reason for Prime Minister Viorica Dancila to resign.
“There is no reason for her to resign; she still has our support,” Dragnea said.
In Alba Iulia on Friday, former Minister of Education Ecaterina Andronescu, a senator of the majority Social Democratic Party (PSD), said President Iohannis made haste when he urged Prime Minister Viorica Dancila to resign office, adding that the President’s “slightly bellicose statement” is of no use to anyone.
PSD Deputy Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu argued after President Klaus Iohannis publicly demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila that he had the impression that someone would have ordered Iohannis to make such statements.
Also on Friday, PSD lawmaker Eugen Nicolicea said that the head of state has no power to withdraw confidence from the prime minister or the Government, adding that the request for the resignation of the prime minister is “a propaganda issue.”
Leader of the Cluj branch of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), lawmaker Steluta Cataniciu, said at a news conference on Friday that President Klaus Iohannis cannot withdraw the government’s confidence either morally or legally.
MP Adrian Oros, a deputy chairman of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL), told a news conference in Cluj on Friday that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila cannot cope with any smaller prerogatives than those of the prime minister and that the possibility of filing a motion of censure against the Dancila Cabinet will be considered.
Former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, a former PSD national leader, said on Friday that the statement by current PSD national leader Liviu Dragnea that President Klaus Iohannis’ statements on Israel’s visit had “a certain dose of anti-Semitism” is “serious.”
The opposition Save Romania Union (USR) will initiate consultations to table a censure motion after President Klaus Iohannis announced the withdrawal of political support from Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, said USR national leader Dan Barna on Friday.
The opposition People’s Movement Party (PMP) will support a no-confidence vote against the Dancila Cabinet, PMP Executive Chairman Eugen Tomac said on Friday. He also argued that “President Iohannis is right.”
Political analyst Bogdan Chirieac says President Klaus Iohannis’ statements on the prime minister are “stupefying” and have nothing to do with the law, adding that the head of state is “very ill advised during this period.”
Political analyst Cristian Parvulescu argues that President Klaus Iohannis’s statement, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, “is in a conflictual logic of a harshly divided government” and that a possible scenario would be a “decisive” confrontation between the head of state and PSD for taking over the parliamentary majority and the presidency.
Finally, journalist Cristian Tudor Popescu told AGERPRES that the request by the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, for the resignation of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila is “an offensive political statement to gain political capital, and absolutely justified by the prime minister’s performance.