National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Ludovic Orban, on Saturday stated, when asked if the Liberals would accept a government headed by a new PSD (Social Democratic Party) Prime Minister, in case the planned motion of no-confidence passes, that it is “absolutely illogical” to oust a PSD PM only to replace them with another.
He specified that the fall of the Dancila Government is “an absolute priority” for Romania and that the country cannot take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union with such “individuals” who make up the Executive right now.
“Do you think we are dethroning a PSD PM for another PSD PM? This is absolutely illogical. The removal of the Dancila Government is an absolute priority for Romania. We cannot take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union with individuals like these, who make up the Government right now, people who, and I’m sorry to say it, but they do not have the minimum qualification, the minimum training, they don’t know anything, they don’t know the ABC of administration, of economy,” Orban told Digi 24 private television channel.
He specified that it is not obligatory for the Government, if the current Cabinet falls because of the motion, to be formed around a PM from the PNL either.
“Obviously, any formula that may come up after the Government falls is going to be presented and we will decide if we are going to support it or not. It is not obligatory, if the Government falls, and if we are going to nominate the PM, to form the new Government around a PNL nominee. So, when a government is formed, it must generate a parliamentary majority to support it,” said the PNL leader.
Orban specified that any form of government is better than the current one.
“In my opinion, any government formula that might come up when this Government falls is better than the one we have now. You cannot have a PM that confounds the leu with the euro and who didn’t even know whether she was talking about the RON or the ROL, who every time she makes a public appearance she gives free publicity to the political leaders she meets because of the blunders she makes in her political stands,” stated Orban.
The motion of no confidence titled “Enough! Enough! Dragnea – Dancila Government, shame of Romania!,” tabled by the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Save Romania Union (USR) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP) on Friday, will be debated and voted on Thursday’s sitting, the Standing Bureaus of the two Chambers decided.
“The motion will be read on Monday, at 16:00, in the plenary session of Parliament, and the debate and voting sitting will take place on Thursday, at 10:00hrs. There will be a vote by secret ballot, the Secretary of the Chamber”, Georgian Pop said.
The motion was signed by a total of 163 MPs, namely by MPs from PNL (68 members of the House and 25 members of the Senate), USR (27 members of the House and 12 members of the Senate), PMP (12 members of the House), Pro Romania (13 MPs) and by six non-affiliated MPs.
According to the Regulations of the joint activities of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, the motion of no confidence has to be presented in the joint sitting of the Chambers of Parliament within 5 days since being lodged. The debate takes place 3 days after the date when it was presented in the joint sitting. The vote of half plus one MPs is necessary for its adoption.
“If it hadn’t been for Tariceanu’s dossier, which Dragnea has used to keep him on a leash, we would’ve chipped away votes from ALDE too”
Orban also stated that he has carefully studied the timing of tabling the no-confidence motion. He claims that there is tension within the PSD now and, if it had not been for Tariceanu’s dossier, “which Dragnea has used to keep him on a leash,” he could have “chipped away” votes from ALDE too.
“What if we hadn’t tabled the no-confidence motion? I’ve always studied the timing with great care, so that we would generate the no-confidence motion when there are the highest chances to obtain extra votes from the ruling coalition area. Now is a time when there is a state of tension, of dissatisfaction within the ruling party. In time, there have been tensions between the ruling party and ALDE too. If it hadn’t been for Tariceanu’s dossier, which Dragnea has used to have an even stronger hold over him, to keep him on a leash, we probably could have chipped away some votes from ALDE. Likewise, it is clearly visible that many parliamentarians have left the PSD and will probably vote for the no-confidence motion,” Ludovic Orban stated for Digi24.
His message for the leaders of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) was that first they should want the replacement of the current Executive and only then ask who the new Premier would be.
“This staging creates an alibi for the UDMR, for what they have done in the last two years, two years in which the UDMR have endorsed all of the PSD’s swinish actions. (…) The fact is that for the past two years the UDMR have been by PSD’s side and have helped them in the most difficult moments. They did not vote for any simple or no-confidence motion, they have a protocol on parliamentary collaboration, they have representatives who are not on the frontlines… The first and the most important question is how the UDMR position themselves toward this Government. Only if this Government is brought down through the no-confidence motion can one discuss a new Government formula, a much better one,” Orban added.
He also said that another 65 votes are needed for the no-confidence motion to pass, votes that should come from PSD and ALDE parliamentarians too, not solely from non-affiliated ones. Likewise, he ruled out the option of replacing Viorica Dancila with another Premier nominated by the PSD.
Referring to the Opposition’s announcement regarding the no-confidence motion, UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated on Wednesday that until the document is tabled “only theories” are being discussed and that “for the time being there is no alternative.” He added that the question is whether “the Opposition wants to govern or not.”
Orban on Crin Antonescu’s candidacy: There are 49 candidates. Each of them will be objectively evaluated
The PNL leader stated on Saturday that at present he is not sure whether former PNL President Crin Antonescu will be on an eligible position for the European Parliament elections. He added that 49 Liberals have signed up for the list and each one “has their chance.”
“Mr Antonescu has tabled his candidacy too, but I would like us to discuss the list of candidacies after the procedure to designate the candidates is finalised. Until then, there are 49 candidates on the list, and I won’t talk about them. Each one has their chance and deserves to have this chance objectively evaluated, based on the established criteria,” Ludovic Orban added for Digi24.
Asked whether there is any candidacy “set in stone,” the PNL President answered negatively.
Former PNL President Crin Antonescu stated on September 18, for MEDIAFAX, that he filed his bid for a place on the party’s lists in the European Parliament elections of 2019. Likewise, Vasile Blaga and Siegfried Muresan have also filed their bids for a place on PNL’s lists.
Ludovic Orban points out he is PNL’ s nomination for PM’s office, but Liberals will support the best Government formula
On the other hand, Ludovic Orban stated on Friday, at a press conference in Alba Iulia, that he is the party’s nomination for the Premier’s office but added that the Liberals will support the best Government formula if the no-confidence motion passes. Orban pointed out that early elections would be the best solution in case the Government falls.
“Until the no-confidence motion is put to the vote, we will fight to convince as many parliamentarians as possible to vote for this no-confidence motion, in order to raise the chances of it being adopted,” Orban underscored.
He pointed out that talks are ongoing with the UDMR too.
“We had talks, we’re having talks, and we’ll continue to have talks with the UDMR, and I express my confidence that UDMR parliamentarians will do what their voters want, they’ll act in line with the will of Magyar voters. I will give you but one example. Mr Hunor himself has publicly present an opinion poll that UDMR ordered, regarding the options of Romanian citizens of Hungarian ethnicity, in which Liviu Dragnea’s approval rating was 4 percent. I don’t believe UDMR voters want Dragnea anymore (…), on the contrary, I’m convinced they can’t stand him anymore, just as probably more than 85-90 percent of the population of Romania no longer stands Dragnea and would like to put an end to this wretched regime that does immense harm to Romania. I expect UDMR parliamentarians to act in line with the will and interests of the citizens who sent them in Parliament,” the PNL leader stated.
Ludovic Orban pointed out he met Kelemen Hunor in Hamburg.
Regarding the fact that the leader of UDMR said that they only shook hands and had no talks, the PNL leader replied: “We met in Hamburg. I don’t want to go into a different interpretation of the various crossing of paths I’ve had with Mr Hunor lately. At any rate, rest assured we are engaged in negotiations, we will have meetings in which we will put everything on the table, but I believe Mr Hunor has put the cart before the horse a little bit here. We’re not talking about forming a new Government, we’re talking about whether this Government is bad or not. Our point of view is that this Government is an immense evil for Romania. We can’t show up with these incompetents, these individuals who have no kind of expertise in their field of activity, who have no kind of credibility – neither internally nor internationally – and take over the presidency of the Council of the EU, and we are trying to truly give Romania a Government that would have the capacity to exercise this presidency in the best conditions, that would bring gains for Romania, that would be able to fight in order to obtain benefits for each Romanian citizens as a result of exercising leadership at EU level during the 6 months in which we hold the presidency of the Council of the EU.”
Orban added that the talks on a subsequent Government formula would be triggered after the Government falls.
“And, obviously, we are ready to take over the governance, we have the governance programme re-updated, we have people that would be capable of exercising governance and in fact we have also prepared a draft budget in order to show that we are ready to govern in 2019,” he pointed out.
Asked what the party’s nomination for the Premier’s office is, Ludovic Orban said: “It’s a question that personally makes me believe Mr Hunor does not always keep abreast of the National Liberal Party’s decisions. The National Liberal Party’s decision is very clear, taken by the National Council: the party’s president is the nomination for the Prime Minister’s office.”
Asked why the PNL does not support a Premier nominated by the entire Opposition, Orban replied: “Our fundamental objective is to bring down this Government. Any Government formula that will be formed, obviously we will support the formula that is the best in our view and obviously that can benefit from the support of a parliamentary majority. Although I’m telling you that the best solution for Romania, in case the Government falls, is to go back before the people, because political options have changed dramatically in relation to the political options expressed in the 2016 elections. Usually when this happens in normal democracies, the result is early elections in order to basically reset Parliament and especially in order to re-confer legitimacy upon the institutions that exercise power in Romania.”
Regarding Kelemen Hunor not crediting the no-confidence with too many chances of success, the PNL leader stated: “According to a Romanian saying, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.”