President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace that a caretaker government is needed, adding that he prefers a political one, and most likely it would be of or around the National Liberal Party (PNL).
He announced that he would nominate a prime minister on Tuesday, at the latest.
“PSD has confirmed that it did not understand anything about political developments and the desire of the Romanians, they went missing from the talks. They went AWOL, that is, they played truant. Now we need to inaugurate a new government, a government that I have called a caretaker government, because whether or not we have early elections or on time, it will be a government that will be in office for a relatively short period. Any day with this PSD interim government is a lost day for Romania and for Romanians. I would like a political government and I will not seek a solution other than a political government. (…) PNL has made it very clear that they are willing to take over the government. All other parties have said that they will support one way or another such an approach. So even as we speak it is quite clear that we are heading towards a government of or around PNL,” Iohannis said at the end of talks with political parties.
He said that a government to make sure the elections are correctly held is urgently needed.
“We urgently need a government that makes sure the presidential election is correctly held; we need a government that prepares the national budget for next year, for 2020; we need a government that responsibly closes the budget for 2019.”
Iohannis said he intends to nominate a prime minister by Tuesday, at the latest, adding that the nominee will not be of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
“The consultations started today will continue on Monday, maybe Tuesday, in a narrower formula, to clarify what needs to be done and why. But I want everyone to know that I intend to make an appointment quickly. On Monday, perhaps Tuesday, at the latest, I will nominate a prime minister who will come before Parliament with a proposal for a government. Let the context of the appointment be very clear: I will not appoint a PSD member, I will not appoint PSD members for the next government,” Iohannis added.
Head of State favouring early elections after presidential elections
President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday that he is in favour of early elections, but only after the November presidential election.
The Constitution does not favour early elections, Iohannis explained at a news conference at Cotroceni Palace.
“Personally, I am in favour of the early elections, but after the presidential election. I want to explain a little why I say so. The Romanian Constitution does not favour early elections. They are very difficult to get and they can only be called under a concrete agreement and support of a majority. (… ) I am willing to get myself involved, after the presidential election, in a rational, honest conversation with all the political parties, in order to find the best solution,” said Iohannis.
He mentioned that if two proposals for government were to fail in Parliament, the current Cabinet, led by Viorica Dancila, would remain in office.
“The second reason why we cannot have this conversation now: if it two proposals of mine in the period immediately failed in Parliament, then this interim Dancila government would stay at rule, which is unacceptable and unimaginable. And it would stay so, mark you, until those early elections were be organised. That is, somewhere next spring. This scenario cannot be taken into consideration, because it would push Romania further down a crisis and indescribable chaos. We need to inaugurate a new government fast, and after the presidential election we can all reopen together the conversation on early elections,” he said.
Previously, Iohannis had talks with the parliamentary parties and formations in order to appoint a candidate for the position of prime minister.
Liberal leader Orban after consultations with President Iohannis: PNL ready to assume governing if early elections not possible
Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban said on Friday, after the consultations with President Iohannis, that PNL is ready to assume governing if the organization of early elections is not possible, mentioning that the party leader is their proposal for prime minister.
“At the constitutional consultations called after the fall of the PSD government I presented PNL’s position to the President. This is a very clear position – if an agreement can be reached to have early elections, we support the return to the people, giving the citizens the quickest assurance that they have the possibility to decide on a new Parliament. If this is not possible and if the President of Romania asks us to form the government, the National Liberal Party is ready to assume the responsibility of governing and form a government around the National Liberal Party,” Orban said.
He added that PNL’s proposal for prime minister is the chairman of the party.
“We are at the stage of consultations, we are waiting for the President’s decision and we will support it. If the decision is to form a government, we will hold talks with all partners. (…) PNL has been ready since long to assume government, we have seasoned experts and professionals,” said Orban.
The Liberal leader refrained from revealing any names of potential ministers.
“We are extremely strict in complying with the law, I respect my colleagues and therefore I won’t publicly mention any name; I will publicly present the list after the decision to form a new government,” said Orban.
Asked if the Pro Romania party would support such a government, Orban replied: “I’ve seen they have other plans. We are waiting for them to express their positions.” He stressed that “the PNL is definitely against any government that includes the PSD.”
USR’s Barna: Pact for early elections submitted during talks with President
Save Romania Union (USR) leader Dan Barna announced on Friday that, during consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, he submitted the Pact for the organization of early elections.
According to Barna, the head of the state was “somewhat” in general agreement with the USR representatives regarding the timeliness of calling early elections.
“I submitted during the discussions the Pact for early elections, which USR has proposed more than a month ago. The president was, somewhat, in agreement with us, that indeed early elections are the correct, moral and functional solution for Romania. Equally, the need for a new government was discussed – and here we agreed again – because there is no longer any argument for the current government to remain at rule. The Dancila Government was dismissed by Parliament and from this standpoint Romania is clearly in need of a new government,” Barna said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace after the consultations.
At the same time, he specified that as far as USR is concerned, the aim of a new Executive “should be holding early elections, somewhere in February – March” next year.
“Somehow we are glad to see that Ludovic Orban [chair of the National Liberal Party] and even Mrs. Dancila [outgoing prime minister] were talking about early elections. The president confirmed this since yesterday. Getting to early elections seems complicated and difficult, but this is exactly what the USR has been doing for three years in Romanian politics. We have been told that there is no way a party of ordinary people could enter Parliament. We did this. We have been told that we cannot achieve the ‘No Convicts in Public Office’ initiative (…) and we have collected a million signatures for it,” he said.
The USR leader considers that through early elections the political crisis can be resolved, so that “a stable government, supported by Parliament, that would carry out the reforms that Romania needs” in education and infrastructure is formed after the ballot.
He reiterated that the USR will support a non-PSD (Social Democratic Party) government, also tasked with organizing early elections, given that it will also have priorities such as: organizing local elections in two rounds, implementing the ‘No Convicts in Public Office’ initiative, repairing the effects of infamous Ordinance 114, correcting the laws of justice.
“Getting to early elections is a matter of political will. Technically and legally there are details that we will find together. My colleagues presented some of them during the meetings. There are technical solutions. The problem is that of political will and I conveyed to the president that his involvement is necessary these days in convincing the other parties in Parliament,” Barna said.
Dan Barna stressed that at this moment the Dancila Government has no legitimacy anymore.
“How can you tell the people that after huge efforts we have succeeded to dismiss this government, which was taking Romania out of Europe, but we still keep them for five to six months at the country’s helm? It is unacceptable,” stressed the USR leader.
Kelemen Hunor, after consultations at the Cotroceni Palace: UDMR’s first option is to form a government around a premier from the party
The Chair of the Hungarian Democratic Union (UDMR), Kelemen Hunor, said on Friday that UDMR’s first option is to form a government around a premier from the party he is leading, a second one being an independent prime minister.
“The first option is a prime minister from the UDMR, we did not make a nomination. (…) The second option – an independent prime minister, not a technocrat one, from the fiscal, banking, financial area, who will have a political government to lead, supported by Opposition parties or by the parties that voted for the censure motion, who would not go to extremes, but would take care of the budget, the taxation (…) and manage the country until December next year. The last solution – a government headed by PNL [National Liberal Party] leader Ludovic Orban, but there, I have understood, there is no need for us anymore because the PSD announced that if Orban promises not to cut salaries and pensions, they will vote him. So, PNL already has a majority with PSD for a Government led by Orban,” said the UDMR leader, upon leaving the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis.
He said there was a need for a Government validated in Parliament as soon as possible, noting that he does not believe in early elections.
“First of all, we believe that we should not waste any day, we need a Government validated in Parliament as soon as possible, because we are in the middle of October, we do not even have a draft budget for next year, we need a rectification so that we can close the year both at the level of the local authorities and at the level of the institutions, so, an urgent rectification, a Government that must be validated as soon as possible and that will govern 12 months, will manage the affairs of the country, will approve the budget, will organize presidential, local and parliamentary elections, of course it will do nothing but a proper administration without excesses, without extravagance and without emergency ordinances in any area. Such a government until November, until the end of October, can be voted at any time,” the UDMR leader said.
According to him, if early elections were organized, the state budget for 2020 would not be adopted until June.
“We do not believe in the version of the early elections for a single reason. At the present moment, they would mean an interim Government until March, April, possibly May, they would mean Parliament dissolved after December, until December it cannot be done, it would mean that a budget will not be made and we will have no budget until June next year. (…) Throwing the country into such a political, financial crisis means that you are irresponsible, it means you do not see the risks of entering 2020 in an election year without a budget approved in Parliament, but, of course, if everyone comes to the conclusion that early elections are needed now, then we are ready, but we do not support them just because of this, that you cannot leave the country without a budget until next year,” said Kelemen Hunor.
Pro Romania’s Constantin, after Cotroceni consultations: We voiced availability to contribute to political stability
Pro Romania First Deputy Chairman Daniel Constantin has said on Friday, after the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis, that the party is in favour of early elections, pointing out that he voiced the desire of a nomination for the future prime minister being made as soon as possible, without making any proposal in this respect.
“Mr. President wanted to find out what is our opinion, how we believe we should overcome this political crisis. In the first place, I reiterated what Mr. Chairman Ponta has already said in the public space: if a parliamentary majority is formed to trigger early elections, we are in favour of this idea. In our point of view, early elections cannot be organised earlier than May or June, when we also have local elections. On the other hand, from a government perspective, we haven’t made any proposal to Mr. President Iohannis. We are realistic and we voiced our availability to contribute, through our votes, which are increasingly more, to the political stability of the country,” said Daniel Constantin, who represented the PRO Europa parliamentary group to the consultations held at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He said an extremely difficult period would come, when the 2019 budget must be closed and the 2020 budget must be built, and in this respect he underscored a prime minister nomination must be made as soon as possible.
Asked if they would join the future government, Constantin said: “If we are asked to, we have the best professionals, but it isn’t a condition we impose.”
In regards to the proposals launched by Chairman Ponta to the Social Democratic Party, Constantin said there was no reply from the PSD.
“We’ll have a more detailed discussion with those with the National Liberal Party, and when an opinion is shaped up we’ll come up with an answer. (…) We haven’t gone with any [prime minister] proposal, although the President knows we are prepared. We are waiting to see what solutions come into view. For now, we are waiting. Pro Romania will definitely have a constructive attitude,” Constantin said.
On the other hand, he announced that he told the President that the right person for the European Commissioner proposal from Romania is Corina Cretu.
Tomac tells President to consider nominating future PM from PMP
National leader of the People’s Movement Party (PMP) Eugen Tomac said on Friday that during the consultations at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace following the ousting of the Dancila Cabinet he proposed President Klaus Iohannis to consider nominating a PMP member as the next prime minister.
“We are aware of all the sensitivities that exist within the political parties of the Opposition, especially among the parties that have made constant opposition since 2016. And, in order to harmonise all the sensitivities, I have proposed to the President that he consider the appointment of a PMP member as the next prime minister,” said Tomac.
He added that from PMP’s point of view, “it is essential” for the future government to support the organisation of local elections in two rounds and to establish a ministry for relations with the Republic of Moldova.
“We are aware of the stakes that are pressing on the shoulders of the Opposition parties and that is why we will accept discussions with the other parties in order to try and find a formula that is as efficient and as fast as possible to overcome this political crisis. It is essential for the future government to have among its priorities, from the first days in office, an emergency ordinance regarding the election of mayors in two rounds, which we have told President Iohannis. It is essential for us to maintain our commitment to the citizens to eliminate special pensions, because they are theft. To us it is very important that the future parliamentary majority to swear in the new government should also adopt the law that is with Parliament on reducing the number of parliamentary seats to 300,” said Tomac.
On the other hand, he voiced skepticism over early elections.
“We are not afraid of the early elections, but we are aware that it is just an attempt to fool the electorate. In Romania, there will be no early elections for a very simple reason – because I believe that the lawmakers when ousting a government will be hard pressed to oust a second one just a few months before the usual term of elections. We are not afraid, we have recently got validated in the elections to the European Parliamentary where we garnered almost 6 percent of the votes, we have a very good candidate for the presidential elections in the person of Mr Paleologu, but we believe that early elections will not be held in Romania; it is good to say that to the citizens, because the situation is repeated and I do not want this governmental crisis to end exactly as it ended in 2009, after the second presidential run-off ,” he said.
Tomac also mentioned that PMP will hold talks with all parties that will launch invitations to dialogue.
“And, of course, if the president comes to the conclusion and gives us the chance to form the new government, we will try and have discussions with the other parties,” the PMP leader said.
ALDE’s Tariceanu: Not planning to be part of a future Gov’t formula
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) is not planning on being part of a future government formula, party Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said on Friday, after the consultations with President Iohannis, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
“I presented the President our point of view, which was discussed this morning at the ALDE Executive Political Bureau meeting. This point of view, briefly, aims to provide support for a government to be formed. Naturally, I would say, this government should be taken over by the PNL [the National Liberal Party], which initiated the censure motion and which should also give the prime minister. Then, after the President of Romania officially nominates the candidate for prime minister, there will be talks, negotiations, with all parliamentary parties, to get support in Parliament. We have clearly told the President that we will support such a formula. It seems to me that such a formula is more appropriate in a composition based on PNL. We are not planning on being a part of a future government formula,” said Tariceanu.
He has pointed out that his party can offer its support at the Government investiture, but stressed that this is not a “blank cheque”, and ALDE will want to know in advance the priorities of the future Cabinet.
Tariceanu stressed that ALDE opted for a “one-color PNL government formula”.
“Of course we can support the Government’s investiture and at the same time we will have some discussions with the future Prime Minister to grant this support. In other words, it is not a blank book, a blank cheque, which we give to the future government. They will have to present the priority directions and, of course, we shall also say the things we can agree and disagree regarding the future government. Our opinion is that this political solution should be adopted as soon as possible, so that the period of political crisis in which we entered yesterday, with the fall of the Dancila Government, should be as short as possible,” said Tariceanu.
The ALDE Chairman has said that the solution of the early elections is not a “feasible” one, because due to the constitutional provisions it would be a “long and extremely cumbersome” process.
Calin Popescu-Tariceanu has stressed that his formation will not support reductions of pensions and salaries, saying “that there are economic solutions that allow to ensure the salary framework and the level of pensions, at the current level, without any problems” for next year.
The ALDE leader also said that the party he leads is not interested in a government with the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
Iohannis: We must set up a Liberal government immediately; any day with dismissed Gov’t is lost
Later in the day, President Klaus Iohannis stated in Brasov that a Liberal government must be set up immediately, for each day with the dismissed Government still in place after the adoption of the motion of censure is “a lost day” for the Romanians.
“We need to set up a Liberal government immediately. We really need to move fast, very fast, for every new day with the confused, failed, dismissed, PSD (Social Democratic Party) government still in place, even if it’s just the interim government right now, is a lost day for Romania and for the Romanians,” pointed out the head of the state in Brasov, at the regional meeting of the PNL (National Liberal Party) organisations in the central region of the country.
He spoke about the consultations on Friday, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, which followed the adoption of the censure motion.
“There were some who skipped the consultations. The Social Democrats skipped the consultations. They had no reason to skip, but they still preferred to stay away,” said Iohannis. The head of the state labeled this a proof that PSD “understood nothing from the motion” and “continues to work against the Romanians and Romania.”