National chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) Marcel Ciolacu said on Wednesday that President Klaus Iohannis has to fulfill his constitutional duties as he is the most able to settle the ongoing political crisis, showing that PSD remains consistent with advocating early elections as the solution, and would like a government of specialists to lead the country until then.
“I think that at this moment the President of Romania has no solution. First of all, he has no solution to what he has created, because what we are experiencing now, this crisis, is a consequence of the fact that the President of Romania has violated the spirit of the Constitution and created this alliance of right-wing losers, and we all see what we are all experiencing right now, both economically and in terms of the pandemic. We remain consistent, and our clear opinion is that at this moment the political class must return to the Romanians, and the Romanians should decide who will lead Romania,” Ciolacu said at the PSD headquarters.
Asked about Iohannis’s recent statements, Ciolacu added: “It means that the president has come to the PSD’s conclusion that early elections must be held.”
“PSD does not have a majority to enter the government. We are not connected to any principle of USR [Save Romania Union], of PNL [National Liberal Party]. (…) We understand that PNL also made some statutory decisions within the party that it does not negotiate with us. (…) I am glad that the President has come to the same conclusion as us that early elections are coming,” the Social Democrat leader added.
Ciolacu said that it is out of the question for PSD to vote for a PNL minority government.
He also said that recently ousted Prime Minister Florin Citu receiving any vote from PSD after a motion against him cleared Parliament on a 2810 to nil vote is excluded.
Asked about the intention of the opposition Alliance for the Unity of Romanians (AUR) to trigger the removal from office of President Iohannis, Ciolacu said: “My opinion is that a party with 10 percent support cannot suspend a president.”
Iohannis said on Wednesday that a caretaker government will stay in office until a solution is found, and voiced scepticism that a solution would become apparent in the first round of consultations with parliamentary parties and formations.
Best solution for overcoming the political crisis in Romania is to prepare early elections
However, the SocDem national leader Marcel Ciolacu said on Tuesday evening that the best solution for overcoming the political crisis in Romania is to prepare early elections, ruling out a possible negotiation with the National Liberal Party (PNL) for the support of a minority government.
The PSD leader stated that it has not been decided yet, at the party level, whether the Social Democrats will go to consultations at Cotroceni (Presidential Palace, ed.n), mentioning that the party he leads should participate in discussions with President Klaus Iohannis only if they are not formal, as they have been on other occasions.
“We have all awaited 18:00 hrs today [Tuesday, ed.n.], for the president of Romania to speak, we were expecting for tomorrow, at the latest the day after tomorrow, to meet to discuss seriously, not to have meetings just to check that we discussed with the opposition and the power. Romanians have very different priorities. (…) Our option is very clear. They either rebuild this losers’ alliance, although it’s the same thing, different colour, because they will quarrel again in two or three months (…), or they will rebuild their alliance and their business with whoever comes as prime minister, whom Iohannis appoints, who still violates the Constitution anyway, or early elections. There is no other solution. We are not negotiating with PNL, not necessarily that we would not like, but it is out of the question at this moment to negotiate something with PNL regarding a support of a minority government,” Ciolacu told private TV broadcaster Antena3.
In his opinion, at this date, a functional political majority cannot be formed in Romania.
He ruled out the possibility of forming a coalition government of which PSD would be a part, saying the solution was “to return to the people”.
The PSD leader presented a set of ten urgent measures for the Government installed after the censure motion (that sacked the Florin Citu Cabinet on Tuesday, ed. n.): capping energy prices, lowering prices for natural gas and electricity bills, compensating bills paid by household consumers and SMEs at the level of December 2020, subsidizing the gigacalory for consumers in the centralized system at the level of December 2020, applying the law of vulnerable consumers by adopting methodological rules, simplification and debureaucratization, increasing child allowances, as per Law 14/2020, increasing the minimum wage, increasing pensions as per Law 127/2019, managing the pandemic, through vaccination and testing, attracting medical staff, increasing the number of ICU beds within 30 days, adopting the implementation system for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and allocating funds at the local level.
Compiled from Agerpres