Prime Minister-designate and Save Romania Union (USR) Chairman Dacian Ciolos met on Wednesday at the PNL premises with the leaders of the National Liberal Party Florin Citu, the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Kelemen Hunor, and the parliamentary group of national minorities, Varujan Pambuccian for a first discussion to break the political stalemate and float his bid to form a new government.
Ciolos told broadcaster B1 TV that “this was the proposal of Liberal Chairman Florin Citu and I obviously accepted it, because I want us to have this discussion no matter what. It is important that we meet, talk directly and gauge the openness, the appetite of the coalition colleagues for resuming serious discussions, so that we also know what we have to do.”
“We are in an exceptional moment that calls for exceptional solutions. We must be aware of this. I didn’t come to this meeting to learn what our coalition partners can offer me, but what they are actually willing to offer Romania, because we’ll have to hammer out a solution for Romania. (…) I offer them a partnership as we hopefully all want it, so that we can put together a parliamentary majority,” Prime Minister-designate Ciolos said before the meeting.
After talks with parliamentary parties on Monday, the president Klaus Iohannis designated Dacian Ciolos to form a majority that would support, in Parliament, the cabinet he is to propose. The new Prime Minister has 10 days to build a parliamentary majority and to come with his Cabinet in Parliament for investiture vote.
Ciolos: I’ve told PNL, UDMR leaders of my intention to form a Government, we’ll meet again Friday
Prime Minister designate Dacian Ciolos, chairman of Save Romania Union (USR) announced that during the course of Friday, he will have a new meeting with the leaders of PNL (National Liberal Party) and UDMR (Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania), mentioning that he told them of his intention of forming a Government as quickly as possible.
“I had a meeting this evening with the leaders of PNL, UDMR, where I laid out my plan once I was designated as a candidate for Prime Minister, that my intention is to form a Government. (…) Colleagues, PNL chairman, Florin Citu, UDMR chairman, Kelemen Hunor, said that they need a discussion in the party, in order to get a mandate for such a negotiation and we will have a meeting on Friday,” Ciolos said, during a press conference at USR headquarters.
“I am waiting for UDMR and PNL’s decision. (…) It is important to see how much PNL and UDMR will take responsibility in order to offer a Government to Romania,” Ciolos highlighted.
We don’t rule out a minority government. We are looking at all the options that are on the table now
Prime Minister-designate and leader of the Save Romania Union Dacian Ciolos on Wednesday evening said that, aside from a coalition government, he doesn’t rule out the variant of a minority government backed by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), affirming his determination to carry his mandate through.
“The PNL and UDMR leaders will decide tomorrow whether they support one of the options I tabled to them: either start negotiations for a coalition government, or – if they don’t agree with this – a minority government with their backing, if we come before Parliament with a minority government and program. We’ll discuss this today in the National Bureau meeting. We are looking at all the options that are on the table now,” Ciolos told a press conference after the meeting with the PNL, UDMR and parliamentary minorities’ leaders.
Asked if he would withdraw if PNL and UDMR agreed to restore the coalition with a Liberal Prime Minister, Ciolos explained that he is determined to carry his mandate through: “I have a mandate and I must carry it through. The PNL was free to make a nomination for Prime Minister, had it wanted to, and obviously it can still make it now. This is for them to decide, but for the time being, the response must be about the Prime Minister designation President Klaus Iohannis has already made.”
In his opinion, “it is important now for Romania to have a government capable of promptly putting into practice clear, concrete measures.”
“We have a proposal on the table, if they want to make another one, this would be their move, I don’t comment on assumptions about their deliberations. These are in-party discussions. (…) This option was not on the table. The talks were around the proposal for Prime Minister President Klaus Iohannis has already made and which is on offer. This was the objective of the discussion and it is my understanding that this will also be the subject of the discussion within the PNL and UDMR leaderships. (…) We will discuss such proposals when they are put forth. For the time being, we pledged a commitment and we will carry on with this responsibility.
No other majority formula to us, neither with PSD, nor with AUR
The prime minister-designate, Dacian Ciolos announced that, on Friday, he will have a new meeting with the leaders of PNL (National Liberal Party) and UDMR (Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania), noting that he has conveyed to them his intention to form a government as soon as possible.
Dacian Ciolos said that he told the leaders of the National Liberal Party and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania that for USR there is no other form of majority construction in the Parliament in which to participate than the one with PNL and UDMR and the support of the minority group.
“I was very clear once more that for us there is no other form of majority, neither with PSD nor with AUR,” Ciolos stressed.
The prime minister-designate said he would like a decision as soon as possible, noting that he had presented them with some details of the government program.
“We have had positive reactions to the proposals we have made. We are now waiting for the decision of the UDMR and the PNL if they are ready to start the negotiations and at the same time we are thinking about the formula with which we can go to Parliament as soon as possible with a government proposal. (…) It is important to see to what extent PNL and UDMR assume this responsibility to contribute to providing a government to Romania. (…) We’ll see if the National Liberal Party is responsible in this crisis situation in which they have not made a proposal for prime minister, but they have a proposal for prime minister on the table made by President Klaus Iohannis and we will see if they assume this responsibility to contribute to a government of Romania to manage this situation,” Dacian Ciolos said.
PNL’s Citu: Meeting with PM-designate inconclusive
Leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Florin Citu declared that the meeting with Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos was inconclusive.
“Today’s discussion ended with no conclusion. I reiterated on this occasion that I consider it would be normal for those who triggered the crisis, ie the Alliance for the Union of Romanians – Social Democratic Party – Save Romania Union coalition, to also come up with a solution. I received the mandate of Mr. Ciolos, there will be some more discussions, we’ll see, but there is no conclusion today,” Citu said at the PNL headquarters.
He added that Dacian Ciolos wants to restore the initial governing coalition and pointed out that he attended the meeting out of respect for the Romanians. “We want Romania out of the crisis, but as I said before, the solution must come mainly from those who have thrown Romania into a crisis, then we’ll see what’s next.”
Florin Citu also pointed out that the discussion tackled neither the ministry portfolios nor any other subject.
“The meeting was about Mr. Dacian Ciolos’s intention to rebuild the coalition, less about anything else. We are here today to discuss, but as I said it several times in today’s talks and as I tell you now – the responsibility lies with those who brought the crisis upon Romania, and another message I had was that since he was USR’s nomination for Prime Minister, it is fair to assume that Mr. Dacian Ciolos was counting on a majority to support him. That majority, which was also tested in the Romanian Parliament, is the PSD – AUR – USR coalition,” argued the Liberal leader.
He also made it clear that the responsibility for putting together a majority lies with Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos.
Asked if the Liberals would be willing to vote for the Ciolos Government, Florin Citu said that the party has not yet made a decision about the vote because the governing program and the assignment of the ministries are not known, and that he will first have to consult with his party colleagues because he cannot decide on his own. “I will present my Liberal colleagues what was discussed today and we’ll see how things turn out. We will have an Executive Bureau meeting tomorrow, I think,” Florin Citu said.
Kelemen Hunor, after meeting with prime minister-designate: UDMR’s goal, to find solutions
The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR)’s goal is to find solutions in a government formula, leader Kelemen Hunor said on Wednesday, stating that the talks with the Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos have not led to any conclusion.
“We have had this discussion at the request, the invite of Mr Dacian Ciolos, prime minister-designate. We have not reached a conclusion and, of course, we have to see what each of the parties will discuss when they get back to the decision-making forums. What I have seen, beside the desire to rebuild this coalition – the lack of trust. Without trust it is difficult to build something. Our target, and I am talking about UDMR here, is to find solutions in one form or another of government for all the problems we are facing – the fourth wave of the pandemic, energy prices and of course the other issues related to inflation, the PNRR. All the other priorities must be left until next year, until we get over this crisis. I hope that everyone leaves aside the pride showed on all sides,” said the UDMR leader, at the end of the discussions.
He added that the UDMR cannot change what happened at the censure motion, that is, “USR [Save Romania Union] joining AUR [the Alliance for the Union of Romanians]. But I hope we can change the future, we can change tomorrow – that is what interests us. If anyone is missing from this three-plus-one formula – PNL, USR PLUS, UDMR and the group of national minorities – the December coalition no longer exists, it no longer works. Mr. Dacian Ciolos has the mandate to build a majority. Today he was not successful, but there are a few more days, until next Wednesday, when the 10-day term expires,” the UDMR leader explained.
According to Kelemen Hunor, the political solution is in the hands of the prime minister-designate, and he reminded that the current government crisis was created by a majority of 281 MPs.
The UDMR leader mentioned that the discussion with Dacian Ciolos was extremely sincere, neither relaxed nor tense. “It was a first discussion. I will be present at any other discussion. (…) It was simply a discussion to rebuild the coalition and whether it is possible to restore confidence. Without trust you cannot establish a team,” he added.
Compiled from Agerpres