Interim Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca has been designated on Thursday by President Klaus Iohannis as candidate to the prime minister office. The head of state had at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Thursday consultations with representatives of parliamentary parties and formations to designate a new candidate for prime minister, after Parliament a day before didn’t give the confidence vote to the Cabinet proposed by Dacian Ciolos.
Ciuca was the proposal of the National Liberal Party (PNL) for this position, at the consultations with the head of state.
President Klaus Iohannis said that this political crisis was long overdue and a full-fledged government was needed at the moment.
“The discussions today have been considerably better than the previous ones. I reiterated that now we need a real solution. Now the political crisis must end. Now we need a government to get down to solving the problems of concern for the Romanians as well. We must end with this crisis of concerns only regarding politicians. This crisis is long overdue. It is inadmissible to go on in this manner. We have the pandemic crisis, we have a dramatic situation in the hospitals in Romania, winter is coming, energy prices are going up. We need a full-fledged government to put into practice the solutions we have designed,” the head of state said.
He voiced himself very content and glad that PNL had come up with a new approach. “There has been an unanimous vote for a candidate who had been poposed to me, in the person of Mr. Nicolae Ciuca,” Iohannis said.
PM-designate Nicolae Ciuca: I understood entrusted mandate as responsibility gesture to overcome crisis
PM-designate Nicolae Ciuca announced on Thursday negotiations with “all responsible forces” in order to form a Government able to get Parliament’s approval.
“I understood that this mandate has been entrusted to me as a gesture of responsibility to be able to overcome the crisis situation we encounter ourselves in. (…) In this sense, we shall negotiate with all responsible forces, so that we manage to form the government at the shortest and so that the government be able to get approval,” Ciuca said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
Reactions to Ciuca’s designation as PM: How the political parties position themselves
UDMR to join seeking solution if Nicolae Ciuca is PM-designate
The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) has learned about the National Liberal Party (PNL) intention to have Nicolae Ciuca designated prime minister and will sit at the negotiating table, after the announcement to be made by the chief of state, UDMR national chairman Kelemen Hunor said on Thursday.
He added that also on Thursday he would meet the PNL national chairman, acting PM Florin Citu, for discussions on a future government, as it is important that next week there will be a full-fledged cabinet to be voted by Parliament.
“It is not very common; over the last 50-60 years in democratic countries no active of retired army officer lead a government. Sure, we can find similar examples, but there were in other times and other political eras. That’s why we have our reservation – and it is not a personal matter – but we understand the PNL proposal and the desire to seek a quick solution, maybe not in the very long term, because I do not think that at this moment we can talk about a very long time,” Kelemen said at the Parliament House.
He added that UDMR is open to dialogue.
“We do not have any problem with Mr Ciuca, as we are colleagues in the government, we were colleagues for nine months, and we even collaborated well. But there is a principle that under normal circumstances, in normal times, there are not many governments led by the military, even retired officers (…) We will have a discussion with our colleagues, we will make a decision today and it will probably be the mandate to sit down, to look for a solution after the appointment of Minister Ciuca to the position of prime minister,” Kelemen said.
“In principle, I do not agree with the government being led by the military, because we are talking about a political government, but this is an exceptional situation. I do not deny that for now, but I do not think that is the best option in a democracy, even the democracy in Romania.”
The UDMR leader said that if a majority is mounted in Parliament, the new government can function until early or on time elections.
“On the other hand, if there is a minority government, a motion of censure will appear in the spring session. And that moment will be a difficult time for everyone, because any motion of censure is an instrument by which the government can be dismissed. (…) We will see what will happen. (…) At this moment we need a full-fledged government,” said the UDMR leader.
SocDems’ Ciolacu: A medium term solution is a Government with large parliamentary support
The chairman of PSD (Social Democratic Party) declared on Thursday that a medium term solution would be a Government with a large parliamentary support and added that more than half of the talks with president Klaus Iohannis were regarding the pandemic.
“We went today to the consultations, joined by the two health specialists, Rafila and Streinu-Cercel. More than half of the discussions with the president were regarding the pandemic. The decision of nominating a Prime Minister belongs to the president. I remain consistent and I believe that a medium term solution would be a Government with a large parliamentary support. From PNL (National Liberal Party)’s decision of not nominating Florin Citu I understood that a right wing Government is wanted to be shaped once again. We will see who the president will nominate and then what majorities will be created in order to support a Government,” Ciolacu said during a press conference.
Simion: AUR will not support Nicolae Ciuca as a prime minister option
Deputy George Simion, co-chair of AUR (Alliance for the Union of Romanians), stated on Thursday, after going to the consultations held by President Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace, that his party will not support Nicolae Ciuca as a prime minister option, adding that if a majority is not obtained in Parliament for Nicolae Ciuca, AUR will initiate procedures for suspending the President.
“We will not support Nicolae Ciuca as a prime minister option, Marcel Ciolacu as speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and Florin Citu as president of the Senate. For this seems to be what comes next in terms of proposals. (…). If a majority for Nicolae Ciuca is not obtained, we will initiate the suspension procedures against President Iohannis. Now, the ball is in PSD’s hands,” said Simion.
He added that AUR has submitted another proposal for Victoria Palace.
“President Iohannis told us that the proposal for prime minister will be General Nicolae Ciuca. We have submitted another proposal today to Cotroceni so that the President has two choices on his table. We pointed out to Klaus Iohannis that if this new proposal of his also fails to meet a parliamentary majority, AUR will initiate the procedures for his suspension. I will go with the proposal of an independent prime minister or other person outside the political parties. The president told us that it seems that this is our hobby, the idea of suspending the President, and I told him that everyone had their own hobbies. My colleague Mihai Negoescu also asked the President what recommends Nicolae Ciuca as prime minister, to which the President said that this would emerge from the dialogue that Nicolae Ciuca would later have with us,” said Simion.
Ciolos: USR does not intend to support a minority government already endorsed by PSD
The Save Romania Union (USR) does not intend to support a minority government that already has the support of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), USR national chairman Dacian Ciolos said on Thursday.
“We are aiming for a majority government, enjoying majority support in Parliament, a coalition government, because otherwise USR does not intend to support a minority government that already has the support of PSD. We came up the other day with a government agenda. (…) It doesn’t even matter how USR will vote as long as PNL [National Liberal Party] has announced that it already has support in Parliament, and I understand that PSD has also announced that it can support such a minority government. (…) There seems to already exist an agreement between PNL and PSD with which they probably feel comfortable with each other, so there is no question of support from USR,” Ciolos said at the end of a meeting of the USR National Bureau convened after the appointment of Nicolae Ciuca as candidate for the position of prime minister.
According to him, “Romania needs firm decisions for its modernisation, (…) a government that wants not only to manage the crisis, but to modernise the country as well.”
“We could quickly have a PNL – USR – UDMR [Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania] government, but the decision rests with PNL and it will be a decision it will take ownership of,” Ciolos said.
He added that USR, if it is not in power, “obviously will be in the opposition,” but will support some measures in Parliament.
“There are a lot of measures that we had with PNL in the governing agenda. We will continue to support them in Parliament. We will come up with legislative initiatives that implement parts of the PNRR [National Recovery and Resilience Plan]. (…) We are now talking about the swearing-in of a minority government for the swearing-in of which we have not been asked,” said the USR leader.
Ciolos underlined that moving forward measures are essential for overcoming the healthcare crisis and that of energy prices.
“But such measures will not be enough to solve the systemic problems we have in Romania. Money will come to Romania, under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, European funds. We have a commitment to reform measures, (… ) to implement them you need a majority in Parliament, a political majority. We do not know what the intentions of this government are in relation to these reform projects. How does it intend to negotiate them? With whom? With PSD? Will it negotiate with PSD modernisation reforms, transparency in the use of funds, in the fight against corruption?,” he added.
PSD decides to meet PM-designate Ciuca
The National Standing Bureau of the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) has decided the party will meet Prime Minister-designate Nicolae Ciuca, PSD national chairman Marcel Ciolacu said on Thursday.
“We have made a decision at the National Standing Bureau convention to meet the prime minister-designate. It is normal to meet the prime minister-designate, as this is a rather difficult moment that Romania is going through,” said Ciolacu at the PSD headquarters.
He added that the prime minister-designate requested the meeting, and the meeting will take place at the PSD headquarters.
The PSD National Standing Bureau convened on Thursday to make a decision after President Klaus Iohannis appointed Nicolae Ciuca prime minister-designate.
Compiled from Agerpres