The no-confidence motion against the Grindeanu Government, signed by 222 PSD and ALDE MPs and titled ‘Romania can’t be confiscated! We defend democracy and the Romanians’ vote’, was read during Parliament’s joint plenary meeting on Sunday afternoon. The proceedings took approximately a quarter of an hour. The meeting was attended by just 216 PSD and ALDE MPs. The ruling coalition needs 233 votes in order to topple its own Government. The vote will take place on Wednesday.
“The no-confidence motion against the Grindeanu Government will be debated and put up for vote on Wednesday, at 11 a.m”, Lower Chamber Speaker Liviu Dragnea announced at the plenary meeting on Sunday before the no-confidence motion was read by PSD MP Mihai Fifor.
Premier Grindeanu was not present at the plenary meeting.
PSD MPs Victor Ponta and Alin Vacaru refused to sign the no-confidence motion. Likewise, 11 PSD MPs were not present on Sunday and are expected to sign the motion on Monday.
Three signatures were absent from ALDE.
The three-page no-confidence motion, that was finalized by PSD and ALDE MPs on Sunday at noon, stipulates that five months after the Government was sworn in the ruling coalition assessed its activity, consequently deciding to withdraw the political endorsement offered to the Cabinet. The decision led to the resignation of 25 of the 27 members of Government, who understood “correctly the political responsibility they have in the framework of a constitutional democracy,” the text reads.
The document goes on to talk about the Ponta-Jianu-Grindeanu “Government”, which it accuses of contempt toward the democratic rules that institutions must observe.
The signatories claim this is not a PSD-ALDE motion but “an act of political responsibility the Romanian Parliament must undertake in order to preserve the constitutionality of the state’s democratic functioning, the observance of the law and of the vote cast by Romanian citizens.”
Even though the deadline for presenting, debating and voting the no-confidence motion against the Grindeanu Government is very tight, something unseen before, it falls within the provisions of the Constitution and of the Regulations on the Lower Chamber’s and Senate’s joint activities.
PSD MPs were summoned at Parliament on Sunday via text messages, being notified as early as Friday night, by the party whips, that their presence is “mandatory”.
Moreover, Lower Chamber Speaker Liviu Dragnea sent text messages to Opposition lawmakers, informing them about Parliament’s schedule on Sunday and asking them to show up.
The Opposition announced it would not take part in Sunday’s plenary meeting, something that would not affect the overture, since a quorum is not needed during the meeting in which the motion is read.
Liviu Dragnea: I’ve managed a no-confidence motion before too; Wednesday’s vote is important, it will be massive
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday, immediately after the no-confidence motion was read in the joint plenary meeting, that “Wednesday’s vote will be massive” and that he is confident the motion will pass. “Most of those who didn’t sign, who didn’t show up, have talked with me. Some are arriving tonight or tomorrow, others on Monday or Tuesday. Those I’ve talked with – I considered it unnecessary to ruin their plans today. Last Thursday we decided to table it on Monday, most made their schedule based on this. We decided to shorten the period of uncertainty and lack of Government,” the PSD leader stated on Sunday, after the motion was read in Parliament.
Ponta: If motion fails, Sorin Grindeanu will discuss with PSD and ALDE, on Thursday, about the new Cabinet
PSD’s Victor Ponta, the head of the General Secretariat of the Government (SGG), present within the Lower Chamber on Sunday, stated that Premier Sorin Grindeanu will discuss with PSD and ALDE, on Thursday, about forming the Grindeanu II Government, in case the motion fails.
“We talked within the [Lower Chamber] group and I thank Mr Ciolacu, who gave me the opportunity to speak. I expressed my point of view as former [party] president, ex-Premier. The tabling of the motion is an atomic war in which PSD will lose and President Iohannis will win. There is still time. I’m telling you on behalf of the Premier that if the motion fails to garner the number [of votes], Sorin Grindeanu will discuss with the leadership of PSD and ALDE about forming the Grindeanu 2 Government,” Victor Ponta stated.
He stated that in case the other scenario occurs, and the motion passes, then “Iohannis is the only person who will be able to appoint the Premier.”
Daniel Constantin: If motion fails to pass, replacing Speakers of the Houses up for discussion
Former ALDE Co-chair Daniel Constantin, who met Premier Sorin Grindeanu on Sunday, stated for Digi24 private broadcaster that if the no-confidence motion fails to pass then replacing Parliament Speakers Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu could be up for discussion.
“If what I believe will happen happens on Wednesday, and the motion does not pass, in these conditions all options are open, including replacing the Speakers of the two Houses. I believe it will be a natural act and I expect them taking personal responsibility,” Daniel Constantin stated.
Asked whether he could hold a portfolio within the Government, Constantin said: “I don’t care about offices, I believe I’m useful where I am too, in Parliament. I’ll support the Government.”
He expressed his conviction that PSD-ALDE’s no-confidence motion will not pass.
“With every passing hour, MPs gain the conviction that what the party is asking them to do is not all right. I didn’t make phone calls, at least not me personally, to persuade each and one of them. On the other hand, I received very many phone calls from people who no longer want to be engaged in such politics, to blindly do what their party leader says,” Constantin said.
Asked how many PSD-ALDE MPs will not vote in favor of the motion, he did not give a precise number.
“If people understand the key moment that Romania is going through, I can tell you I have the certainty this no-confidence motion will not pass. At this moment, those who won’t vote for the motion are far more than the 13 or 14 needed for the motion to fail. I don’t know what the attitude will be, but I know they disavow this manner of engaging in politics, manner that Mr Dragnea and Mr Tariceanu are propagating,” Daniel Constantin stated.
He added he did not personally talk with UDMR MPs and did not point out what were the conclusions of the talks with the leaders of UDMR.