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President Iohannis: I won’t designate a criminally prosecuted or convicted person as PM

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday rejected the idea of designating as PM a criminally prosecuted or convicted person, regardless of the endorsement that person would have in Parliament. In the President’s view, integrity is “the eliminatory standard”.

“By no means I will designate (as premier) a criminally prosecuted or convicted person or who doesn’t observe the integrity standards,” Iohannis underlined, insisting that the integrity criteria are “self-evident”.

The President gave the same answer when asked if he had the same stance when such person would be endorsed by a parliamentary majority.

The head of state explained that he would opt for a person whom he his convinced he has the capacity of leading the Government well.

Klaus Iohannis said that he would not resort to political games and would not designate a prime minister who should not have the Parliament’s go-ahead.

“He should be a person whom I consider capable of leading the Government and he should get a parliamentary majority (…) I will certainly designate a person taking the constitutional prerogatives into account,” the President pointed out.

President Iohannis is thus ruling out PSD chair Liviu Dragnea as potential PM, as Dragnea is sentenced to two years on probation in the Referendum file.

The President has had several stances on the Government, PM topic lately, as parliamentary elections are getting near.

While attending an event in Timisoara on Monday evening, Iohannis was asked by the journalists if it’s good that the Government should remain technocrat. The President replied that “a Government must basically be a political one”. “However, in certain special situations, it’s good to have a technocrat Cabinet, for a limited period of time. The 2016-2020 period is a period limited by the political mandate and needs a political government,” Iohannis argued.

PSD chair Dragnea, ex-PM Ponta retort

The Social Democrat chair Liviu Dragnea accused President Iohannis that “he had massively joined the electoral campaign” and that “he is seriously breaking the Constitution” in retort to the head of state’s statements regarding the PM appointment.

“PSD will to respect what the Romanians want and President Iohannis should consider that, too,” Dragnea said.

In his turn, PSD deputy Victor Ponta, former prime minister, stated that Klaus Iohannis is plagiarizing ex-president Traian Basescu for Iohannis would have learned from Basescu “how to make criminal case against his foes”.

“I’ve heard Basescu saying this. He said he would not appoint me as prime minister for about one thousand times and I believe he designated me thrice. Besides that, Mr. Iohannis is plagiarizing Basescu for he learnt from him to start criminal files against his foes. Basescu regrets now for making criminal records against his foes, for it is his turn, too. Iohannis will also regret that in 2019,” Ponta said.

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