President Klaus Iohannis is continuing consultations for the nomination of a new prime minister on Friday; the first delegation he received was from the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR), including the party chairman, outgoing Vice Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea. The next party to talk to is ALDE, led by the Senate Speaker, Călin Popescu Tăriceanu. As a first, the Romanian president invited the representatives of the civil society and of the protesters to these debates.
After talks with the President, UNPR leader Gabriel Oprea announced that he stepped down the interim Cabinet and that his duties of interior ministry had been taken over by General Ilie Botos, a military magistrate, state secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“UNPR is supporting Romania’s president, as it has always done on importan national security affairs. We delivered UNPR’s full willingness both in designating the prime minister and the future Government,” Oprea said, adding his party is also endorrsing the snap elections option if such a consensus is reached.
Asked about the technocrat Government option, UNPR chairman pointed out the party would endorse any option Klaus Iohannis would want. “Any formula that the Romanian president would want, in dialogue with the political parties, with the delegations of the street, will be supported by UNPR,” he concluded.
Over 5,500 claims sent. Who is going to represent the street at Cotroceni consultations?
Five NGOs that sent an open letter with various claims to President Iohannis on Thursday, journalist Liviu Mihaiu, Claudia Postelnicescu, representative of the Initiativa Romania movement and Cristina Guseth from Freedom House are part of the civil society’s delegation attending the consultations. Singer Adrian Despot, leader of Vita de Vie band (injured in the ‘Colectiv’ fire last week and witness in the prosecutors’ file) will also go, although ha had previsously announced on Facebook that his presence would be useless at Cotroceni.
However, the representation was contested by some protesters. About 20 persons gathered in front of the Presidency’s House, saying they also want to speak with President Iohannis while expressing discontent over the fact they are not on the list of representatives who went to the consultations. People told journalists they have been calling at Cotroceni Palace all day long to find out if the list was drafted, who are the attendees and what were the invitation criteria. Some said nobody answered their claims while others who admitted they succeeded to get in contact with the Presidential Administration’s employeed said they were disappointed as nobody could tell them what’s going on.
The civil society list was announced at the last moment, as less than two hours before the consultations with the civil society kick off, the Presidency had not informed who was going to attend the debates on the protesters’ behalf. Instead, Iohannis had received 5,520 messages so far from the NGOs and from the people who have been protesting in Universitate Square these past days.
The past days brought on Facebook more working versions on who should go to hand in the protesters’ claims at Cotroceni, such as actor and singer Tudor Chirilă, journalist Moise Guran or singer Adrian Despot.
In retort, Tudor Chirilă thanks all those who thought he would be fit to represent the civil society, mentioning he had been ‘besieged’ by hundreds of proposals by e-mail, SMS or on Facebook asking him to turn into “the voice of the street”.
However, he argued the street cannot organize itself at such a short notice, as President Iohannis asked, saying the consultations summoned at Cotroceni Palace are useless, as the President is already aware of what the street wants. Chirilă also says that if he were face to face to President Iohannis he would tell him: “Ordinary people voted you as President and they don’t feel that you have represented their interests since you’ve been invested you with the presidency.”
In his turn, Adrian Despot said that his attendance at the Cotroceni consultations as the protesters’ representative would only be another improvisation, while asking demonstrators to not make the same mistake of replacing inexperts by another ones.
“Thank you for your support and trust. I understand your anger and the need for change. I am sick of improvisations just like you are. Me taking part in the consultations as representative would not be but another improvisation. I have not the needed expertize and knowledge for this (…),” Despot explains.