Calin Popescu Tariceanu withdraws from the presidential race. Coalition with PSD breaks up, ALDE ministers to resign from the Gov’t on Tuesday

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ALDE, PSD’s ruling partner, has decided on Monday to leave the ruling coalition and to withdraw its ministers from the Government.

Chairman of ALDE Călin Popescu Tăriceanu has also decided to withdraw from the presidential race, with an official announcement to be made this afternoon, sources told mass media. ALDE and Pro Romania are discussing to endorse an independent candidate in the presidential election, namely former MEP, actor Mircea Diaconu. At the same time, Tăriceanu will also give up his position as Senate Speaker, with a resignation in store at the beginning of the parliamentary session due on September 1.

ALDE ministers are to resign from the Government on Tuesday, except for FM Ramona Manescu, who has taken a surprise step announcing she is not leaving the Government despite political consequences, including assuming she will be ousted from ALDE. On top of all, ALDE might even vote a potential censure motion waved by the Opposition.

Tăriceanu has been under pressure lately by his own party and by Victor Ponta’s Pro Romania to quit the ruling coalition and team up for an electoral alliance, while endorsing an independent candidate for Presidency, namely Mircea Diaconu.

As a matter of fact, negotiations with the Social Democrats today have failed to reach an agreement, as Tariceanu could not promise PM Viorica Dancila that ALDE is not breaking the Government.

ALDE decided that, failing a programme to relaunch the ruling, they consider the current coalition is pointless and the decision is to leave the government.

ALDE leaders have voiced their discontent within the meeting with premier Dancila at Victoria Palace that she had not come up with any project to improve the ruling programme and to restructure the ministries.

In her turn, PM Dancila has allegedly summoned the PSD Executive Committee as a matter of urgency today at 5 p.m. to agree on a safety switch in case ALDE officially decides to break up the coalition.

PM Dancila: PSD gets on with the ruling

PM Viorica Dăncilă has announced this afternoon that PSD goes ahead with the ruling and invited anyone from ALDE and Pro Romania to join them, “those who have the courage to assume that”. The head of the Executive added that, beyond any political games, the stability of the governance is the most that counts.

“PSD will go ahead with the ruling and next to us will come all those from ALDE and Pro Romania who have the courage to assume this process, who understand that refusing responsibility and cowardice will not take Romania too far. Beyond any electoral calculation and goals of a small group, it is important that we don’t disappoint the citizens who voted us in 2016”,  Viorica Dăncilă posted on its Facebook account.

She warned that “if some ALDE members do not understand this, they will lose beyond repair“.

Actor says he might be endorsed by ALDE, Pro Romania in the presidential race

Actor Mircea Diaconu, a former MEP, has told RFI, he had been called for talks with ALDE and Pro Romania, as the two parties might endorse him to run for Presidency. Diaconu has announced his intention to join the presidential race on Sunday.

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Yes, it seems I will have some talks, I received a phone call and they called me for a discussion and I am going. I will negotiate nothing, I have nothing to negotiate, if someone is willing to endorse me, it’s OK, I am glad, but I won’t negotiate anything, I have nothing to give in return,” Diaconu said. The actor says his statute of a independent candidate remains unchanged.

Mass media reported that it was the former PM Victor Ponta who would have convinced his colleagues from Pro Romania to support Mircea Diaconu in the presidential election and to make an alliance with Tariceanu’s ALDE, after Mihai Tudose and Mihai Constantin had strongly opposed a common project with ALDE.

Sources within the Pro Romania leadership quoted by Digi24 revealed that Ponta is yet conditioning Tariceanu in the wake of a political alliance: he is asking Tariceanu to drop his presidential candidacy and to endorse Mircea Diaconu for Cotroceni, to leave the ruling coalition with PSD, to also step back from the helm of the future electoral alliance and to resign from the Senate Speaker position.

Ponta argued that he has “a moral duty” to Mircea Diaconu, whom he asked to resign from the Ministry of Culture because he was being investigated by the National Integrity Agency for conflict of interest, while reminding that, while he was the PSD chairman and Mircea Diaconu ran for an MEP seat as an independent “the Social Democrats in the polling stations made sure that no votes were stolen from Diaconu”.

He is a different kind of candidate”, Ponta said.

As for ALDE, Ponta says their consultations had been informal so far. “I don’t know what ALDE is going to decide. They will have to decide if they are endorsing Mircea Diaconu, if they are leaving the ruling coalition,” the former premier stated.

ALDE leaders are to decide today if they are getting out of the coalition with PSD. A final meeting with PM Dancila and PSD leaders is also expected today. The last encounter between ALDE and PSD ended with no decision.

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