Consultations at Cotroceni: PNL, PSD advance no name for the PM seat, USR proposes Dacian Ciolos

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The political parties’ consultations with President Klaus Iohannis to nominate a candidate for the PM position after the Citu Cabinet had been toppled down by censure motion last week, have started at Cotroceni Palace on Monday. The first to talk to President were the Liberals.
The National Liberal Party has advanced no proposal for the PM seat, as they don’t have a parliamentary majority shaped for the time being.
PNL chairman Florin Citu stated that the new Cabinet will be still of his party, but they don’t have a majority in Parliament yet to endorse the new Cabinet, adding that PNl will negotiate in Parliament to secure this majority.

However, Citu has sent a clear signal that he doesn’t want USR to return in the ruling coalition. “PNL has a decision adopted in the Executive Bureau saying that we cannot go to rule next to USR if they vote the censure motion (…) At this point, there is a majority voted in parliament, USR-PSD-AUR. I don’t think they are so cynical and dismiss a government without coming up with solutions. For the time being we don’t have a parliamentary majority shaped, so we haven’t advanced any name for the PM office. When we have majority we’ll advance a name. Of course, we’ll negotiate. All options are on the table, as we said before the motion, we’ll do what it’s best for Romania and for PNL”, Citu said after consultations with the head of state. He avoided an answer on who they are negotiating with to secure endorsement for a Liberal Cabinet.

PSD chairman Marcel Ciolacu said that, from their point of view, a parliamentary majority will be shaped in favor of early elections. “We told the President that without a consistent majority in Parliament we cannot talk about a minority government. Romania is in a deep social, economic and health crisis. Either there is a majority for a potential government, or for early elections.”

Ciolacu said that the Social Democrats might eye the position of speaker of the Chamber of Deputies if “a majority is taking shape” in Parliament, adding that for the time being, the position of “chief of the Red Plague” party is enough for him.

USR in exchange proposed their new chairman Dacian Ciolos as a suitable person for the PM position.
“USR is going to the consultations to form a government as soon as possible to manage the explosion of the energy prices and the reforms entailed in the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience. The best solution is a PNL-USR-UDMR Cabinet”, Ciolos stated.
They also presented a set of reform measures during the talks with President Iohannis. Among the suggested measures, there are some to reduce the price of electricity by 32%, including the VAT cut for electricity and gas from 19% to 5% for the household consumers for 6 months, temporary subsidies granted to the small power plants, fiscal loans to factories.
USR also proposed a plan of firm measures to narrow down the COVID-19 transmission, such as limiting the number of participants and social distancing for some open-air events such as pilgrimages, sports competition or cultural events, deferral of the school year (two-week vacation, prolonging the school in the summer months), closing down bars and restaurants at 22:00hr for 30 days in the entire country, regardless of the infection rate and access to shopping centers, cinemas, restaurants based on the  green vaccination certificate.
“If the old parties are running from responsibility, USR is ready to take the responsibility to take over the ruling and immediately initiate negotiations with PNL and UDMR to form a government that should take Romania out of the crisis,” said Dacian Ciolos.
After the discussion with President Iohannis, Ciolos said that the head of state will analyse their proposal for the PM seat and will provide an answer “in the coming hours”. Ciolos added that PNL and UDMR have not denounced the coalition and that USR is still open for negotiations with these two parties. According to the USR chair, “President Iohannis is unpleasantly surprised that there had been no discussions among parties so far”.
AUR president George Simion said after meeting Iohannis that “they are waiting good will from the President”. Simion also said in a Facebook live post that “consultations were as formal as possible” and that President Iohannis made it clear that “dissolving the parliament” is not a solution.
Simion also asked Citu to step down from the interim PM position. “As long as he remains premier, the country is in danger. That man was dismissed by the Parliament (…) When I asked for Citu’s resignation, Mr. President had a rictus, he declined any responsibility”, AUR leader added.
 „Klaus Iohannis admitted that it is hard for a parliamentary majority to take shape“,  said in his turn, Claudiu Târziu.
UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor instead has proposed President Iohannis a crisis solution, namely to designate a Prime Minister from UDMR for six months, a period in which the political crisis can be solved.

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