Former FM Teodor Melescanu has won the Senate Speaker seat during the plenary session on Tuesday evening, vacant after Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s resignation last week. However, an ALDE member, Melescanu has been endorsed for the Senate’s helm by the ruling party, PSD, which stirred ALDE’s discontent. ALDE has quit the ruling coalition at the end of August.
On Tuesday, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, ALDE leader, has announced that Melescanu had been ousted from ALDE and that ALDE group in the Senate ceases to exist, because Melescanu is not a member of ALDE anymore, and minimum 7 senators are needed to form a parliamentary group in the upper chamber of the Romanian Parliament.
Earlier on Wednesday, ALDE vice-president Varujan Vosganian had asked for Melescanu’s ousting, arguing he had lost the political and moral legitimacy to be ALDE member after he had been elected Senate Speaker against his party’s will.
Teodor Meleşcanu has missed the plenary session of the Senate on Wednesday.
As for the Senate vote, Teodor Melescanu hasn’t got initially enough votes to become the Speaker of the Upper Chamber, so a second ballot has been held. Following this second vote, Melescanu has been elected by 73 votes. His contender, Liberal Alina Gorghiu has got 59 votes. Two voted have been invalidated.
Teodor Meleșcanu thus becomes the second statesman.
ALDE chairman Călin Popescu Tăriceanu announced this vote will not go unanswered and they will challenge it to the Constitutional Court for two candidates of the same parliamentary group have run. ALDE had endorsed Ion Popa for the Senate’s helm. And Melescanu is also member of ALDE group, although he had been supported by PSD.
After being elected as Senate Speaker Teodor Melescanu stated that his goal is to “regain the citizens’ respect and confidence” in Parliament.
PSD chairwoman Viorica Dancila congratulated Teodor Melescanu, arguing that the vote in the Senate proves that PSD still has a majority in Parliament.
“Congratulations to Mr Teodor Melescanu on being elected president of Romania’s Senate! Today’s vote certifies that PSD still holds a majority in Parliament and that, as I said last night, we have the courage and confidence to come up for a vote with a new government,” Dancila said in a Facebook post.