The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate have convened in separate plenary sessions on Monday to establish the future structures and committees of the recently elected Parliament and to validate mandates in order for the MPs to swear in.
After this procedure the speakers of the lower and upper chambers of the Parliament will be elected, as well as the other members of the Standing Bureaus, then the parliamentary committees will be set up.
After some failed negotiations between PSD, PNL, USR and UDMR earlier on Monday, eventually they reached an agreement later in the evening, and PSD got the leadership of several major committees.
Earlier in the day, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) had threatened to boycott the session if the party is not included in the share of positions in the special committees of in the leadership of the Bureaus of the two Chambers.
Among the committees to be led by PSD is the transport committee, the economic and agriculture committees in the Chamber of Deputies and the foreign policy committee, the health committee and the committee for EU affairs in the Senate.
As a whole, PSD secured the leadership of 8 committees in the Chamber of Deputies, and another 8 ones in the Senate.
PNL has 5 committees in the Chamber of Deputies and 6 in the Senate, while USR-PLUS has the leadership of 4 committees in the lower chamber and 4 committees in the Senate.
AUR has two committees in each chamber, and UDMR has 3 committees overall, while the minorities group has got the helm of the committee for human rights.
PSD deputy Alexandru Rafila had said before the session of the Chamber of Deputies that the vote of the parliamentary elections should be considered in assigning the positions in Parliament, underlining that PSD has ranked first in elections and one in three deputies is from PSD.
As negotiations between the leaders of four parties, Marcel Ciolacu (PSD), Ludovic Orban (PNL), Dan Barna (USR) and Kelemen Hunor (UDMR) have failed this afternoon, for they had reached no agreement on sharing the leadership positions in Parliament, the Social Democrat lawmakers threatened to boycott the sessions of the two chambers, thus blocking the validation of the new Parliament.
PSD asked positions at the helm of the Parliament and the leadership of some major committees, such as the Education, Labour, Health and Economy committees.
Parliamentary sources told HotNews.ro that PSD plans to block the election of Ludovic Orban as speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
Dacian Cioloş, the USR PLUS co-chair told Digi24 that they have two names to propose in the coalition with PNL and UDMR: Anca Dragu as Senate Speaker and Vlad Voiculescu as Health minister.
“We’ll have Anca Dragu to work in partnership with Ludovic Orban at the Chamber of Deputies (…) If this proposal passes the colleagues’ vote, Anca Dragu will be the first woman to take the seat of Senate Speaker”, Ciolos said.
Some AUR MPs defied rules, wearing no face masks
The first plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies is led by Lucian Feodorov, AUR deputy, as alderman, assisted by the youngest members of Parliament, four assistants, two from AUR, one from PSD and another one from USR.
However, the AUR alderman ignored the mask-related rules imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as he took out his face mask and put it under his chin while he was reading the Rules of Procedure of the plenary session.
Lucian Feodorov , aged 78, is the oldest deputy represented in the new Parliament. He was deputy prefect of Botosani until 2000 on behalf of CDR and he was now elected on AUR lists in Botosani county.
According to the procedure, the oldest MP is chairing the first session of a new Parliament, assisted by four of the youngest lawmakers.
The sanitary protection rules prompted by the pandemic have been also ignored by AUR senator Diana Sosoaca, known for her tough anti-mask stance, who wore no face mask at all during the plenary session of the Senate. She used to say that she cannot wear masks due to some medical issues.
Interim PM Nicolae Ciuca, also elected senator of Dolj, has asked the state institutions to check Diana Șoșoacă’s medical certificate invoked in order to not wear the protection mask.
As a consequence, the Senate has sent memos to the Health Ministry and to the Public Health Department to check Sosoaca’s alleged medical certificate that she invokes for not wearing the face mask.
According to the existing rules in force, only those suffering of diseases that affect the oxygenation capacity are exempted from the rule on wearing protection masks inside public closed spaces.