More consultations at Cotroceni to nominate new PM. Who’s in the cards for the PM position?

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President Klaus Iohannis is expected to announce these days a new prime minister. New consultations are taking place at Cotroceni Palace today, but in a small formation, as the head of state invited for further talks the leaders of the parliamentary parties: Ludovic Orban (PNL), Dan Barna (USR) Victor Ponta (Pro Romania), Eugen Tomac (PMP), Călin Popescu Tăriceanu (ALDE), Kelemen Hunor (UDMR) and the leader of the national minorities group, Varujan Pambuccian.

After consulting the parliamentary parties on Friday, President Klaus Iohannis has announced in a press statement that a new PNL government is shaping out and that a new PM will be designated the latest on Tuesday.

If a favorite candidate for the PM position is the chairman of the National Liberal Party, Ludovic Orban, the first version of the Cabinet will be a one-colour one, so exclusively made of Liberals, after the other major Opposition party, USR, has repeatedly said it is not interested in joining ruling now, but only after early elections.

The second rumoured version is a PNL-PMP government team, with sources from PNL claiming that the Liberals are willing to give in two ministries to the party established by the former President Traian Basescu and led now by Eugen Tomac.

However, President Iohannis has asked Liberals in a meeting in Timisoara on Sunday that they’d better not miss the governance he is to entrust to them as of this week. “Please, I beg you, don’t make mistakes”, Iohannis told the PNL leaders.

“We started pretty well. Did you see their faces during the no-confidence motion? Well, this is what you get when you mess up with the Romanians, you lose. But, my dear ones, I beg you, please, make no mistake, don’t underestimate the PSD potential, don’t underestimate the Social Democrats, PSD is still a very strong foe, it is deeply rooted in the state structures. If there is a parallel state in Romania, then it is PSD, they are so screwed and in parallel with the Romanians’ interests,” President Iohannis said, according to Digi.24.

The head of state further warned Liberals that “the war is no over, as presidential, local and parliamentary elections are following”.

“We have a hump to get over, a very difficult period is ahead of you, because PSD is still there, PSD has by far the largest number of MPs, PSD is controlling most of the counties, has the most mayors. Yes, you will govern with a transitional Cabinet, but all will attack you. Don’t you ever think that Social Democrats will not easily concede“, he told PNL leaders, adding he expects “all kind of obstacles”, including the boycott against their Gov’t.

The draft of the potential PNL Gov’t

Pending the official announcement about the new prime minister, the Liberals have already shaped their Cabinet. In their view, there will be no more than 15-16 ministries, with some to be dismantled and others to merge.

PNL sources told that the Foreign Ministry would encompass also the European Affairs and Diaspora ministries.

The Research and Innovation portfolio is to absorbed by the Education Ministry, next to Sports and Youth.

At the same time, the Economy is to merge with the Tourism and Business Environment ministries. In order to avoid the infringement of breaking the separations of production and transport in the Energy sector, Liberals consider to transfer Transgaz and Transelectrica to the Ministry of Finances.

USR, UDMR condition support for the new Cabinet

USR leader Dan Barna says on his Facebook page that his party will support the new future government provided four conditions are met, reiterating that USR will join ruling only after the parliamentary elections, which are due at the end of next year.

More precisely, USR wants:

-adoption of the law on electing mayors in two rounds, arguing it is essential to legitimate the local elected leaders and to regain the democracy at local level

-vote on their initiative “No more criminals in public offices”, reminding that 1 million Romanians signed for this civic initiative.

-consulting the Parliament on the proposal for the designation of the future EU Commissioner on Romania’s behalf.

-repealing the law on the compensatory appeal that released over 20,000 criminals from prisons, with many of them committing new violent deeds.

All these can happen during one day of work in Parliament“, Dan Barna argued.

However, it seems that a wing in the USR is though endorsing the possibility of joining a Liberal government. USR deputy Stelian Ion has asked in a internal message of the party that USR should join ruling. In retort, chairman Dan Barna said his proposal will be discussed tonight with the central and local leaders of the Union.

In its turn, the Democratic Union of the Magyars in Romania (UDMR), has also conditioned their support for the next executive: to stop governing through emergency ordinances and to organise in a fair manner the next three rounds of elections.

Moreover, UDMR warned President Iohannis that they will not sign a black check before seeing what is the ruling programme of the future government and who is the next PM and ministers.

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