PM designate Nicolae Ciuca has kicked off talks with each political party in the attempt to secure endorsement for his potential Cabinet, yet the negotiations are at a standstill so far, as PSD and USR rejected the option to support a minority government consisting of PNL and UDMR, while tensions are mounting inside the Liberal party, which rejects USR as part of a future coalition and insists on a minority Cabinet.
More precisely, Ciuca wants to ask PNL to allow his mandate to be changed for negotiations, while the former Liberal PM Florin Citu is ruling that out. At the same time, the PNL chairman Citu is still blaming USR for the crisis, arguing that it’s USR and PSD’s responsibility to unblock the current deadlock. Citu is also threatening both parties with the nomination of a new premier and with snap elections.
Ciuca has met USR leader Dacian Ciolos on Sunday, stating after the meeting that the USR has a tough stance on not endorsing a minority government, favoring in exchange the restoration of the former ruling coalition (USR-PNL-UDMR).
The PM designate admitted that PNL has to agree to change his mandate to negotiate and that he will have further talks with the Liberals in this regard.
“USR does not support a minority government and there is a solution, namely that of restoring the coalition (…) As I have no mandate on that, I was not able to answer this issue. I will go to the party and talk to the party leadership and see what decision is made. (…),” Ciuca stated.
The prime minister-designate also said the situation was “very difficult” and called for political maturity.
Asked what the chances are for a government to invest, Ciuca said he still has hopes: “Now I still have hopes that a government can invest in this term. When I consider that these chances are no more, I will proceed as such.”
Ciuca also spoke on the phone with PSD chairman Marcel Ciolacu, with PSD making it clear they don’t want to join ruling and that there are either no negotiations with PNL about endorsing a minority government, as the Liberal are very strict in this respect. Ciolacu also sent to Ciuca those 10 priorities suggested by PSD and that they want included in the PM designate’s ruling programme. The PSD Head said Romania needs a stable government, otherwise “it would better for us to get back to people”.
In his turn, Ciuca said he will analyse those 10 priorities submitted by the Social Democrats, with talks to be resumed.
On the other hand, the PNL president, Florin Cîțu did not accompany the appointed prime minister Nicolae Ciucă to the meeting with USR. Florin Cîțu made a press statement at the party main headquarters, asking the PSD and USR leaders to show political maturity and to support the minority government, otherwise there is also the option of early elections.
Citu argued that the solution to overcome this political crisis and over the tough winter ahead is for PSD and USR to vote a minority government led by Nicolae Ciuca, and that, if this is not possible, the real alternative is for early elections. He also added that nobody in the PNL leadership had proposed the variant that USR should return to the coalition.
Political sources told Digi24 that President Iohannis is to meet PM designate Ciuca this evening to discuss the option of restoring the coalition with USR, as negotiations with PSD have failed.