Parliament OKs Orban Cabinet by 240 votes. Swearing-in ceremony at Cotroceni

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Ludovic Orban Cabinet has obtained the Parliament’s Ok by 240 votes, despite the PSD’s boycott in an attempt the quorum will not be met. The Senate and Chamber speakers have also boycotted the plenary session, which was chaired by PNL senator Alina Gorghiu.

President Klaus Iohannis has signed the decree to appoint the new Government. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at Cotroceni Palace at 7 p.m.

 

“Thank you for trusting us”, said Ludovic Orban after the votes had been counted.

The government needed 233 votes to get the Parliament’s go-ahead and it obtained 240.

“Romania has a legitimate government despite the pathetic and shameful boycott,” the PM-designate Ludov Orban said after the investiture vote.

“I thank our partners who voted next to us, to all the lawmakers who put Romania’s interests first. We are still counting on them at the debate in Parliament on the bills in our ruling programme. We are ready to swing big from the start. We’ll have a plan to kick off the activity for every ministry (…) I talked to the Romanian President, we are waiting for the procedures to be concluded and after that we’ll go to Cotroceni to swear in,” said Ludovic Orban.

Asked if his gov’t is assuming responsibility for certain draft laws, Orban replied they might also resort to this parliamentary procedure, for instance to postpone the enforcement of the law on the magistrates’ early retirement.

Several Pro Romania MPs and at least 2 from PSD have also voted in favor of Orban Cabinet, despite the decision of these parties’ leaders to boycott the vote or vote against.

“I thank those MPs from Pro Romania for their attitude. Depending on their decisions, if they stay in Pro Romania or not, they remain our partners,” Orban said.

Pro Romania has been divided in two camps over endorsing the Orban Cabinet, with chairman Victor Ponta denouncing the move of some “dissidents”, Mihai Tudose included, to disobey his order to not vote the Liberal Cabinet.

The premier-designate also announced that the new Justice minister Catalin Predoiu will present the procedure and time frame of the procedure to name new chief prosecutors at the helm of the prosecutor’s offices after he takes office.

Orban added a prompt decision asap regarding the EU Commissioner will be taken after consulting President Iohannis and hearings will take place in Parliament.

The former government led by Viorica Dancila has refused for  the past six months to listen what the Opposition was saying, to not file the candidatures of Rovana Plumb or Dan Nica for the European Commissioner position and we ended up as the only country that has no candidate,” Orban accused.

He also slammed the PSD rulers for convening a government sitting at Victoria Palace on the exact day of the investiture vote. “Shame on them, it shows how ridiculous they are,” he said.

Orban confirmed his Cabinet will adopt a Government resolution to increase the minimum wage, “after a serious and thorough assessment and after consultation with the social partners”.

As for the boycott of the Parliament speakers, Senate Speaker Teodor Melescanu retorted that neither him nor the Chamber speaker Marcel Ciolacu had chaired the plenary session to prevent any doubts on the “honesty of the investiture procedure”. He claimed that, by not attending the vote count, PSD “has proved seriousness”.

Stances of the parties that voted the Government

USR chairman, Dan Barna, said the vote they are casting today is ” no blank check” and warned that USR will sanction “any potential side slip” of the new Government.

“Romania needs many reforms and we are in a delicate situation. A big challenge lies ahead you. It is the last day and the last remains of a PS-Dragnea government that has almost succeeded to take Romania out of Europe”, Barna underlined, while mentioning early election again.

“Calling early elections remains an essential topic. If we give PSD another chance to get back in one year it will be a common failure of the entire Opposition”, he stressed.

In retort to USR’s demands, Orban said: “We haven’t included all points from our agreement, by they all underlay the ruling programme. We’ll endorse the option of early elections if they are possible and provided there is a political pact on them to make sure we are not throwing the country in crisis”.

 

UDMR Chairman, Kelemen Hunor,  said in his turn that the government must allot 6 pc of GDP to Education. “If you enforce the laws adopted by the Parliament, if you respect the ratified treaties if you respect us, you’ll be respected in return”, Kelemen Hunor said.

Orban replied that his government will allot all resources that can be allotted to Education. “Let’s be honest, we cannot allot 6 pc for education and 4 pc for infrastructure from the first year. But we’ll do it as soon as possible, in the limits of the deficit”.

 

Varujan Vosganian said that ALDE had voted the Gov’t for the country needs a budget. He reminded the new PM about the 12 points required by ALDE within negotiations with PNL, underlining there are many important infrastructure projects, particularly the highway linking Moldavia to other regions. Vosganian also recalled the “so called abuses in justice” and asked the gov’t to defend Romania’s sovereignty.

Orban replied his government will prioritize the public investments. “As for judiciary, my stance has always been no tolerance to corruption, zero tolerance to abuses. There are institutions to sanction any kind of abuse. I haven’t understood the part with the servility. Romania will negotiate on par with every partner”.

Marius Pașcan (PMP) said that “the country’s stability is more important than anything now”, so PMP is voting the Orban Cabinet.

The list of ministers in the Orban Government is available here.

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