The USR chairman Dacian Ciolos, designated by President Iohannis as Prime Minister, has invited the leaders of PNL, UDMR and national minorities for consultations to discuss about forming a new government. The USR negotiation team consists in Dan Barna, Anca Dragu, Cătălin Drulă, Vlad Voiculescu and Ionuţ Moşteanu.
“In accordance with our coherent attitude since the parliamentary elections, the first step is to invite on Tuesday the PNL, UDMR and national minorities to discussions for the formation of a new government. We demand the restoration of the coalition in its original formula and we expect a gesture of reciprocity from our former colleagues. We hope that in the last hour they will show political responsibility. We decided in the National Bureau to send official invitations to meet with the PNL, UDMR and minority parliamentarians starting tomorrow to discuss the reform of the Governing Coalition “, said Dacian Cioloș.
The team working on the governing program includes Cristian Ghinea, Oana Țoiu, Anca Dragu, Claudiu Năsui, Dragoș Pîslaru.
USR reiterated in a press release that the best solution for Romania is a USR-PNL-UDMR government to manage the pandemic, the energy price crisis and implement the National Plan for Resilience and Recovery.
Dacian Ciolos mentioned he had spoken on telephone with PNL and UDMR leaders, and a first round of negotiations with them to rebuild the governing coalition will take place on Wednesday afternoon. “Many times they have claimed responsibility, I am convinced that they will show responsibility, especially at a time when people die in hospitals every day,” Ciolos said, stressing that there is a need for a rapid restoration of the coalition and the formation of a new government, with the support of national minorities.
In his turn, USR deputy Stelian Ion, the former Justice minister in Citu Cabinet, said that the PM designate Dacian Ciolos will go all the way, including with the option of a minority government if he doesn’t manage to restore the alliance with PNL and UDMR.
“Of course we are trying to restore the coalition. Our problem has never been with PNL or UDMR, it was with the fact that PM Florin Citu could not manage this coalition, he made many mistakes and he ended up in dismantling this construction (…),” Stelian Ion told RFI.
“In these circumstances, I think he (editor note: Florin Citu) must give up his pride and tapping his foot, for the country cannot hang on a sole person, it’s not written in the stars that Florin Citu must necessarily be prime minister, especially after he has made so many mistakes“, Ion added.
PNL, UDMR, PSD – first retorts
The first replies from PNL and UDMR were prompt.
The sacked deputy PM Kelemen Hunor, UDMR leader, said that President Iohannis saw there is a PSD-AUR-USR majority in parliament and that’s why he designated Dacian Ciolos as PM. Kelemen also said he had not spoken with Ciolos for four weeks.
The UDMR chair said that “we first need to clarify why they have toppled down the government”.
“You cannot say I put you down today, I punch you in the face and I ask you to marry me the next day”, Kelemen said.
First vice-president of PNL, Rares Bogdan said that Dacian Ciolos must first talk to the “his partners, PSD and AUR” to build a majority to endorse him in Parliament. He added that if PSD and AUR deny Ciolos, “then sure we can meet and have a dialogue with him”. Rares Bogdan also said that he is convinced that “Mrs. Sosoaca and the anti-vaxxers protesting in front of Cotroceni Palace can hardly wait to vote him (Ciolos)”.
The former PNL chairman, Ludovic Orban, opined that President Iohannis’ decision to nominate Dacian Ciolos as PM is a “bluff” as neither PNL nor the other parties will support the investiture of a Ciolos Cabinet.
PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu stated he had discussed nothing with Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni consultations about nominating Dacian Ciolos for the PM position, adding he doesn’t understand what is in the President’s mind, but that he is not surprised by anything anymore.
Ciolacu has ironically wished Ciolos success in his attempt to shape a majority. “I understand Mr. Dacian Ciolos is not talking to PSD, so I wish him good luck. PSD is the biggest party in Romania and I find it very unreliable of him”.
On the other hand, PSD chairman Marcel Ciolacu claims that the Social-Democrats “will shape a concrete majority next week in order to have the law on capping the energy and gas prices voted in Parliament.” He posted on Facebook that “after two years of administering the country, the Right wing exhausted any resource of credibility and competence”.