Reconciliation in the ruling coalition, addendum signed

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After almost a week after Vlad Voiculescu’s dismissal from the Health minister position and following two rounds of negotiations, prerequisite and ultimatums, PNL, USR-PLUS and UDMR have reached an agreement on Tuesday night. The leaders of the three parties have signed “an addendum” to the Coalition protocol, announcing that the new Health Minister will be nominated on Wednesday.

The addendum says that major political decisions will be taken following a collegial agreement, with all members of the coalition and the PM attending.
Thus, the PM’s constitutional power to send to the Presidency the request to sack a minister will be exerted after the preliminary information of the party where the minister to be dismissed comes from, based on arguments enshrined in an objective assessment made by the prime minister and following a debate within the coalition, the document further reads.

“The Coalition, the Prime Minister and members of the government vow not to adopt public stances undermining the work and agenda of the government and members of the government. Public communication will be done in a spirit of mutual support and solidarity. Considering that the Prime Minister has been entrusted by members of this coalition, his constitutional prerogative to send the request for the revocation of a minister to the President is exerted after the previous notification of the political party that proposed the minister, on the basis of arguments encompassed within an objective evaluation made by the Prime Minister and after a debate in the coalition,” the document says.

According to it, the Prime Minister will allow a reasonable period of time to ensure the transition between the holders of the ministerial portfolio.

At the end of the second round of negotiations last night, the leaders of the three parties and PM Florin Citu have held a press conference, without though answering the journalists’ questions.

“I am very happy that we are taking the vaccination campaign as the main goal in this coalition. It is important to have a successful vaccination campaign and I am sure we will have a successful vaccination campaign. As of tomorrow we will have a Minister of Health who will take on a difficult portfolio, he/she will have my support and that of my colleagues in the Cabinet I lead. We will continue to make sure, as we have done so far, that the decisions we take are made following consultations,” PM Florin Citu stated.

“After two days of serious discussions, we agreed to sign an addendum to the coalition agreement, which would bring procedures and views that would lead to increased trust between partners, improved coalition mechanisms and, obviously, enhanced government performance.The political parties that formed this coalition are aware of their responsibility to ensure the good government of Romania and to implement the government program for which we have committed ourselves in Parliament and also to pursue the goals of this government program. Those who bet that we will not get along deluded themselves. We are a cooperating coalition, which is in a dialogue based on mutual respect, on trust, solidarity,” said the National Liberal Party (PNL) leader, Ludovic Orban.

The PNL, USR PLUS, UDMR coalition overcame a delicate situation and the functioning and success of this coalition depend on trust, respect and rules. After the two not at all simple days and after discussions that had delicate moments, we managed to have an addendum to the agreement underlying this coalition and we are very confident that through what we have agreed today together and in perfectly responsible manner we will be able to take Romania further in this fight with COVID and get Romania out of the pandemic and enter that direction of development and recovery of the society that the citizens are waiting for, that direction that Romania needs so much and that this coalition has proposed,” said USR PLUS co-chair Dan Barna.

As I said last week, this coalition has no alternative and I am glad that we have managed to reach a consensus on the government’s moving forward. There are no extraordinary, extravagant things in this addendum. There are things that will ensure a coherent functioning, coherent decisions in the coalition, both at governmental level and in Parliament and some emphasized items from the government program, without adding anything to our government program,” said in his turn Kelemen Hunor.

Other provisions

Coalition leaders also decided that the performance of a minister should be assessed regularly within the ruling coalition.

They also agreed that coalition meetings are be held every Monday, once in the Chamber of Deputies, once in the Senate, each party in the coalition will provide the secretariat by rotation for one month, and the topics on the agenda will be announced in advance to the secretary and will be approved by the leaders at the beginning of the coalition meeting.

Pledges

The additional document states that vaccination against COVID-19 is a priority for the coalition.

“The government will publish weekly the data on vaccination, the number of doses administered, the provision by centers, the percentages of persons in the categories stipulated in the piece of legislation adopted by the Government. Transparency is a rule, not an exception. All Coalition ministers must take measures to increase access to public data, to make budget execution, contracts and public procurement transparent where it exists. Health reforms will continue: transparency and efficiency of investments in hospital infrastructure, reform of hospital management. The reform of special pensions on the principle of contribution will be done by the end of the year. The laws on justice will be endorsed until the end of the year, respecting the principles of the international instruments ratified by Romania, as well as with the recommendations made within the framework of the European mechanisms – CVM, GRECO and the Venice Commission,” the addendum says,

Coalition leaders also committed to make the Electoral Code Committee operational, based on an agreed mandate in the Coalition.

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