Consultations started at Cotroceni Palace on Wednesday between President Klaus Iohannis and leaders of the parliamentary parties, with PSD and ALDE missing, as announced since Monday. PNL, USR, UDMR, PMP and national minorities group came to express their views on the next government, premier.
At the end of the consultations round, President Klaus Iohannis said that the future Prime Minister has to come from a political formation or a coalition which will hold the majority in Parliament.
He explained that the respective political formation must convince him that it holds the majority with a simple arithmetic calculation of the seats, and that arithmetically it is possible for right-wing parties to form an alliance, but warned that this version must be also politically feasible.
Asked if Dacian Ciolos is still an option for the position of Premier, Iohannis replied: “I cannot give you a public answer on this topicbefore holding consultations with all political parties.” However, the President pointed out that none of the parties claimed to give the Premier during Wednesday’s talks, nor did they come up with proposals.
As far as the PSD and ALDE’s absence is concerned, Iohannis reiterated that “their bolshy attitude is not healthy”.
What did the parties attending the consultations say?
Liberals were the first guests at the presidential palace, then USR, the party ranked third in elections, to enter Parliament for the first time. President Iohannis congratulated the new leaders of the PNL (Raluca Turcan was named interim chairwoman on Tuesday after the previous one Alina Gorghiu resigned following the poor results in elections) and also congratulated USR for acceding in Parliament.
While Liberals said they have no PM proposal at the moment, but if it was in this situation their first option will be Dacian Ciolos, while USR opined that Ciolos version is less probable due to the general elections’ outcome, which ranks PSD first.
“At the moment we don’t have a PM proposal, but if we were to be in this situation to make a proposal for the premier seat, he will be definitely a honest, involved man with facts speaking for himself (…) If we are in this position to propose a premier, it will definitely be Mr. Ciolos, but at the same time we are realistic and if we get to that, it must be a person who’ll be able to get the right wing together,” said the PNL interim chairwoman Raluca Turcan.
She added that Romania needs a right programme, while informing that they haven’t yet kicked off a dialogue with the right wing parties that will accede in Parliament.
In his turn, the USR leader Nicusor Dan said after the consultations with the Romanian president that the Ciolos version as prime minister is “too less probable” due to the elections’ outcome, while announcing that his party will not vote a PSD Government either.
“I told the President that we have endorsed and we keep on supporting the version with Ciolos as PM, only that the results, the number of mandates in the Parliament, make this version a less probable one. We have constantly said during the electoral campaign that for this moment when the parties have a poor credibility among the population, a technocrat prime minister, not depending on the parties’ groups of in interests, would be the best solution, and Dacian Ciolos, through his experience, is a suitable solution,” Nicusor Dan argued.
He further said that USR would veto a government set up around PSD, around Liviu Dragnea, pointing out “it’s inadmissible for Romania to have a government led by a criminally convicted prime minister.”
Dan also revealed that President Iohannis congratulated USR for managing to accede in Parliament.
The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) head Kelemen Hunor said after the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis that his party is not seeking ministerial chairs and positions, but partners in Parliament to enforce the basic elements of its political programme. Kelemen Hunor stressed that the UDMR endorses the protection of the national minorities’ rights, advancing that “amendments” must be made concerning the use of the native language in administration and in the relation with the local administration.
Former president Traian Basescu, chairman of the People’s Movement Party (PMP) said that he informed President Iohannis that the PMP will be part of any political solution against the Social Democratic Party (PSD).” At rule or in the Opposition, we are anyway in opposition to the PSD,” Basescu stated, adding that the head of state “is acting correctly” when he refuses to appoint a criminally convicted person as prime minister.
The former president underlined that in case Right-wing alliance is designed, PMP will endorse it, while he will be the best premier. “If it is made, we will support it and, as I have told you, I am the best prime minister the Right-wing could have. (…) The President knows it, I have told him I am the best prime minister. (…) I said we have the availability to give the prime minister, same as we have the availability to support without being a part of the government,” Traian Basescu said.
However, when asked about the possibility of the formation of a Right-wing government, the leader of the parliamentary group of national minorities Varujan Pambuccian said that this is a “joke.” “It would mean a minority government and it will be very, very difficult to govern. It is a joke. No,” he said after the consultations with President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace.