Update: President Iohannis postpones PM designation after Christmas, to discuss with Sevil Shhaideh next week

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President Klaus Iohannis informed in a press conference on Thursday, at the end of the second round of consultations with the parliamentary parties, that he would designate the future Prime Minister after Christmas.

The President began his address by referring to the commemoration of the Romanian Revolution and after that heralded his decision regarding the PM designation.

I am referring to the significance of these days of December for Romania’s recent history. The revolt against an abusive regime took the people to the streets. On December 22, 1989, Romanians said a clear ‘No’ to dictatorship. Let’s remember today the Revolution’s martyrs with deep respect and gratitude. A free, democratic Romania would not have been possible without their sacrifice.

C0nsultations ended after two days. We had two proposals for the PM position: PSD has proposed Mrs. Shhaideh and PMP has proposed Mr. Tomac.

Meanwhile, a PSD-ALDE-UDMR coalition has been set up. Hence, I will have discussions on these topics in the upcoming days and the designation will occurr after Christmas.

I wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!”

In retort, the Social Democratic Party chairman Liviu Dragnea admitted he had heard about the President’s decision on TV and that he would have expected that Iohannis should make the nomination today.

Dragnea reiterated that Sevil Shhaideh remains the Social Democrats’ sole proposal.

“We were ready for the announcement to be made today so that the Parliament should be ready to hear the ministers and vote the Government. I regret the announcement hasnt’ been made today, I heard he would like more discussions, every man with his pace,” the SocDem chairman stated, adding that the Parliament would have been ready to vote the new Cabinet by New Year’s Eve.

The President probably wants to discuss more with Mrs. Sevil Shhaideh. We were interested that this government should be installed this year,” he further said.

Asked if the head of state might designate someone else, Dragnea answered: “It would make no sense to forward another proposal that should be voted by a minority“. Moreover, Dragnea warned that if any PSD member accepted another proposal made by President Iohannis would be “immediately expelled from the party”.

Discussion with Sevil Shhaideh next week

The media informed Thursday evening that President Klaus Iohannis has had a phone conversation with the proposed Prime Minister Sevil Shhaideh, upon the head of state’s initiative. Political sources say the two will have a discussion at the beginning of next year.

PMP proposes Eugen Tomac

The second round of consultations between president Klaus Iohannis and the parliamentary parties took place on Thursday with the People’s Movement Party (PMP) and national minorities coming to the Cotroceni Palace.

PMP chairman, former president Traian Basescu announced that they propose Eugen Tomac for the PM position.

For we are in opposition, we forwarded our own proposal for the Prime Minister position, namely Eugen Tomac. That’s why we are in the opposition, to create competition,” Basescu argued.

He pointed out that Eugen Tomac “is an experimented politician, an unionist, a ma that knows the country well and has a good image in Brussels”.

I am the best, but not young enough (for the PM position),” Basescu yet added.

Asked what are the chances that their candidate to actually become PM, Basescu answered: “Mr. Iohannis is not in the most fortunate situation in terms of options right now, but we did our job as an opposition party. It’s not possible that the Opposition say <we have no proposals>, “ the former head of state explained.

As for the PSD’s proposal, Sevil Shhaideh, Traian Basescu stated that she has “an exceptional reputation”, but no political experience and that’s why there is the risk that she is just a façade for Liviu Dragnea and the “mighty men in PSD”.

According to Basescu, Sevil Shhaideh “has an exception reputation inside the Turkish-Tatar community in Dobrogea where she is coming from (…) She has a husband who has been working in the Syrian Agriculture Ministry for 20 years, but her professional reputation is exceptional inside the community”.

At the same time, the lady has zero political experience. She is not connected to the PSD decision-making hardcore and for that reason I believe the risk that she is just a façade for Mr. Dragnea and the might men in PSD is major. Or, Romania should not turn to an Islamic-like leadership, like in Iran. There is a government, an elected president, but behind them, the final decision is in the ayatollahs’ hands,” Basescu commented.

On the other hand, the leader of the national minorities, Varujan Pambuccian, had said after consultations that the prime minister would be most probably designated today, revealing that they will vote for the new Government.

“The matter is clear (…) It’s a situation of automatic pilot due to the majority that PSD and coalition with ALDE have in the Parliament. Probably we’ll have a new prime ministers tonight,” Pambuccian said.

He revealed their endorsement for the PSD’s proposal, Sevil Shhaideh, and described her as “an extremely hard-working, intelligent and serious person, who keeps her word.”

Our vote will not influence the PM election, but it will be a vote in favor,” he added.

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