Romania: All Iohannis’ hopes on Ciucă

Romania: All Iohannis’ hopes on Ciucă

President Klaus Iohannis yesterday entrusted the mandate to form a government to retired General (retired) Nicolae Ciucă, on whom he pinned his hopes for the country’s exit from the health crisis and an improvement in the PNL’s image.

Nicolae Ciucă will be presented next week before Parliament with a government composition that will most likely include faces from the Cîțu government, after President Klaus Iohannis gave the mandate to form a government yesterday, sending the USR PLUS to the opposition. Its leaders attempted, in a phone call yesterday from Dacian Ciolos to Florin Citu, to reconstitute the coalition, but received a refusal.

Ciuca’s task is not an easy one. Cooperation with the PSD, even in the form of support through a vote in Parliament, is not to the liking of the PNL or the PSD as a whole, and the choice of the person is not to the liking of the UDMR.

In such a favourable situation for itself, the PSD has indicated to Ciuca that it expects a phone call from him – which has not been made even at this moment – and that he should come to the party’s offices, ‘as is natural’, to talk to him. He also arrogantly recalled that the PNL had said that it would not cooperate in any way with the PSD – which Mr Iohannis has countless times described as a ‘red plague’ (ciuma roșie).

However, the tone was lowered. President Marcel Ciolacu, who wants cooperation with the PNL, was confronted with internal party disagreements, after which he said he was not interested in the presidency of the Parliament, as was also stated by First Deputy President Sorin Grindeanu. Grindeanu ‘represents’ the group of PSD MPs who do not want cooperation with the PNL.

After the tremors, it became known that the PSD opposes the presence in the future government of Health Minister Raluca Turcan and former Health Minister and adviser to Florin Citu at the time of the pandemic, Nelu Tataru.

Meanwhile, in the PNL, former president Ludovic Orban has again stirred the waters, telling B1 TV that the mandate given to Ciuca is ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ and that next week he will resign from the PNL parliamentary group and will not vote for the Ciucă government.

Recently, after consultations that took place, the presidents of the PNL and the UDMR made statements in which they confirmed that the two parties will work together to form a government and the government programme. Citu said the discussions are on the government programme, which will be ready by tomorrow and then the faces of the new government will be decided, which will be known early next week. Responding to questions, he said that probably on Wednesday, the proposed ministers will go through hearings and on Thursday, the vote in Parliament will take place.

Citu, who had nothing to say, when asked if he did not feel betrayed by the electorate who voted for the PNL on the basis of assurances that it would no longer work with the PSD, replied when asked about talks with the USR, that yes, there could be negotiations to support the government in Parliament. When asked about consultations on the USR’s participation in the government, he answered neither in the affirmative, however, nor in the negative, but said that this was a question on which Ciuca should be consulted.

Ciuca – who has little political experience – did not, however, come out to make any statements.  Besides, he also made his appeal to all responsible political actors to support the government via Facebook.

Ciuca, about whom Orban used very sharp language when speaking to B1TV – as he did about Klaus Iohannis – had said in an interview with Radio România Actualități in 2018, when he was chief of the General Staff, that he would not enter the political arena when he retires and would not accept any public position.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, from Brussels, where he is taking part in the European Council meeting, said in morning statements that,

he gave Ciuca the mandate for the government to start its work and solve the problems of Romanians, the pandemic, the energy crisis, the winter difficulties and the reforms – which he said he had taken over since 2014.

Referring to the previous coalition with the USR, he underlined that in the past few days it became clear who created the crisis, blaming the USR politicians for not succeeding in carrying out the reforms in the judiciary, “whether the government will have this composition for one year, two or three, we will see, but the problems must be solved and someone must govern,” he said.” /ibna