Romania’s attempt to secure a majority in Parliament has so far failed. After yesterday’s contacts with the PSD and the USR, which did not bear fruit, President Klaus Iohannis called a meeting between Florin Citu and Nicolae Ciuca in Cotroceni in an attempt to unblock the situation.
Political sources told Hotnews.ro that at the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the acting prime minister would have some flexibility in the negotiations to allow him to form a government with a majority in parliament.
Asked by reporters yesterday, Ciuca appeared to prefer cooperation with the USR, while Iohannis preferred a partnership with the PSD.
However, today, Citu made statements in which he stressed that Ciuca does not have an expanded mandate because it is given only by the party and therefore not by President Iohannis. He also stressed that the mandate is for a minority government.
Asked how the meeting with Klaus Iohannis unfolded and how Nkocolae Ciuca’s mandate was expanded, the PNL President replied:
“I don’t know which meeting you are referring to. If there was to be an enlargement, it could only be done by the Permanent Political Bureau, there was no PGA meeting, so we remain as we were,” he said.
Analysts commented that Citu’s wish is that Ciuca should table the mandate due to failure to form a government so that he can then take it himself.
Citu also made a reference to early elections, but the polls do not favour the PNL.
A short while ago the situation in the PSD seemed to clear up. Marcel Ciolacu – who is in constant consultation with PSD mayors in the province – seems to support the solution of governmental cooperation with the PNL, instead of supporting a minority government.
PSD MP Alexandru Rafila, who was allegedly a potential mandate holder for the Social Democrats, told Antena 3 television last night that the PSD’s participation in government alongside the PNL and the UDMR is a solution that would help Romania successfully manage the pandemic crisis. He also stressed that there is a need for “a month of national solidarity” to take the necessary measures.
For its part, the USR raised four issues with Ciuca yesterday, the first being a clear protocol of cooperation, to avoid in the future what happened with Stelian Ion, but the prospects of PNL-USR cooperation are very small due to the opposition of Citu in particular.
USR spokesman Ionut Mosteanu told Profit News that if the PNL decides to open the doors of coalition talks, then it will have to close the door to the PSD. I don’t understand what plan, what strategy the Liberals have, he said, but they have to decide because they have “plunged the country into chaos”.
Meanwhile, at noon, in Parliament, former PNL president Ludovic Orban , announced his resignation from the PNL Parliamentary Group, clarifying that he is not leaving the party “yet”.
Orban said that “what has happened in the last four months is beyond imagination. A political crisis was artificially created, a political party was dissolved, the coalition was dissolved. I do not share this way of doing politics. I do not accept lobotomy surgery,” he said.
“I am not giving up on the PNL yet. It is the party to which I devoted my entire life in my mature years. But to remain in the PNL, there are certain conditions,” he added.
One of them would be, according to Orban, for the “PNL to turn its face to the citizens and its back to the ‘tenant’ of Cotroceni.”
Ludovic Orban entered politics in 1992 as a member of the Liberal Youth.
Choosing a military man as a peacetime prime ministerial appointee is a strange thing, but the UDMR can work with Nicolae Ciuca, the head of the union’s deputies, Csoma Botond, told RFI. Botond proposed a six-month ceasefire.
The UDMR wants a government with full power as soon as possible, he said. This can be done if political actors put aside their egos a little … to conclude a political truce, let’s say, for a period of six months and manage to reach a compromise, (so that) a parliamentary majority can be formed as soon as possible.
When asked why only for six months, he replied, “For six months, to get through this obstacle that the country is facing, with the health crisis, the energy price crisis, many issues that we have to solve. If we can find a majority that can work longer, we don’t have to bring down the government again in six months … I come back and correct, at least for six months to have a truce and work for the citizens.”
Responding to another question, he said he wanted the PNL-USR-UDMR coalition to be reconstituted, which would give a stable majority and not just for six months./ibna