Romania: Exploratory contacts for the formation of a new government resume after Cîțu returns mandate to Iohannis

Romania: Exploratory contacts for the formation of a new government resume after Cîțu returns mandate to Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis’s exploratory meetings with party delegations aimed at forming a government are scheduled to begin at noon and will be concluded at around 5pm.

The series of meetings that are each scheduled to last half an hour are as follows: PNL – PSD – USR – UDMR – PMP – ALDE – Pro Europa Parliamentary Group and National Minorities Group.

“We haven’t got a moent to lose. I urge Parliament to work uninterruptedly next week so that a full-fledged government can be sworn in next week, with which I can devote 100% to combating the effects of the new coronavirus, finally having at our disposal all the tools to take the measures required”, Klaus Iohannis said in statements he made last night, after Florin Citu returned the mandate. “Our first priority, he added, is to protect citizens’ health. That is why, I repeat, petty fights and political games have no place in today’s context. We are going through a very complicated, unprecedented period in which things are developing rapidly and unpredictably”, he added.

Florin Cîțu returned the mandate just minutes before Parliament’s 16.00 plenary session on the vote of confidence. As he explained on Facebook, he made the decision to submit the mandate “responsibly, transparently and professionally”, stressing that “the party president must also be prime minister”.

Recent developments have stirred up reactions from opposition parties, with Marcel Ciolacu, transitional president of the PSD, declaring that “the withdrawal of the Prime Minister-designate, Florin Cîțu, is the best decision (…)I promise we will speed up the hearings for the new government”. He made it clear however, that if Victor Costache is included in the ministers of the new government, his party will vote against it. According to Ciolacu, the best solution to resolving the current crisis is a government of national unity under a technocrat, but the PSD will not propose a name for the prime minister in today’s consultations. He also said in his statements that it is possible for Parliament’s plenary session to convene as soon as Monday for a vote of confidence, after Klaus Iohannis hands over the new mandate.

The chairman of the PSD parliamentary group, Alfred Simonis, said that “the prospect of this Government receiving a vote of confidence has terrified them”.

USR President Dan Barna said in Parliament yesterday that wit hthe submission of the mandate by Florin Cîțu, the PNL has proven that it has been playing petty political games.

The UDMR has called on President Klaus Iohannis to urgently put forward a serious proposal for the prime ministerial position, arguing that the “political circus” should be left aside.

The PMP will propose to Klaus Iohannis to nominate Traian Băsescu for prime minister, stressing that he has the necessary experience and could take appropriate action at a time of crisis caused by the coronavirus disease.

PLUS President Dacian Cioloş said in a televised statement on Digi24’s evening news that he had spoken with Florin Cîţu two days before he tabled the madate and assured him that he wanted to govern. The way in which the “PNL handled the appointment of the prime minister and the preparation of the vote of confidence shows a lack of seriousness”.

Press reports suggest that Ludovic Orban pressured Florin Cîțu to drop the mandate and that President Klaus Iohannis would re-elect Orban as prime minister. The strategy is for Orban to receive a new mandate and probably form a government with the PMP and USR./ibna