Romania: Finance Minister of the Orban Government Florin Citu is the new Prime Minister-designate

Romania: Finance Minister of the Orban Government Florin Citu is the new Prime Minister-designate

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, following the consultations with the parties last night, ordered Finance Minister of the Orban Government Florin Cîțu to form a government. Assigning the mandate to Mr. Cîțu constitutes the latest attempt by Mr. Iohannis to push for early elections.

(It is recalled that Mr Cîțu’s name as a possible prime minister-designate surfaced right after the fall of the Orban government, when there was a need for someone to receive the mandate who would certainly not be able to secure Parliament’s approval. It is also noted that Mr. Cîțu did not even get the approval of the competent Parliament committees during the hearings of the Cabinet members in the Orban I and Orban II Governments.

The media point out that it is almost impossible for the Cîțu government to obtain Parliament’s approval. The composition of the government has not yet been announced, but according to press reports it will not be much different from the Orban government.

PNL is seriously considering of not granting the new government the Parliament’s approval and instead give Mr. Orban the mandate once again, in order for the country to head to early elections.

PSD has announced in advance that it will not be voting for a PNL government especially with Cîțu as Prime Minister, whom Pro România had also opposed.

In a press conference, Mr. Florin Cîtu thanked President Iohannis and Mr. Orban, stressing that he would have discussions with the parliamentary partners on forming a government, while he added that him receiving the mandate constituted a guarantee of continuity with regard to the PNL governance, as well as regarding the party’s strategic orientation towards the departisanization of Romania from PSD (de-PSD-izare).

He added that he would be submitting the list of cabinet members to Parliament as soon as possible and expressed the hope that “this time PSD will not cause delays in timing”.

The party’s chairman Ludovic Orban stressed that the President’s decision was in line with PNL’s will. “Me and my colleagues, he said, will support this proposal. I will stand next to Florin Cîțu in every step of the way (…) I will be involved in the effort to secure a parliamentary majority”, Mr. Orban said. He clarified that on Friday morning PNL would approve the list of ministers and the government program.

He also said that Florin Cîțu is a genuine liberal and since his days as Finance Minister he has been the right-hand man of his Government

PSD President Marcel Ciolacu stated his party would be meeting on Friday to decide whether to re-appeal to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that Mr. Iohannis’s proposal was one that did not secure a majority in Parliament.

Marcel Ciolacu said in his statements that he did not believe Mr. Cîțu was Mr Iohannis’ choice. For this reason, he said, Mr. Cîțu made statements with Mr. Orban and not with the President, whom he accused of once again choosing the political crisis pathway.

The announcement of the Prime Minister-designate immediately after the consultations, which, after all, were very hasty, shows that the basic outlines of the procedure were simply followed and that the President had the solution already in advance, ALDE President Călin Popescu Tăriceanu told Annette 3.

UDMR announced that it would decide what to do after the announcement of the cabinet and the government program.

Who is Florin Cîțu

The now transitional Minister, Florin Cițu, is the leader of the Liberal Party’s Senate and one of the strongest critics of PSD. He was chief financial officer of ING Bank, which was heavily involved in what the press called a speculative attack on the leu in 2008. As a result of that attack, the treasurers of the participating banks, including Cîțu, were removed.

Born April 1, 1972, he has been a senator in PNL since 2016, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. He graduated from Grinnell College (USA, 1996), and holds a Masters’ degree and a PhD from Iowa State University. Prior to coming to Romania, he worked at the European Investment Bank (2003-2005) and the Central Bank of New Zealand (2001-2003).

Strongly critical of PSD, he fought tough battles with his predecessor Eugen Teodorovici. Among other things, Cîțu accused Teodorovici in 2019 of being granted diplomatic immunity by Moscow, of not paying taxes to the Romanian state because he is (was) a (co) governor of the International Investment Bank and, moreover, that he violated the law as he did not have the right to occupy other salaried posts for as long as he was a member of the Government of Romania.

Last March, during the debate on the 2019 Budget, the verbal fights between them turned into cursing. /ibna