Romania: Government formation consultations continue after PNL, USR-PLUS, UDMR co-operation collapses

Romania: Government formation consultations continue after PNL, USR-PLUS, UDMR co-operation collapses

Consultations between Romanian President Klaus Iohannis with the political parties for the election of the new Prime Minister continue with successive meetings that kicked off at 11.00. The first meeting was held with a delegation of the Social Democratic Party PSD, which gathered the largest number of votes at the December 6th elections.

The PSD (Marcel Ciolacu, Paul Stănescu, Sorin Grindeanu, Gabriela Firea and Vasile Dîncu) tabled the proposal of Alexandru Rafila as prime minister, head of the national unity government.

According to reports, the meeting lasted only 20 minutes. Outgoing PSD President Marcel Ciolacu gave an interview saying that the President congratulated his party on winning the election, and described the proposal for the appointment of Prime Minister Rafila as “honorable”.

At 12.00, Klaus Iohannis received the delegation of the Liberal Party PNL consisting of Ludovic Orban, Florin Cîțu, Raluca Turcan, Rareș Bogdan, Iulian Dumitrescu and Robert Sighiartău.

Following the meeting, Ludovic Orban stated inter alia that his party does not agree to co-govern with the PSD, adding that he had proposed a vote for the Presidency of the Parliament, with the loser being endorsed for the Presidency of the Senate.

At 13.00 the USR-PLUS Alliance delegation consisting of Dan Barna, Dacian Cioloș, Dragoș Tudorache, Cătălin Drulă and Cosette Chichirău, arrived in Cotroceni.

At 14.00, the AUR represented by George Simion, Claudiu Târziu, Dan Tanasă and Diana Șoșoacă arrived it Cotroceni for consultations. On Sunday, the AUR leader announced that he would endorse Călin Georgescu, former executive director of the National Center for Sustainable Development, as Prime Minister.

At 15.00 it was the turn of the Hungarian UDMR party to meet with President Iohannis. The UDMR was represented by Kelemen Hunor, Cseke Attila, Benedek Zakariás and Bíró Rozália.

UDMR President Kelemen Hunor said after consultations at the Cotroceni Palace that he did not speak on behalf of the prime minister during talks with the president. He clarified that the UDMR wants a PNL and USR PLUS coalition, in which the party that received the most votes shall nominate the prime minister, while the other two parties shall assume leadership of the two institutions of Parliament. “We have no preference,” Kelemen said.

The round of consultations ended with the group of minority MEPs represented by Varujan Pambuccian, Dragoş Zisopol, Silviu Vexler and Ovidiu Ganţ.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on a meeting on Friday between AUR leader George Simion and PSD leader Vasile Dâncu at the IRES polling institute HQ, owned by Dâncu himself.

According to the Europa Liberă report, although the PSD officially has no intention of cooperating with the AUR, the party leaders in the province were asked to start contacts with AUR MPs with the aim of cooperating or attracting them to the PSD.

The meeting was confirmed by George Simion, who hinted that it aimed to gain the support of the PSD, in order to represent AUR with executives in the presidencies of the two houses of Parliament. “We do not want to take part in a government alliance,” he told Free Europe.

“It is possible that George Simion met with my colleague, but he did not meet with me,” said Ludovic Orban, responding to a question after meeting with President Iohannis.

At the weekend, the PNL, the USR-PLUS and the UDMR failed to reach an agreement after their talks and reached out to Klaus Iohannis with separate proposals. The Liberals nominated Florin Cîțu as Prime Minister, while the USR-PLUS endorsed Dacian Cioloș.

The UDMR proposed Kelemen Hunor as Prime Minister, while the AUR nominated Călin Georgescu.

The three parties, namely the PNL, the USR-PLUS and the UDMR, have yet to reach a solution to the way in which the top state positions shall be distributed. /ibna