Romania: Procedure to order new government formation kicks off

Romania: Procedure to order new government formation kicks off

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis’s consultations with parliamentary parties began at 12 at noon and continue up until now, with a view to ordering a new government formation after the Orban government was ousted yesterday.

Klaus Iohannis first spoke with PNL President Ludovic Orban. In his statements following the talks, Ludovic Orban – who remains the leader of the now transitional government – implied that it was him who would be receiving President Iohannis’s mandate. Orban stated he was PNL’s choice for Prime Minister and that on Monday the party leadership would decide on the composition of the government and the government program. He added that talks would be held next week aimed at defining a strategy for calling early elections. The constitution clearly states that the President has the constitutional power to nominate the prime minister, the PNL president stressed.

Immediately afterwards, Klaus Iohannis met with representatives from PSD, who, together with Pro România, proposed the dean of the School of Political Science and Public Administration Remus Pricopie for the post of Prime Minister. PSD transitional president Marcel Ciolacu stressed after the meeting that he was considering appealing to the Constitutional Court in the event that President Klaus Iohannis re-nominated Ludovic Orban for Prime Minister.

“The decision is now up to the President of Romania. The President decides how short or how long this government crisis will be”, Ciolacu underlined, noting that PSD had a “joint program” with Pro România. He also added that his party would be supporting “any alternative proposal” regarding the elections, as long as it abided by the laws and the Romanian Constitution.

Last night, Ludovic Orban once again stated that his party would not be voting for any government, with the aim of speeding up the process of rejecting two governments being elected in Parliament within 60 days and calling for early elections.

Klaus Iohannis then met with the USR delegation. The party’s leader, Dan Barna, made it clear that USR sought early elections and would not be voting for a new government. However, if not enough votes are garnered for early elections to be announced, he said, he would support a government that would include an urgent government decree for a two-round election of mayors on its agenda. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Dan Barna had made a U-turn and proposed the Prime Minister, his political partner Dacian Ciolos, leader of the PLUS party.

The President then met with representatives from the Hungarian UDMR party, who, although voted to overthrow the Orban administration, announced that they were not looking for the formation of a new government and would not be proposing anyone for the Prime Minister’s position.

Mr. Iohannis is currently in talks with the PMP delegation, which has not clarified his position yet, and will then meet with the ALDE delegation. The party’s chairman, Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, said yesterday that it was possible they would be nominating someone for the prime minister’s office.

The President then met with a delegation of Pro România, which supports Remus Pricopie, and shortly thereafter with the Parliamentary Group on Ethnic Minorities.

After he wraps up with the meetings, most likely tonight, Klaus Iohannis will announce who will be receiving the mandate to form the next government.

According to the Constitution, the Prime Minister-designate requests, within 10 days of the assignment, a vote of confidence from Parliament for the government’s agenda and the members who will comprise it. The program and the list of the ministers’ names are discussed in Parliament at a joint sitting of the House and Senate, followed by a vote of confidence.

No. 89 of the Constitution provides that, after talks with the Presidents of the two Houses of Parliament and the Heads of Parliamentary Groups, the President of the country could dissolve Parliament if a vote of confidence for the formation of a government is not achieved within 60 days of the first mandate; it is only after the rejection of at least two attempts to form a government that this could happen. In this way, it seems that the way is paved for early elections to be held, a development the President of the country and PNL so desperately want.

However, PSD MP Eugen Nicolicea stressed that President Klaus Iohannis and the PNL leaders misinterpreted the constitution and pushed for early elections. In his view, there is a legal constitutional conflict between Parliament and the Presidential Administration, which will be resolved by the Constitutional Court.

No. 89 provides for the dissolution of Parliament as a means of resolving the government crisis, which was not resolved in Parliament because no government received a vote of confidence after two failed attempts and 60 days, and the aim is to elect a new Parliament to resolve the crisis, he stressed.

The country’s President, the Prime Minister and several political leaders are violating the spirit of the article no. 89 par. 1 of the Constitution, openly stating that they are looking to achieve early elections and are using as a means the unresolved government crisis that has been going on for more than 60 days.

If the President rejected the Prime Minister who proposes a parliamentary majority, as he has said, this would trigger a legal conflict of a constitutional nature, preventing the formation of a government with the stated purpose of dissolving Parliament and holding “early elections”.

If the Romanian President gives Ludovic Orban the mandate, this will also be a violation of the Parliament’s will, which has just withdrawn its confidence from Orban through the recent motion of censure, Eugen Nicolicea stressed. /ibna