Romania: The margins for Ciuca to form a government are narrowing

Romania: The margins for Ciuca to form a government are narrowing

Acting Prime Minister Nikolae Ciuca said on Wednesday that he would negotiate with both USR and PSD parties to support a minority government. He clarified that he would not submit his mandate and that he would submit the government programme and list of ministers to parliament by Saturday. Ciuca says he has a mandate for a PNL-UDMR minority government. However, the prime ministerial candidate did not rule out “relaxing” the party’s mandate. “The flexibility of the mandate has to be discussed and decided if necessary. By Friday at the latest,” Ciuca said.

The second round of consultations to form a PNL-PSD parliamentary majority last night saw another failure. The PNL insists on the formula of a “minority government supported by a parliamentary majority”, while the PSD wants to have ministers in the government. In fact, it initially called for nine ministries.

Yesterday’s meeting in Vila Lac was attended by Acting Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, PNL President Florin Citu and, on behalf of the PSD, President Marcel Ciolacu, First Vice-President Sorin Grindeanu, General Secretary Paul Stanescu and National Council President Vasile Dancu.

The two sides exited in less than an hour and agreed to meet one more time, each hoping that by then the other side would have backed down. That is, either the PSD agree to support a PNL-UDMR minority government or the PNL actually give Ciuca room to manoeuvre in the negotiations and agree to a PNL-PSD government.

This third meeting is expected to take place tonight evening or tomorrow morning so that, in the event of an agreement, there will be time to take all the steps provided for in the procedure laid down in the Constitution before Sunday, which is the end of the ten-day period available to Ciuca.

According to press reports, the PSD has limited its claims to seven ministries, including Finance, Health and – possibly – European Resources, as there is still a strong reaction from the provincial organisations to supporting the government without control over (financial) decisions. Within the party there is a clear choice not to support a minority government, Marcel Ciolacu said in a statement to Agerpres.

Yesterday Ciuca sent a letter to party leaders in which he proposed a “political truce” for the coming months. This “truce” would mean unconditional parliamentary support from the USR and PSD to a PNL-UDMR minority government. In his letter, the acting Prime Minister acknowledges that he is in a “serious blockage”.

The announcement was made by PNL President Florin Citu at a press conference at which Nicolae Ciuca was not present.

“I propose a political truce. To give Romania the opportunity to breathe and heal, to gather its strength and regain confidence in the future. Such a truce would not mean abandoning the values and political interests of the parliamentary parties, but prioritising some higher values and interests, which concern all citizens and the whole country. I believe that a ceasefire is the solution for Romania’s exit from the crisis,” the acting Prime Minister wrote in the letter sent to the leaders of the PSD and the USR.

USR President Dacian Ciolos said there is no question of a ceasefire, but the USR is ready to sit at the negotiating table to find solutions together with the PNL and UDMR. He also stressed that there is a need for a stable government and that the majority can be reconstituted./ibna