Romania: Vote of confidence to the Citu Government to be decided on 12 March

Romania: Vote of confidence to the Citu Government to be decided on 12 March

The hearings of the nominated Cîtu cabinet ministers by the responsible Parliamentary committees were completed on Thursday afternoon. Of the sixteen Ministers nominated, nine received a positive vote and seven were rejected.

The nominees who received a favorable opinion are: Nicolae Ciucă (Defense), Costel Alexe (Environment), Adrian Oros (Agriculture), Lucian Bode (Transport), Ionuţ Stroe (Youth and Sports), Bogdan Aurescu (Foreign Affairs), Marcel Bolos (European Resources), Virgil Popescu (Finance) and Marcel Vela (Home Affairs), according to Agerpres.

Negative votes were given to: Lucian Heiuş – Finance replacing Florin Cîţu, Cătălin Predoiu (Justice), Ion Ştefan (Public Works), Bogdan Gheorghiu (Culture), Victor Costache (Health), Monica Anisie (Education), Viol and Social Protection).

Over the past few days it was reported that the joint House and Senate meeting would most likely be taking place on Monday, March 9, in order to decide whether or not a vote of confidence would be granted to the Cîţu Government. However, last night, USR leader Dan Barna said during a televised broadcast that “the vote of confidence is scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon”, that is, March 12, because it is on that day the Constitutional Court is expected to issue its ruling regarding the early elections, which was confirmed by parliamentary sources.

It is recalled that the Ombudsman awaits an appeal by the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the Orban Government’s emergency government decree on early elections.

Political analysts believe that in the event that the Constitutional Court rules that this decree, which shortens the deadline for early elections, is unconstitutional, it would be almost impossible to achieve the goal of early elections. The decree provided that the 90-day deadline for announcing early elections after the Parliament is dissolved would be reduced to 50, so that early elections could be held by June at the latest.

The Social Democrats expect the Constitutional Court to find the decree unconstitutional, according to party sources. That is why the Parliament’s plenary sitting is scheduled for 12 March, when the Constitutional Court will deliver its ruling. “If the decree is unconstitutional, I believe the Liberals will not be seeking early elections anymore, because they will be moved to August”, said a PSD official. April 25 marks 60 days since the first mandate, during which  two successive proposed governments must fail, according to the constitution. As of today, early elections may be held no earlier than 24 July.

Sources within PNL report that the possible unconstitutionality of the decree would make it impossible to hold early elections. In this case, “the Orban transitional government will remain in place until the regular election date”, the same sources argue. PNL, however, seems to have a plan that will allow the party to govern until the elections with a normal Orban Government (that is, with full powers), following the rejection of the Cîțu Government.

If the decree is found to be in line with the Constitution, early elections could be scheduled no earlier than June 14, when the 50-day period provided for in the decree has expired and the commenced procedure can be resumed.

There is, however, one more aspect regarding the elections. Apart from the deadline provisions, the PSD, UDMR, ALDE and Pro România parties also complained about the possibility granted to citizens to exercise their right to vote in any constituency, at home or abroad, regardless of their place of residence. Should the decree be found legal by the Constitutional Court, the aforementioned parties will be looking to amend the constitution in Parliament.

In other news, PNL Parliamentary Group chairman Florin Roman told Radio France Internationale yesterday that his party was open to accepting deputies/senators from Pro România and ALDE, because without such as compromise, he will not be able to win a parliamentary majority. /ibna