Political pragmatism. Romanian Social Democrat leader wants ‘unlikely marriage’ governing alliance to last beyond 2024

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

The leader of Romania’s Social Democracy Party wants the current governing alliance, an unlikely marriage between his party, the Liberals and a smaller ethnic Hungarian party to continue after the 2024 parliamentary elections.

In an appeal for pragmatism, Marcel Ciolacu, chairman of Romania’s biggest party, said the multi-colored coalition had created a “efficient and credible” government.

Eyebrows were initially raised when the center-left Social Democrats, the center-right National Liberal Party, and an ethnic Hungarian party which traditionally plays the role of kingmaker in Romanian politics, decided to form a ruling alliance in November.

It came after a previous centrist coalition collapsed when the Save Romanian Union, a progressive group, left the government. The Liberals led a minority government before forming the coalition in a bid to end years of political instability.

Romania had seven prime ministers between 2017 and 2022.

Despite criticism from supporters of both sides, the alliance _which is governing at a time of war in Ukraine, energy price hikes and the coronavirus pandemic_ has offered stability and muffled political bickering.

„From my point of view the best solution in the future is to remain a coalition even if we have different political ideologies,” Mr Ciolacu told Antena 3 on Monday. .

The others two parties in Romania’s Parliament are the Save Romania Union and the nationalist pro-Russian AUR party, whose ideologies are even farther apart than the Liberals and Social Democrats.

Under the coalition agreement, the role of the prime minister rotates after 18 months.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, Liberal Party chairman, will hand over to a Social Democrat premier before the next parliamentary elections in 2024.

The three parties will run separately for local, parliamentary and presidential elections.

Update. VIDEO | Romanian nationalist leader assaults energy minister during parliament address


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