Romanian president postpones nominating new premier as political parties remain deadlocked

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romania’s president has deferred nominating a new prime minister after a day of talks with the country’s political parties about the makeup of a future government failed to yield results.

President Klaus Iohannis had been expected to name a candidate for the post of premier on Monday evening who would then have 10 days to form a government.

But none of the parties could reach a consensus on how that should happen.

The inconclusive outcome of Dec. 6 parliamentary elections and the unexpected success of a hitherto unknown far-right party which came fourth have complicated negotiations.

The Social Democrats came first, but won only about 30% of the votes, and are hampered by the fact that no party wants to go into a coalition with them.

The center-right Liberals who had led a minority government for the last year underperformed and came a disappointing second. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban resigned over the poor result.

 They are trying to put together a center-right coalition but are having difficulty in asserting their authority over the Save Romanian Union-Plus, a group of young reformers without much experience in Romanian politics who came third and are keen to govern.

The two parties are deadlocked on who should get the two top jobs: the post of prime minister and the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies. The Liberals want both posts, which is a sticking point with the Save Romania Union which wants at least one of the positions.

The third group in the coalition, the Union of Democratic Hungarians in Romania, are seeking ministerial portfolios, but are leaving the top jobs to the other parties.

“I had a first round of talks with the formations that will be represented in the new Parliament ,” President Iohannis said. “We had a good exchange of opinions… but I can tell you that today we don’t have the conditions to nominate a candidate to form a new government.”

The president said at least one of round of talks was needed “until things crystallize.”

He said the new Parliament would meet for the first time on Dec. 21.


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