Romania’s president expected to nominate prime minister after talks with political parties

Foto: INQUAM/George Călin

Romania’s president was expected to nominate a prime minister later Monday after talks with political parties, which have been complicated by inconclusive election results.

The candidate nominated by Klaus Iohannis following discussions with each party at the Cotroceni presidential palace is tasked with forming a Cabinet in the next ten days which will then be submitted to Parliament for approval.

The most likely option is a three-party center-right coalition, headed by the National Liberal Party which has run the country as a minority government since Nov. 2019.

The left-leaning Social Democrats won the most seats in Dec. 6 parliamentary elections, but none of the other parties have expressed a wish to form a coalition with them.

The party has suggested a ‘government of national unity’ with the center-right Liberals, but there is virtually no support for that in the Liberal camp as the two parties are traditional and sometimes bitter  rivals.

Over the weekend, the Liberals met with two other parties about a future government but talks were in deadlock over disagreement on who should hold key jobs.

The three parties say they have a viable option of forming a center-right governing coalition after no party won a majority in Dec. 6 elections.

The Liberals who did worse than expected in the ballot have lost their bargaining position to some extent. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban resigned over the disappointing result.

The Liberals choice for prime minister is Finance Minister Florin Citu , while Mr. Orban, who is chairman of the Liberal Party, wants to be speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.

But the junior partner, the Save Romanian Union-Plus, a mix of reform-minded youngsters without political experience, is pushing for former Premier Dacian Ciolos to be prime minister and party leader Dan Barna to be Parliament speaker.

The third party, the Union of Democratic Hungarians, wants to hold ministerial portfolios but is not putting forward candidate for the top jobs.

The Alliance for the Union of Romanians, a nationalist party that flew under the radar and stunned many by winning about 9% of the vote says it doesn’t want to join a governing coalition.

It has, however, put forward a candidate for prime minister.


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