Talks on Romania’s future government in deadlock

Foto: INQUAM/Alexandru Bușcă

Talks on Romania’s future government were in a deadlock on Saturday after the three parties in a future coalition couldn’t agree on who should hold key jobs in the next government.

The three parties which have offered to form a center-right governing coalition after no party won a majority in Dec. 6 elections were unable to come to a united position after six hours on who should be prime minister and who should be given the post of Parliament speaker.

The center-right National Liberal Party which has more seats than two junior partners wants to have their candidates in both positions.  

But the Liberals did worse than expected in the elections, coming second to the Social Democrats, and has lost its competitive advantage. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban resigned over the disappointing result.

The Liberals have proposed Finance Minister Florin Citu as their pick for premier. Mr. Orban, who is chairman of the Liberal Party wants to be speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.

But the Save Romanian Union-Plus, a progressive group, which came third in elections 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, is not angling for the top jobs.

The UDMR which represents the interests of the 1.4 million ethnic Hungarians and the USR accused the Liberals of “inflexibility,” on Saturday, according to reports.

 Negotiations will resume on Sunday.

The Social Democrats won about 30% far short of a majority and no party has offered to govern with them. The Alliance for the Union of Romanians, a far-right party was the surprise of last Sunday’s elections, coming from nowhere to win about 9% of the vote.

President Klaus Iohannis  is expected to nominate a premier to form a government on Monday which will then go to Parliament to be approved.


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