UPDATE. Romanian parties make breakthrough on formation of new government

Foto: INQUAM/George Călin

Romanian parties have made a breakthrough in negotiations for a new government after three parties agreed on who would hold the key posts of prime minister and parliament speaker in a future center-right coalition.

The center-right National Liberal Party which came second in elections gets its pick, Finance Minister Florin Citu to be prime minister, while Liberal chairman and ex-Prime Minister Ludovic Orban will be speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, according Mr. Orban.

In exchange, the junior Save Romania Union-Plus party and a party representing ethnic Hungarians will each hold a post of deputy prime minister and an array of ministerial posts.

The Liberals needed to concede several important ministerial portfolios to both parties in order to get the positions of premier and parliament speaker, according to earlier reports.

Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis deferred nominating a new prime minister on Monday after a deadlock between the three parties.

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

The Social Democrats came first winning about 30% of the votes, but were hampered by the fact that no party wanted to form a a coalition with them.

They won 2016 elections but their time in office was cut short by protests over a contentious judicial overhaul that diluted the anti-corruption fight. They were dismissed in no-confidence vote.

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

Under the new agreement, the Save Romania Union will have get six minsters while the ethnic Hungarian party, the UDMR will have three. The Liberals get to control nine ministries.

The Save Romania Union-Lus will control the justice portfolio, while the ethnic Hungarians have the development, environment and youth and sports ministry.

According to the earlier reports, the Liberals who have led a minority government for the last year want to keep the defense, interior, foreign, justice, transport, EU funds, development and finance ministries.

But they face a challenge from USR-PLUS which also wants justice and finance portfoloios. The party is also angling for the post of Senate speaker,

The UDMR could get agriculture, communications and youth and sports.

Romania’s new Parliament which was elected on Dec. 6,will have its first session on Monday when lawmakers will be sworn in and elect the two speakers.


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