Romania’s opposition insists on early elections as outgoing coalition steps back on nominating new PM

By bne IntelliNews November 6, 2015

Romania’s main opposition party, the National Liberal Party (PNL), has reiterated its calls for early elections during consultations carried out on November 5 by President Klaus Iohannis. 

PNL’s position was encouraged by the incumbent senior ruling party, Social Democratic PSD, which has abandoned plans to nominate a new prime minister. Iohannis will complete the first round of talks with the main political parties on November 6 and is expected to draw a conclusion afterwards.

“PSD has expressed balanced views, more nuanced, which do not rule out the early elections option,” PNL co-president Alina Gorghiu said after both parties held discussions with President Iohannis.

PSD president Liviu Dragnea proposed that the main political parties should agree on a set of actions, in line with demonstrators’ requests, and then nominate a government of technocrats that would enforce these actions. The broad coalition of parties should meet in a second round of negotiations to sketch the set of actions, he proposed. Regarding the issue of early versus term elections, he expressed no preference.

The ethnic Hungarian party UDMR has agreed with the call for early elections. The UDMR president, Kelemen Hunor, said his party supports the organisation of early elections, in case a constitutional procedure is identified. A government of broad political representation, to be appointed until elections, would not address the present challenges, Hunor said, adding that a politically-neutral cabinet of technocrats would be more appropriate.

The group of national minorities’ MPs, headed by Varujan Pambuccian, said that a large number of the MPs in his group agreed with the early elections scenario. He also stressed that the new government, needing to rule until the early or term elections, should be politically-neutral and formed by technocrats.

As regards the timing of early elections, the interpretation of the legal provisions differ. UDMR president Hunor explained that parliamentary elections cannot be organised sooner than one year after the enactment of the new electoral law. However, PNL came up with the idea that the resignation of all MPs would trigger, by itself, under a possible interpretation of the law, the organisation of early elections.

In addition to the political parties, Iohannis has invited civic organisations and representatives of the demonstrators to attend consultations on the formation of a new government. The invitation, however, looks more like a PR move since the civic organisations and demonstrators were given only six hours to nominate their representatives.

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