Romania's senior ruling party to nominate new cabinet without junior partner on March 4

By bne IntelliNews February 25, 2014

The negotiations between the two main ruling parties in Romania are approaching a failure and the senior ruling party - leftist PSD, is reaportedly ready to submit to parliament a new cabinet list on March 4, Ziarul Financiar informed, quoting unofficial sources within PSD.

PDS' plan will be triggered by the very likely pull-out from the coalition of its junior partner - centre-right PNL, on February 25.

PM Victor Ponta is thus likely to form a new cabinet, supported by a thinner majority in parliament, and have it endorsed by lawmakers by March 8. PNL, on the other hand, will join the opposition but its task of re-gaining the support of right-wing voters will be equally difficult.

PNL is expected to endorse on February 25 a formal decision of pulling out from the ruling coalition, but it seems that a broad agreement was already built on this issue.

PNL vice-president Claus Iohannis, at the core of the disagreements between PSD and PNL, has already declared that the negotiations with PSD have failed. PNL accuses PSD of blocking the replacement of four PNL cabinet ministers. PNL also accuses PSD of demonstrating infidelity when developing the parallel USD coalition with tiny parties PC and UNPR but without PNL. Furthermore, PM Ponta has dismissed three PNL lower rank government officials on February 24.

IntelliNews CommentPSD and PNL probably expect to be better off on their own in the coming European and particularly in the presidential elections. But they might be both wrong. Organising the elections does no longer provide the head start it used to provide once, since the fiscal consolidation diminished the amount of discretionary public funds and the judiciary system improved its performance. Separately, as we said PNL will have a tough job re-gaining the support of right-wing voters. The outcome of the November presidential elections turns increasingly unpredictable, particularly as it is still unclear who is going to run for PSD or for the right-wing parties [other than PNL].

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