Romanian centre-right parties fail to agree on joint PM candidate
The National Liberal Party (PNL) and the reformist block USR-PLUS will each present president Klaus Iohannis separate candidates for the prime minister seat after the negotiations between the two future coalition partners ended with no results on December 13.
The Liberal candidate is finance minister Florin Citu. Meanwhile, USR-PLUS insists its co-president Dacian Ciolos should get this position unless its other co-president, Dan Barna, gets the top position in the Chamber of Deputies, a seat also targeted by PNL leader Ludovic Orban, Digi24 reported.
On Monday, December 14, the two parties will meet with president Klaus Iohannis, who is supposed to nominate a prime minister-designate - but has no involvement in appointing the Chamber of Deputies speaker.
The reformist block insisted on getting the speaker position in the Chamber of Deputies for its co-president Dan Barna. The Liberals said that the position should be assigned upon a vote by the members of the Chamber of Deputies - an ambiguous position that reminded the vote for the leadership of the Legal Council last October, when both forces accused each other of siding with the Social Democrats (their common declared enemy). That vote ended with the appointment of controversial Social Democrat MP Florin Iordache and a question that was left unanswered until now: which of the two center-right parties voted for him.
The talks between PNL, USR-PLUS, and ethnic Hungarians party UDMR on forming a ruling coalition started on Saturday, December 12. The parties have so far agreed on minor issues such as the digitalization chapter of the ruling strategy (namely, there will be digitalization) and the ruling coalition's structure (namely, they agreed to form the coalition).
On December 13, the two major members of the would-be coalition decided to put the talks on ice after failing to reach common grounds on the Chamber of Deputies.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)