Romanian President asks prime minister to resign

President Klaus Iohannis has asked prime minister Viorica Dăncilă to resign, arguing she cannot handle the job and that she is turning the government into a vulnerability for the country.

A day before, the President had criticized the PM over the visit she made in Israel, of which Iohannis said was secretly arranged and where the PM had no mandate for the meetings with Israeli officials. In today’s statement, Iohannis also brought up the memorandum concerning the move of Romania’s embassy to Jerusalem and the dispute between the government and Romania’s National Bank (BNR).

The government has supported the move of the embassy, while the President, who has the final say on the issue, argued the decision was not based on “solid and comprehensive assessments.”

“I am withdrawing my confidence in Ms. Dăncilă. As I have said, on January 29 the government was invested. Three months have passed, and I can draw a conclusion. Ms. Dăncilă cannot handle the position of being Romania’s prime minister and is turning the government into a vulnerability for Romania. This is why I publicly request the resignation of Ms. Dăncilă from the prime minister position,” Iohannis said.

Romania’s president cannot dismiss the PM. The government can be dismissed if the Parliament withdraws its trust.

Iohannis argued that the PM “preferred to execute orders coming from the party” instead of following the oath taken by those who hold public dignity offices. “This means not only following the Constitution ad-literam and the country’s laws, it also means following the principle of loyal collaboration, following the need of consultations between the President and the PM in the interest of the Romanian state. All these in the interest of Romania and of Romanians,” the President said.

The President was supposed to meet the PM today after he offered to mediate between the BNR and the Government. The meeting did not take place. Iohannis said that the BNR cannot be taken over politically by the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) and that he only wanted to mediate between the two parties, something “Ms. Dăncilă did not understand.”

“The role of the BNR is clearly established and the asset of the BNR is its independence from political will, Government, and other authorities,” Iohannis said. He also said it was “obvious that the PSD is questioning this independence.”

The leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, recently accused the central bank and presidency of conducting a coordinated strategy to discredit the government’s fiscal and economic measures. He also blamed the central bank and multinationals for the recent spike in inflation.

Referring to the memorandum on the move of Romania’s embassy to Jerusalem, the President said again he was not consulted as constitutional norms entail.

“In the Constitution, in all the decisions of the Constitutional Court, in the political practice in Romania, an institutional consultation between the PM and the President is stipulated. This should be known, in Romania’s interest. There is a need, in Romania’s interest, not in anyone’s interest in particular, that the public authorities collaborate in a loyal manner,” he said.

[email protected]