Romania has to appoint a third prime minister in one year as the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) decided to sack Mihai Tudose after only six months.
The ruling coalition made up of PSD and ALDE proposed MEP Viorica Dancila for the job, which means that Romania may have its first woman PM. Immediately after the news broke out into the media, the local press started searching through her past, and what they have found is not flattering for the presumed future PM.
For example, the local media dug up an interview Viorica Dancila gave to a foreign reporter in 2017, in which she refers to Iran and Pakistan as being member states of the EU, local Digi24 reported.
The interview focused on women’s rights and the reporter asked Dancila, in English, what she thought the European Union should do to protect the basic women’s rights in Iran. Answering in Romanian, the Romanian MEP expressed her belief that the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Commission in the European Parliament would discuss the situation of women in Iran, and will try to find solutions to support them. Then, Dancila said: “Of course we will not try to interfere in the internal affairs of a member state such as Pakistan or Iran.”
The press also recalled a rather strange interview Viorica Dancila gave in July last year to The Parliament Magazine, the publication covering European Parliament news, opinion and comments. She was interviewed for the section “5 questions with…”, in which the guest has to answer five simple questions such as “How would you describe your political/leadership style in three words?” or “What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?” However, the way she answered to these questions has caught the attention of Politico.eu, which reported that the Romanian MEP “gave a brilliant example of unnecessary stonewalling in the Parliament Magazine.”
“Asked to describe her political style in three words, she took 39. She couldn’t recall an achievement that would surprise readers, nor name a book that inspired her, despite claiming ‘I love reading and try to read whenever I can find the time’,” Politico reported at that time.
In fact, the ruling party itself has actually failed to explain why Viorica Dancila is the perfect person for the job. During the press release organized to announce the party’s proposal, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said she is “a respected MEP in Brussels, because she is a civilized, non-conflictual, very communicative woman.” However, Dragnea didn’t mention any of the projects or other information in her CV that made the party choose her, saying that Viorica Dancila would give more details. In her turn, when asked to say what recommends her for the job, Dancila told the press that the party’s president already made a statement in this sense.
However, Viorica Dancila apparently said that she would support the changes to the justice laws, which have raised many waives of criticism in recent months, fueling the street protests that have been organized in Romania since January 2017. In fact, Dancila was among the politicians who agreed with the controversial Emergency Ordinance 13, which the first PSD government led by Sorin Grindeanu passed in January last year, and then repealed after a few days of massive protests.
Mihai Tudose resigned from the prime minister position on Monday evening, after losing PSD’s support. President Klaus Iohannis is to nominate a new PM after consultations with all political parties. While opposition parties asked for early elections, the PSD-ALDE coalition, which still holds the majority in the Parliament, said it would come up with a new prime minister and threatened to suspend the president if he doesn’t acknowledge the parliamentary majority.
Irina Marica, [email protected]