The leaders of Romanian opposition parties Save Romania Union (USR) and PLUS, Dan Barna and Dacian Ciolos, sent a proposal to president Klaus Iohannis and the other opposition parties to make a pact for organizing early parliamentary elections next year, at the same time with the elections for the local administration.
The two parties say this is the only way to get Romania out of the political and moral crisis caused by the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD).
The elections for the local administration are scheduled to take place on June 6, 2020, while the parliamentary elections will be held in December 2020.
USR and PLUS hope to convince all the other parties represented in Romania’s Parliament to join their initiative, including PRO Romania, the party of former PSD prime minister Victor Ponta, and ALDE, PSD’s former junior coalition partner.
The pact proposed by Dan Barna and Dacian Ciolos provides that all opposition parties signing it commit to voting a no-confidence motion against the PSD Government led by Viorica Dancila. Then, they propose that president Klaus Iohannis or whoever will be president after the elections in November this year, dissolves the Parliament by March 6 next year, at the latest, so that early elections can be organized on June 6.
USR and PLUS explained their initiative saying that the doesn’t rely on a majority in the Parliament anymore but refuses to resign. “Due to the internal battle for power, PSD has generated three major governmental crises, changed two prime ministers and replaced 80 ministers, which has led to an unprecedented instability of the central administration,” USR and PLUS argued. They also say that Romania is now the most vulnerable economy in the EU to an international economic crisis.
The breakup between PSD and junior ruling coalition partner ALDE, the party of former prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, has generated an awkward situation on the local political scene. The Government led by prime minister Viorica Dancila, who is also the PSD leader, currently has six empty minister seats and the only way to resume its normal functioning is to get a confirmation vote from the Parliament for the new ministers as president Iohannis refuses to endorse them.
Meanwhile, opposition parties are reluctant to initiate a no-confidence motion against the Dancila cabinet (the third one) as they are not sure that all opposition forces would back it, despite PSD seeming to be in minority in the Parliament. The uncertainty is related to what will happen if the no-confidence motion passes. While the biggest opposition party PNL said it would be willing to form a government, USR has made it clear that it would not want to be part of a cabinet in the current configuration of the Parliament, as this would require a broader alliance that would also include ALDE and PRO Romania (a party largely made of former PSD members).
USR and PLUS thus want to capitalize on the popularity they have gained in the past year. The alliance they formed before the elections for the European Parliament obtained the third-highest score (22.36%), very close to PSD’s score (22.5%). In the meantime, PSD has gone even further down in the polls. However, it remains to be seen if such an initiative will manage to get the consensus of all opposition forces in the Parliament as some parties may have other interests and many opposition MPs may not be willing to end their term earlier.
(Photo source: usrplus.ro)