Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Romania to name new PM ahead of EU summit

Published: Wednesday 10 December 2008

President Basescu is expected to nominate Romania's next prime minister today (10 December), just one day before leaving for Brussels to participate in an EU summit, EurActiv Romania reports.

Following the 30 November elections (EurActiv 01/12/08), the latest coalition negotiations seemed to indicate that a majority will be formed between former adversaries in the PDL (Democrat Liberals, close to President Traian Basescu) and PSD (Social Democrats, in opposition).

"I have a mandate for extended negotiations with the PDL. It is not the top appointments that are important," said PSD President Mircea Geoana after 41 Social Democrat leaders voted to enter the government next to the PDL and 17 voted against.

PDL leads the PSD by just three seats in Parliament. If the PSD-PDL coalition takes place, it will have the support of about 70% of the Parliament, fulfilling a request that the president had made.

These indications come after a week of political bickering inside the two parties. The PSD was initially divided, with some leaders preferring a coalition with the PNL, the National Liberals of current Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

The PDL will probably be given the post of prime minister, while the PSD will probably receive the presidency of the senate, according to the latest rumours. According to the press, PDL politician and economist Teodor Stolojan is in good position to become the next prime minister, a post he has already held in 1991-1992.

However, both parties have conditions. The PSD does not want the Hungarian party (UDMR) inside the government, while the PDL wants the government to be assembled without the participation of the Conservative Party (Partidul Conservator), a junior ally of the PSD in the elections.

While confirming that the president may announce the name of the PM on Wednesday, UDMR leader Marko Bela said that his party did not want to be a part of the government "at any price".

"We learned with amazement and stupefaction PSD's decision [of refusing to cooperate with the UDMR in the next government]. Only days ago, the PSD had proposed to us a tighter cooperation and a common government", the UDMR leader said, according to

PSD Secretary General Titus Corlatean said the suggestion not to accept the UDMR in a PSD-PDL government came from local Transylvanian party organisations.

"The arguments our request was based on came from the points in the UDMR programme, through which the party wishes to obtain territorial autonomy of the 'Tinutul Secuiesc' and legalisation of the statute of the national minorities," said PSD Harghita (a locality) leader Mircea Dusa, according to the Evenimentul Zilei newspaper.

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