More than one week after the parliamentary elections in Romania things have started to settle on the political scene.
The new parliament elected on December 11 is preparing to take office. The future senators and deputies have started procedures to take over their offices on Monday. The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis convened the meeting for the validation of the new Parliament for Tuesday and in the coming days a new round of consultations will be held with parliamentary parties in the run up to the designation of the prime minister.
Actually, the nomination of the prime minister, the exclusive responsibility of the head of state according to the Romanian Constitution, is the only unknown element after the elections. Nevertheless, it is very clear which parties will propose the prime minister, given that the leftist Social Democratic Party, the uncontested winner of the elections with 45% of the votes, and their allies, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (of center-right orientation) with 6%, will hold the majority in the future Parliament.
The president of the Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, talked about the proposal for prime minister in the run up to the consultations with the Romanian President: “We are not going to negotiate. When we make a proposal it means it is a well thought-out proposal and the person nominated for the position of PM, once in a governmental and parliamentary context, will be able to carry out the governing program”.
However, disputes are far from over, proof thereof being the announcement made by the interim president of the rightist National Liberal Party, Raluca Turcan, that they will plead for the invalidation of the MP mandate obtained by Liviu Dragnea. The National Liberal Party, the big disappointment of these elections, that got only 20% of the votes, invoked a provision in the Chamber of Deputies Regulations, which refers to people who received a final Court sentence for electoral fraud.
The Liberals, who threaten to notify the Constitutional Court on the matter, want to take advantage of a dark episode in Dragnea’s political career. Liviu Drganea received a definitive 2-year suspended prison sentence for his attempt to rig the 2012 referendum on the impeachment of the then president, Traian Băsescu. Political analysts believe this prison sentence compromised Dragnea’s chances to become prime minister. Another thorny issue for Dragnea was the Liberals’ attempt to make the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats take a distance from the Social Democrats in an almost unbelievable scenario in which all the right-wing parties, together with the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians and the national minorities would have joined hands to force the Social Democrats in opposition.
(Translated by Lacramioara Simion)