CONSULTATIONS In Bucharest, President Klaus Iohannis has a first round of consultations with the parliamentary parties today, after Mrs Dancila’s Social Democratic Cabinet was dismissed through a no-confidence vote in Parliament. The first to talk to the President were the Liberals. After the discussions, the Liberal leader Ludovic Orban said the National Liberal Party would prefer early elections, but that they are prepared to take over power. Save Romania Union, the next party invited to the Presidency, said they wanted early elections, which according to the party would put an end to the political crisis. The head of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians, Kelemen Hunor, nominated a PM from his own party, and offered the alternatives of an independent prime minister from the financial sector or of a government headed by the Liberal leader. The head of the People’s Movement Party Eugen Tomac voiced lack of confidence in the early election scenario and urged the President to consider the nomination of a prime minister from PMP. The Social Democrats, scheduled to be the last to see Iohannis today, announced they did not accept the invitation. The President said he wanted a Cabinet with a clearly defined mission, to ensure responsible and efficient governing until the forthcoming parliamentary elections, irrespective of their date.
ELECTION In Romania, the campaign for November’s presidential election officially starts on Saturday, with 14 candidates in the race, including the incumbent President Klaus Iohannis, backed by the Liberals in opposition, the incumbent PM Viorica Dăncilă, backed by the Social Democratic Party, Dan Barna, backed by the USR-PLUS Alliance, Theodor Paleologu (People’s Movement Party), Mircea Diaconu, supported by ALDE and Pro Romania, and Kelemen Hunor from the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania. Cătălin Ivan, Ninel Peia, Sebastian-Constantin Popescu, John-Ion Banu, Ramona-Ioana Bruynseels and Viorel Cataramă represent political parties from outside Parliament, whereas Bogdan Stanoevici and Alexandru Cumpănaşu run as unaffiliated candidates. The first round of the presidential election is due on November 10th, and the second on the 24th. Under a government order, the Romanians living abroad will be able to vote between November 8th and 10th in the first round, and again for 3 days, November 22nd to 24th, in the second round.
NATURAL GAS The 'Transgaz' SA National Gas Transport Company and Russia’s 'Gazprom Export' have agreed to extend their natural gas transport contract by another 3 months, until December 31. According to Transgaz, this extension ensures the continuity of natural gas transport from Russia to Turkey, Greece and other south-east European countries. Transgaz SA is the technical operator of the National Transport System for natural gas, and ensures the efficient, transparent, safe, fair and competitive implementation of the national strategy regarding the domestic and international natural gas transport, as well as research and design in the natural gas sector.
NOBEL Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.” Ethiopia and Eritrea, involved in a war over disputed border territory between 1998 and 2000, resumed official relations in July 2018, after years of hostility. On Thursday, the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, after the postponement triggered by the sex assault scandal at the Swedish Academy, and the 2019 Prize went to Austrian Peter Handke. The last Nobel Prize this year is the one for economics, to be awarded on Monday.
FOOTBALL Romania’s youth national team defeated Ukraine, 3-0 at home on Thursday night, in a match in Group 8 of the Euro 2021 qualifiers. On Monday the Romanians are to take on Northern Ireland, also on home turf. Last month, Romania lost its first qualifier game, 1-2 away from home against Denmark. The group also includes Finland and Malta. In June, Romania’s Under 21 team qualified for the first time into the semi-finals of the continental tournament in Italy and San Marino, securing their tickets for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, the national team plays on Saturday against the Faroe Islands away from home, and on Tuesday against Norway at home, in Group F of next year’s European Championship. The group draw for Euro 2020 takes place in Bucharest on November 30. The Romanian capital city will also host 4 matches in the final tournament, 3 in the group stage and one in the round of 16.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)