Roundup: Romanian president nominates new PM

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-27 16:08:58|Editor: xuxin
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BUCHAREST, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday appointed Florin Catu, finance minister of the outgoing cabinet of the National Liberal Party (PNL), to form a new government.

The head of state made the decision after the Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that his nomination of caretaker Prime Minister Ludovic Orban to form the new cabinet is unconstitutional.

Catu said that he will present to the parliament the list of the government members and the governing program in the shortest term, and expressed the hope that the main opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) will "not delay" the investiture procedures.

"It is a proposal that honors me and makes me feel even more responsible, and I will discuss with our partners in Parliament to build a majority," said the prime minister-designate, adding that "my appointment guarantees the continuity of the Liberal governance."

However, Interim Chairman of the PSD Marcel Ciolacu said that it is absolutely out of the question that his party will vote for Catu in the parliament, describing Catu's nomination as "ridiculous."

"It is clear what path they chose, they are forcing for the elections," said Ciolacu, voicing his speculation that the nomination was for the purpose of dissolving the parliament and advancing the general elections scheduled for the end of the year to the summer.

His remarks were echoed by other major opposition parties.

Leader of opposition Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said that by nominating Catu as prime minister, the president is "deepening the political crisis," because the Liberals "cannot" put together a majority in the parliament to have a new government.

"I expected the president to take into account that he has only one practical solution, namely, that of an independent prime minister, who would have led the government until the parliamentary elections. But it seems that for the president and for the PNL the ambition to have early polls is the most important objective, and not to help Romania exit the crisis," said Tariceanu.

Former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, leader of the Pro Romania Party, said that his party will not vote for Catu's investiture.

"I think Romania needed and it still needs a professional government to deal with the country's problems, not the PNL problems," Ponta told a local television broadcaster.

PNL leader Ludovic Orban, whose cabinet stepped down after losing a censure motion in parliament on Feb. 5, was nominated by the president as new prime minister one day later.

However, the nomination was challenged by the main opposition PSD and the Constitutional Court finally supported the latter's complaint.

Iohannis and Orban have been emphasizing recently their desire to hold early elections, so that the Liberals could take advantage of their current high public support rate to change as soon as possible the unfavorable status quo of the party, which occupies only 20 percent of seats in parliament.

The PSD, the largest parliamentary party accounting for over 40 percent of seats, is firmly opposed to early elections. The party stepped down last October in a censure motion after almost three years in power.

Under the constitution, early elections are held if the parliament rejects two successive proposed cabinets within 60 days.

Analysts here believe that the current political crisis in Romania is mainly caused by the intention of the ruling party to call early elections.