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Rebellion in Romania against the president – “Pharaoh of a sick country” because of the Covid-19 horror

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For the second month in a row, Romania has been ruled by a government with limited powers in the midst of the deadly fourth wave of COVID-19 and amid an energy and economic crisis.

The coalition government, led by the National Liberal Party (NLP), led by Florin Katsu, was ousted on October 5th by a no-confidence vote by the largest parliamentary force, the Social Democratic Party. However, it was backed by former coalition partner Union for the Salvation of Romania and the nationalist Alliance for the Unity of Romanians party.

Parliamentary committees were to hear the candidates for ministers nominated by NLP’s nominee for prime minister, Nicolae Chuka. The intention was for the 54-year-old reserve general, former defense minister, to appear in parliament tomorrow with a proposal for a minority government made up of the Liberals and the party of ethnic Hungarians – the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania. Instead, NLP decided to make a U-turn and return the mandate at the last minute. At an extraordinary meeting late last night, the NLP’s executive bureau decided to show even more flexibility in negotiations with other political forces to form a parliamentary majority and a new government. Why this flexibility has not been used so far, probably no one will allow himself to admit publicly.

PARLIAMENTARY ARITHMETICS

The National Liberal Party and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania currently hold a total of 150 seats in the 466-seat parliament after the Union for the Salvation of Romania (80 MPs) left the coalition. A minimum of 234 votes is required for government approval.

Despite this deployment, the Liberals continued to claim until last night that their proposed minority government had a chance in parliament.

The day before, the Social Democratic Party announced that it would not support a minority government, and a few hours later the Liberals decided to return the mandate. This reinforced suspicions that some behind-the-scenes talks were taking place between the two largest parties, no matter how much their leaders denied it.

Former coalition partner Union for the Salvation of Romania (SSR) was the first to try to form a government led by former prime minister technocrat and former European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos. The vote on October 20th was eloquent – Cholosh’s proposed cabinet received only 88 votes.

“PHARAOH OF A SICK COUNTRY”

Criticism of President Klaus Johannes and his role in the current political crisis has intensified in Romania in recent weeks. The comments are that without his approval, Prime Minister Florin Katsu would not have taken the steps that led to the break-up of the coalition between the Liberals, the SS reformers and the ethnic Hungarians. Johannes has also been criticized for wasting valuable time resolving the crisis.

Some media called him “the pharaoh of a sick country.” During a state visit to Egypt last week, Johannes was photographed looking at the pyramids with his wife as a tourist in the midst of a government crisis and at a time when “every three minutes a Romanian was dying of COVID-19,” as one leading health official said. experts – Dr. Octavian Jurma.

A few days later, on the anniversary of the tragedy at the Kolektiv nightclub, where a fire killed more than 60 people and injured nearly 200 in 2015, Klaus Johannes went to play golf at his friend’s business complex.

“Johannes lost control of the management bus just as we were descending a long and uneven road, full of dangerous turns, no direction and no brakes. But the bus is not just Florin Katsu, but the whole of Romania,” journalist Dan Popa wrote in a comment. for the information site Ziare.

Not coincidentally, Johannes’ rating plummeted from 30 percent approval in September to just 14 percent in late October.

Things don’t look rosier for interim Prime Minister Florin Katsu, who supports him – only seven per cent of Romanians vote for him, according to a poll by the Avangard news agency.

If parliamentary elections are held next Sunday, the Social Democratic Party would receive 40 per cent, the National Liberal Party 17 per cent, the Nationalist Alliance for the Unity of Romanians 14 per cent and the Union for the Salvation of Romania 13 per cent.

The survey also showed that 80 per cent of Romanians believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, and a quarter give the government the lowest rating 1 (out of 10 possible) on how it manages the health crisis.

“IN THE EMBRACE OF THE PSD”

Two months ago, the National Liberal Party (NLP) was a leader in the Katsu government, held the post of Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, had a significant majority in parliament, had a high percentage of confidence and the prospect of completing its term in office. billions of euros are expected under the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan, Ion Yonitsa commented in the Adevarul newspaper. The NLP is now in the hands of the SDP, the Social Democratic Party, which has been touted as the fiercest political opponent, the one that brought Romania back years in judicial reform and the fight against corruption, and which pushed for economic measures that led to a budget deficit boom. the analyzer.

The same opinion seems to be shared by the former coalition partner of the Liberals – Dacian Ciolos. “In recent hours, the intention of some NLP leaders to throw themselves into the arms of the PSD is evident,” said Dacian Ciolos, leader of the Union for the Salvation of Romania (SSR). According to him, the liberals are faced with the following choice: re-establishing the coalition with the SSR or throwing themselves into the arms of the PSD.

“I still hope the NLP will think carefully about where this path leads,” Cholos said, calling the potential alliance between the two largest parties in parliament a “toxic alliance.” “We know what the PSD did when it was in power,” Ciolos said, adding that the decision of the Liberals would determine Romania’s path over the next few years.

The National Liberal Party and its former leader and current president, Klaus Johannes, appear to have completely severed ties with reality, analysts say. In the worst health situation Romania has found itself in peacetime, in the midst of an energy crisis and a storm of price hikes, political factors are playing tricks on the government. Romania looks like a village without dogs and without fences, where everyone does what they want, without law, without institutions, Ion Ionica commented on the pages of Adevarul.

In addition, former Liberal leader Ludovic Orban, who lost the battle for party chairman to Florin Katsu at a congress in late September, is gathering disgruntled liberals.

Orbán resigned as Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and left the NLP parliamentary group, announcing he was ready to “start from scratch” with a new political movement. Until yesterday, his example was followed by 13 deputies and senators.

And that’s not all: yesterday, nationalists from the Alliance for the Unity of Romanians announced that they had begun collecting signatures to launch an impeachment procedure against President Johannes.

He was currently in Glasgow to attend the UN climate conference, but in the interests of his political future and that of his former party, his presence in Bucharest is more than necessary. And not only presence, but responsible and quick actions, as the Romanians insist.

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