Romania: government crisis continues

After the dissolution of the Romanian minority government under PNL leader Ludovic Orban at the beginning of February, there should finally be a new government. But on Thursday, Prime Minister designate Florin Cîțu withdrew his mandate shortly before the parliamentary vote. Do President Klaus Iohannis and the PNL want early elections at any cost, as some commentators in Romania suspect, or what is behind the move?

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Adevărul (RO) /

Power mechanisms are the same in all parties

The liberal PNL is no better than its biggest political enemy the PSD, writes journalist Sebastian Zachmann on Adevărul:

“Right up to the very last moment Ludovic Orban had hoped that the PSD [the largest opposition party in parliament] would not vote for a Cîţu government and that it therefore wouldn't achieve a parliamentary majority. But on Thursday morning it was clear that the PSD intended to vote for the new government - on the grounds that the country needs stability in times of coronavirus. So Orban, who didn't want to give up his position as prime minister for even a second, forced Cîţu to resign - with the help of [president and former PNL leader Klaus] Iohannis. ... If Orban had accepted Cîţu as prime minister he would have pulled the rug out from under his own feet as party leader. Because the mechanisms of power function in the same way everywhere.”

Radio Europa Liberă (RO) /

More pressing matters to deal with

With the country facing serious threats like the coronavirus this whole business is pointless, says Radio Europa Libera:

“There's no logic in Cîţu's Facebook post, but it does convey the message that he was forced to step down. 'I am a party person and know how to stand by the party and its president in times of difficulty,' he wrote. The leader of the Liberals [PNL] Ludovic Orban apparently put enormous pressure on Cîţu because he wants the post of prime minister for himself. ... The president had the power to settle the cockfighting in the party so more important issues could be addressed. Delaying the formation of a stable, powerful government is of no use to anyone.”