In Romania, on Monday, after preliminary exploratory talks with parliamentary groups, the head of state, Klaus Iohannis, tasked the head of the USR reform party and head of the European Parliament’s Renewal of Liberal Europe Group, Dacian Siolos, to form a government. The government of Liberal Prime Minister Florin Seto was ousted in a vote of no-confidence last week and has been in office ever since.
The government mandate given to Ciolos was generally surprising, as no majority emerged at all from the explorations that appeared on Monday. The ruling liberals made it clear that they no longer wanted to enter into a coalition with the former junior partner USR, the latter having contributed to the overthrow of the government under Seto with his votes. The post-communist opposition (PSD) and right-wing nationalist AUR lobbied for early elections and emphasized that they would not tolerate a minority government. In light of the hardline fronts, none of the major factions demanded the government mandate on Monday, only the Union of Smaller Socialist Republics and the Hungarian Common Union (UDMR) proposed candidates for the post of prime minister to the head of state.
In the evening, Iohannis, who had promised a few days before a series of other exploratory talks, surprisingly gave Siolos a mandate to the government, even though he had been highly critical of his reformist party for weeks. Roman political observers spoke of a “Trojan horse” in an initial reaction – Ciolos appears to have received the government contract in order to fail, so the substance.
The 52-year-old former EU prime minister and agricultural commissioner will now have to acquire all his negotiating skills to make the impossible possible or to establish a majority. He was “honored and ready to face this responsibility,” Seolus said.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”