New addendum ends government crisis, reinforces coalition

After almost a week of statement wars and two days of hard negotiations, the government coalition formed by the PNL, USR-PLUS and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ) has managed to end the crisis triggered by the dismissal of health minister Vlad Voiculescu. USR-PLUS already nominated their proposal to lead the Ministry of Health on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday evening, leaders of the PNL, USR-PLUS and RMDSZ signed an amendment that complements the original agreement signed in December; it also includes new procedures and points that foster trust between the partners and proper functioning of the coalition’s internal mechanism, Liberal Party President Ludovic Orban told a press conference after the successful negotiations.

“The PNL, USRL-PLUS and RMDSZ coalition managed to resolve a delicate situation, and at the heart of a well-functioning and successful coalition are trust, respect and rules.

We agreed on some very important principles related to the functioning of government and to us as a coalition at a parliamentary level. These concern various priorities of the governing program that we will support together in the next period for the citizens of Romania to see that this coalition and this government have the necessary resources, energy and competence to take Romania forward and overcome this delicate moment related to the pandemic,” USR leader Dan Barna said.

“There is a need for compromise and patience among us. Moreover, there is no alternative to this governing coalition,” RDMSZ President Hunor Kelemen told Hungarian news portal Krónika earlier this week in an interview. “I am glad that we have managed to reach a consensus. There are no extraordinary, extravagant things in this addendum. It is important to look for and find solutions and make decisions that restore and strengthen people’s trust in the government, in this coalition, that we will carry out the governing program,” Kelemen said at the joint press release on Tuesday evening.

Prime Minister Florin Cîțu highlighted the important step the coalition took toward more efficient and coherent political decisions and saluted the members’ main objective, to have a successful vaccination campaign.

USR-PLUS nominates new health minister

In line with earlier reports, USR-PLUS nominated Ioana Mihăilă for the position of minister of health on Wednesday morning. Since the dismissal of Vlad Voiculescu, PM Florin Cîțu had filled this position in an interim capacity. Mihăilă is a former president of PLUS Bihar/Bihor and an endocrinologist; he also served as secretary of state in the Ministry of Health led by Voiculescu.

“My priority will be to solve the health crisis through concrete measures that support hospitals. As a doctor, I know firsthand what the situation is in hospitals and what my colleagues have been facing for more than a year. They need firm and clear solutions, and this is what I intend to provide, together with my colleagues from the ministry, to come to their aid; everything that has been done well so far will be continued,” said Mihăilă, according to a press release.

The nomination was submitted to PM Florin Cîțu, who will likely accept the USR-PLUS proposal.

Title image: The coalition leaders at a press conference right after the end of negotiation talks. Image credit: Inquam Photos / Sabin Cîrstoveanu

Author: István Fekete