A joint session of the Romanian Parliament’s two chambers approved on Monday the government of liberal (PNL) politician Ludovic Orban with 240 votes for and none against, seven more than the 233 votes required for a majority (see more here). Hunor Kelemen, the leader of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), said in the debate before the vote that they were not expecting miracles from the new government, but they were expecting good governance for all citizens and respect for all communities.
“We are in a new situation. This year is election year; we need to vote on a united and minority government before we vote on the presidential, local, and parliamentary elections,” Kelemen said in his parliamentary speech. “We need to give you something that you have insisted on unscrupulously and without concern,” he added, underlining that PNL had wanted to form a government for a long time.
“Today you get what you wanted; you get executive power. But it is up to you how you use that power. We in the RMDSZ do not expect miracles from the new government. However, what we expect is good governance for all citizens and respect for all communities. We expect public affairs to be settled in a fair and transparent way, budget adjustments for this year, and budget establishment for next year. We expect well-balanced governance that will spend 6 percent of GDP on education for the first time in recent history. We expect investment in this crucial area for the future of our society,” he said.
Kelemen also asked for public investment funds to respect the needs of both local communities and large infrastructure investments and to transfer EUR 2 billion from the Large Infrastructure Operational Program to the Regional Operational Program.
“I am looking at the government list, the names of the ministers, in order, and it says a lot. A time might come, when education, culture, transport, and infrastructure won’t be the last on this list,” Hunor Kelemen underlined.
He also added that if the new government will respect the Hungarians, they will respect them as well. “Those ministers who will talk to us will have an easier job – visible and better results. If you implement the laws accepted in parliament, if you respect the ratified international treaties, if you implement emergency government regulation only if needed – in one word: If you respect us, we will respect you and we will keep our word,” Kelemen underlined.
Kelemen asked the liberals to not compromise the chance for a long-term center-right government given the elections coming up next year. He highlighted that some ministers chosen by them do not fit into a center-right government; others were not accepted by the commissions. “Any mistake, any arrogance, lack of expertise, any abuse or lack of prudence will compromise your chances to continue governing after the parliamentary elections. Romania needs a center-right government after the parliamentary elections as well. It is up to you if it will happen; it is your responsibility. I wish you good luck. We vote for you today, but we will keep an eye on you. We are ready to support you, if you deserve it. But we are ready to punish you – even with a motion of no confidence – if it is needed,” Kelemen told Ludovic Orban.
Title image: Hunor Kelemes underlined that if the liberals respect the Hungarians, they will respect them as well. Photo: Hunor Kelemen/Facebook