Iohannis takes Round One, refuses to accept Sevil Shhaideh as PM

As we suspected he might, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis today rejected the PSD’s proposal for prime minister, Sevil Shhaideh. He didn’t give any specific reasons: he didn’t have to. He simply said that having weighed the ‘pros and cons’ of appointing Shhaideh PM, he had decided that the PSD should nominate somebody else. 

With the exception of the short honeymoon period that followed his election, it’s unlikely that the president’s stock has ever been higher. After two years of stuttering (at best) performance Iohannis has over the past few weeks started to behave like a president.

Later in the afternoon, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said that he was ‘stupified’ at Iohannis’s refusal to accept Shhaideh’s nomination: ‘This man [Iohannis] wants to create a political crisis. He thinks he is the leader of the opposition.’ Speaking alongside ALDE chief Calin Popescu Tariceanu he declared that the PSD and ALDE would carefully analyse the situation over the next day or two before deciding what to do: ‘If we need to, we will not rule out suspending the president.’

And yet talk of suspending Iohannis is premature. For a start, it is doubtful that the PSD and ALDE would have the numbers in parliament to do so (they need at least two-thirds of MPs and senators to vote in favour of a suspension).

As it stands tonight, Dragnea looks to have played a high stakes game and lost. He hugely overestimated the power that 45 per cent of the vote (on a 39 per cent turnout) gives him, and severely underestimated Iohannis’s phlegmatic correctitude. He also appears to have forgotten that the law is not yet on his side.

Unless he has an ace up his sleeve, he’s screwed.

PS Who is running the country all the while? Dacian Ciolos nominally remains Romanian prime minister, although both his hands and feet are very tightly tied. 

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3 thoughts on “Iohannis takes Round One, refuses to accept Sevil Shhaideh as PM

  1. They only need half of the Parliament to start a suspension, not 2/3. I think suspension is a matter of hours. They could have made it today, but they need to create some media pressure. They have 2 possibilities:

    1. Suspend Johannis directly. Tariceanu takes over as interim president, changes the heads of DNA, SRI and all other institutions, names the PM and then Parliament retracts suspension. Johannis comes back as a tourist, having no power left at all. This is the most likely option.

    2. Make another nomination in the person of Liviu Dragnea. Force Johannis to another rejection and then suspend him, citing the reason that a third rejection by Johannis would trigger the dissolution of Parliament.

    Johannis is dead, only that he doesn’t know it.

    He was dead anyway, he decided to throw in his last cards thinking that he could benefit from a political crisis and maybe uphold power via street protests.

    Like

  2. As has been the norm with everything I’ve experienced so far while living in Romania, I never truly know what to expect. I’m happy with this outcome.

    Like

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