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Calin Popescu Tariceanu Gets the PM Job
OBSERVER - December 23rd 2004President Traian Basescu chose Calin Popescu Tariceanu yesterday for the top job in the Executive. Tariceanu has ten days to present the Parliament the make of his government and the governing program. Basescu explained his reasons for choosing Tariceanu. Basescu said that he, as President, had the constitutional prerogative to make his pick, as long as no political party got a majority of seats in parliament. Basescu also said that his choice for Tariceanu [interim leader of the National Liberal Party] stemmed from the fact that he ran for presidency on a ticket of the NLP and Democrat Party alliance.
Though Basescuâs formal links with the NLP-DP alliance ended when he took office yesterday, he explained that he still had to comply with his pledge to the parties supporting him in the electoral campaign.
Basescu asked Tariceanu to consult all political parties, including the Social Democrat Party and the Greater Romania Party, in order to get the widest support in Parliament he can muster, the President said.
Also, Basescu explained that the SDP - Romanian Humanist Party alliance was only a political alliance, not a judicial one, hence, the seats the two parties won in Parliament may not be considered to belong to one political entity alone, so as to give this alliance the first call in making the Executive.
This time, Basescu went on, the alliance of the NLP-DP got its legal entity status registered in a court of law, prior to this fallâs elections.
Basescu also explained that there was no done deal arrived at with either the GRP or the RHP; hence their support in parliament was difficult to assess.
However, Basescu stated that following the consultations he had with the political parties, they all agreed that a governing program consistent with the national interests would get their support.
The new Executive should start working by 29 December at the latest, in order to make due the electoral promise that taxation will be lowered. [If the Government will get Parliament approval in January, the changes to the taxation system could take effect only one year later, which is from 1 January 2006.]
The main government positions will go to members of the NLP and DP, Basescu also said.
For its part, the SDP said that assigning Tariceanu to the PM position "goes against the results of the popular vote of 28 November."
"Hence the SDP will make known its position when the vote for the government approval will be asked in Parliament," stated the SDP spokesman, Titus Corlateanu. Attila Kelemen, house member of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, said that appointing Tariceanu as PM "was a proper decision" and that Tariceanu himself was "the right candidate" for the job.
Corneliu Ciontu, GRP vice-president, said that the most important thing was for the new Government to make due its electoral promises.
According to a report from Rompres wire service Basescu met yesterday morning the American and Japanese ambassadors, before his consultations with the political parties. The U.S. embassy confirmed the meeting took place, but Basescu did not give details on the topics, saying they were classified. However, Basescu informed the media on the topics he addressed with the Japanese ambassador.
Translation: ANCA PADURARU