Why Klaus Iohannis rejected Laufer and Vasilescu, and kept Stanescu

Why Klaus Iohannis rejected Laufer and Vasilescu, and kept Stanescu

The President rejected two nominations for the Dancila Government’s team, and refused two revocation requests from the same. Most likely, he did this in order to recover lost ground and to convey the idea that he has not really left the battlefield, especially after the unfortunate episode of Andronescu’s nomination to the Government. The gesture is not without purpose, as some have hurried to say. First and foremost, Paul Stanescu remains in the government, at the helm of the Development Ministry, a key position for PSD control, if he does not resign under the PSD leader’s pressure.

If Stănescu stays in government, thereby defying the party’s decision (i.e. Dragnea’s will), then the putschists’ group will still matter within the party and will be able to continue gathering disgruntled members. Stanescu has already signalled that he remains straight in his boots, asking the PSD leader anew to take a step back. Let us see how long his bravery will last. In PSD anything is possible. These days we have witnessed servility in full action: Fifor, Andronescu and Bădălău, kissing the ring for a position.

However, if Stănescu resigns, the putschists’ group will dissolve and the PSD leader will eliminate a potential power pole from the government. If Stanescu leaves just like everyone else, begging for the master’s mercy, Viorica Dăncilă will lose one of the last supporters encouraging her to keep her autonomy vis-à-vis the PSD leader, at least on the subject of the amnesty and pardon emergency decree. Dragnea will become the master of government, the whole party laying at his feet.

Through the unprecedented gesture of refusing Stanescu’s revocation, Klaus Iohannis obviously expressed his support for the putschists’ group, blasted by Dragnea within PSD through Tutuianu’s exclusion and Gabriela Firea’s evacuation from any position held in the party.

It is hard to say how much this message still counts now, but in the perspective of a future motion of no confidence against the government, the president’s gesture could carry some weight. In addition, we also face a practical effect. Dragnea has not yet managed to get his hand on the money bag that the Development Ministry is (which distributes money to local barons), even through a docile intermediary such as Laufer. His plan to capture all power is postponed for a short while longer.

Finally, the refusal to nominate Olguţa Vasilescu for the Ministry of Transport and Ilan Laufer for the Development Ministry can also be read as a message for his supporters, increasingly confused by his passive stance. Klaus Iohannis’ passivity fueled all possible scenarios, including a silent pact with PSD in fear of retaliation, investigations, or other attacks below the belt.

Let us remember, then, that the President, in order to keep his authority and power, is forced make a show of force. In its absence, the risk is that the hierarchical structures that work under him, or at least a part of them, can look for another master and offer their services to the alpha male. Some may have betrayed him already. Power follows powerful leaders, not weak and lazy leaders.

Finally, we do not yet know the reasons for Vasilescu and Laufer’s rejections, because President Iohannis did not motivate his decision. We should not rule out that the head of state has access to information indicating major incompatibilities between each of them and the minister function in a government. We will see if, among the reasons for the rejection, the president will also invoke arguments that relate to integrity or will limit himself to questioning their skills.
In any case, the president’s position, albeit late, has the potential to relaunch the power struggle within PSD, and to give yet another chance to the motion of no confidence currently being negotiated by opposition leaders.

Traducerea: Ruxandra Stoicescu

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