Ethnic Hungarians to keep positions in new Romanian government

RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen. (source: RMDSZ)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The party largest party of the ethnic Hungarians in Romania, RMDSZ, will keep its three ministerial positions in the “grand coalition” that is hoped will end almost two months of political uncertainty in the country.

The three-party center-right coalition led by the liberal PNL — and which included the RMDSZ — lost a vote of confidence on Oct. 5 and several attempts to form a new government failed successively. Now, Romanian media reports that the PNL came to an agreement on a sort of grand coalition with their arch-enemy Social Democrats (PSD), according to which the two parties will govern together — in an unusual manner — which involves switching the position of prime minister every six months between PNL’s Nicolae Ciucă and PSD’s Marcel Ciolacu (unless someone stronger emerges within the PSD in the next six months).

According to the agreement, RMDSZ will keep the three ministries in the new Romanian government that will be formed within a few days.

After negotiations with the national liberals and the social democrats, the Hungarian party may retain one of the ministries with the largest budgets, the Ministry of Development, plus the Environment and Forestry Ministry as well as the Ministry of Sport. The National Liberal Party also wanted the sports ministry, but RMDSZ threatened to leave the coalition if it could not keep the ministry which has been headed by Attila Cseke up until this point.

A parliamentary vote on the new government is expected in the second half of next week. RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen will remain deputy prime minister. Since the 1990 regime change in Romania, the RMDSZ has been the party with the longest combined time in government positions.

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