When I finished writing this column yesterday, public opinion was eager to learn the final structure of Tariceanu's new government or at least some details, more precise than the doubting estimations expressed in the last days, based on some pieces of information. ZIUA managed to sketch a new government by rather permissive approximation. There are explanations of both objective and subjective nature to this painful waiting. How long will is last? Here is my estimation.
The two fundamental documents announcing the new structure of the minority government Tariceanu estimated need to reach the Parliament and public opinion. But this implies several stages to be passed faster or slower. Although the PNL (National Liberal Party) assigned PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu to elaborate the main documents on the government restructuring, before going to the Parliament the PM is to get the PNL leaders' consent and complete the talks with the Alliance partners, that is with the representatives of the UDMR (Democrat Union of Magyars in Romania). Since the Liberals need support from the opposition, I suppose they may hold secret negotiations with the parties in the opposition, first of all with the PSD (Social-Democrat Party). As Tariceanu is the opposite of Traian Basescu, a wilful and temperamental man, I think he may not go for a speedy rhythm.
But what procedures am I talking about? The first document to be elaborated is the government's programme. It should be based on the objectives of Tariceanu's first government. Just a few days after being validated in January 2005, the respective objectives were undermined by Basescu, when the latter came up with the early elections idea. The objectives to be set have to meet some explicit claims of the opposition too, of the PSD, the PRM ("Greater Romania" Party) and the PC (Conservative Party) in particular. Otherwise the government won't be validated. But such a programme is the outcome of collective efforts. And we don't know if there have been such efforts or not. But in order to agree to this programme, first the PNL leaders must be informed about it, which hasn't occurred yet. And one more document is due: the structure of the new government with the exact names of ministries. And the same procedure is to be applied. After domestic talks in the PNL and also after talks with the UDMR, there are to be recommended ministers. Therefore another document, which didn't exist yesterday. Before presenting plan on the government restructuring, the PNL needs a communication strategy related to the above mentioned documents. It is because of the split caused by Stolojan that only 15% of Romanian MPs are Liberals. And we are to add the 8% of UDMR MPs. This communication strategy needs to cope with the opposition too, since the latter is to validate the minority government to emerge .
But I am not as cynical as the famous Ogilvy. When asked which was the difference between God and the Devil, he answered that God had had PR, which the Devil hadn't had. But I am convinced that in this battle they are fighting the Liberals can't afford to neglect the wrapping. The way they will present Romanians the bitter medicine of a minority government, in the hands of the opposition, meant to provide officials to rule until the following elections, is highly important. This is why we may not learn the new government's final structure today. And the war will move from central level to local level. It accompanies the war meant to suspend the President.