Update: Romania’s president blocks Government reshuffling
Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis, on April 23, rejected the resignations submitted by three ministers, including justice minister Tudorel Toader, thus blocking the Government reshuffling, which he sees as “a farce”.
He made it clear that he would not accept the resignations before knowing who will replace the resigning ministers. The proposed reshuffling has nothing to do with improving governance, or with Romania's agenda, Iohannis stated in a press conference. It is caused by conflicts inside the Social Democratic Party (PSD), therefore it is pointless, he added.
The three ministers will probably leave the Government at some time, Iohannis admitted. “But I can’t agree to the three candidates that have been nominated to replace them,” the president said.
He added that he already talked to the prime minister Viorica Dancila by phone and asked her to come up with other nominations, or come up with proposals for interim ministers until the Government and Presidency would agree on acceptable permanent replacements.
Speaking of the ruling party's plans to replace the three ministries in the Parliament, through a so-called Government restructuring, president Iohannis said: “it remains to be seen whether they will have any success”. “I would treat this as an attempt to bypass the Presidency,” he added.
The PSD leaders decided last week to withdraw political support for justice minister Tudorel Toader after he refused to promote new amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code through emergency ordinance. PSD proposed MP Eugen Nicolicea, one of the people involved in drafting the controversial justice reform, to replace Toader.
The other two ministers that PSD wants to change, EU funds minister Rovana Plumb, and diaspora minister Natalia Intotero, are running for seats in the European Parliament in the May 26 elections.
Update: Prime minister Viorica Dancila criticized the president's decision to refuse PSD's proposal for the three ministries. However, she sent to the president proposals for interim ministers for the three portfolios, namely Ana Birchall for the Justice Ministry, finance minister Eugen Teodorovici for the EU Funds Ministry, and business environment minister Radu-Stefan Oprea for the Diaspora Ministry.
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)