Public broadcaster finally has new CEO. Liberals boycott vote, accuse Social Democrats of abuse

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At a joint plenary session of the Lower Chamber and the Senate on Tuesday, Parliament approved a proposal to appoint Irina Radu (photo) as president and CEO of the Romanian National Television Broadcasting Corporation (SRTv). The decision was made by 304 votes to eight. As many as 230 Lower Chamber lawmakers and 82 Senators attended the session. The session quorum was 271 MPs.

This was the fourth vote on a nomination for the vacant office, the first three nominations being rejected by MPs.

Liberal MPs boycotted the vote and left the room.

Irina Radu was PSD’s nomination, despite the fact that she was not voted by the public broadcaster’s board. PNL is dissatisfied with the fact that journalist Monica Ghiurco, proposed by SRTv’s Board, received a negative opinion from the Parliament’s Culture Commissions, where she was heard on Monday.

Liberals accuse the Social Democrats of trying to impose Radu in disregard of procedures.

“PNL’s joint parliamentary groups opposed, within the joint standing bureaus, the introduction on the joint meeting’s order of the day of the Culture Commissions’ report on the election of SRTv’s President and CEO. We considered this an abuse made by the PSD majority and at the same time a flagrant breaking of the law. We have forwarded a challenge at the Constitutional Court of Romania, concerning Parliament’s decision to appoint the whole Board, and it would have been logical for the CCR decision to be awaited before moving on with the procedures. You announced that 281 MPs are present, the meeting’s quorum is 271 MPs, PNL has 58 MPs, we will leave the room and I emphasise that you will no longer have a quorum,” Eugen Nicolaescu, the leader of Liberal Lower Chamber lawmakers, stated.

In his turn, PSD Lower Chamber lawmaker Marian Neacsu pointed out that Nicolaescu’s statement “is inaccurate,” that there was a quorum and “the quorum will continue to be determined through the roll call and the voting.”

PNL’s George Orbean was the first nomination for the office, but was rejected. Monica Ghiurco was the second, also rejected. On Monday, Monica Ghiurco was rejected again, and MP Florin Paslaru proposed the hearing of Irina Radu.

Irina Radu has been acting CEO of the public broadcaster and has proposed the hiking of the TV tax in order for the institution to be able to avoid financial collapse. She has a long career within TVR, being editor and anchor at TVR Iasi, producer and anchor of the TVR News Bulletin, chief editor of the News Section and show producer, according to tvr.ro. Since 2013, she has been Director of the Television Shows Directorate. In 2004, she became director of TVR1 channel. She was acting director of TVR2 channel for a brief period, Director of the Special Events section and chief editor of the Children-Youth Editorial Office. Prior to that, she was general producer (2000 and 2001) and director (2003, 2004 and 2005) of the Golden Stag Festival. She was also member of the Romanian Television’s Board, from 1998 to 2002.