MPs set to schedule minister hearings

Chamber of Deputies’ Speaker Roberta Anastase yesterday asked Senate deputy speaker Teodor Melescanu to call a joint session of both chambers’ permanent bureaus so as to establish when designated PM Liviu Negoita’s ministers will be heard by specialized committees. Anastase said she asked Melescanu to discuss the matter because Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana “thought he should get some rest and went on vacation.” Under parliamentary procedures, a joint session of both chambers’ permanent bureaus can only be called by both speakers. Anastase also called on Geoana to cut short his vacation and return to Bucharest to convene the permanent bureaus and thus “show concern for the country’s fate.” Melescanu said that he would consult with other members of the Senate’s Permanent Bureau about the joint session and that he would also call Geoana and discuss the matter. The Liberal Senator underlined however that from all the ministers proposed by Negoita, only three have not been heard by Parliament’s committees, as the others were also included in Lucian Croitoru’s cabinet and were already grilled by MPs. The comments came as both Social Democrats and Liberals suggested that they would boycott parliamentary procedures regarding the investment of the Negoita government – both minister hearings and the vote of confidence. Commenting on the matter yesterday, President Traian Basescu said PSD, PNL and UDMR should approve the Negoita cabinet, as the country urgently needs a stable government. After the elections, “if they have a wide majority, they can oust the government and name whatever prime minister they want,” Basescu added.

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