POLITICS

Cabinet reshuffle likely in June

Three portfolios are eyed: Economy, Agriculture and Finance.

One week after the National Convention of the Democratic Liberal Party re-elected Emil Boc as the party’s president, talks of a possible government reshuffle linger on. According to a source quoted by “Gandul” daily newspaper, the reshuffle might happen in the coming June, with the ministries of economy, finance and agriculture being targeted for leadership change, adding to which is a vacancy at the Labour Ministry.

Despite being in office for no longer than half a year, Economy Minister Ion Ariton (photo) is blamed for failing to reform state-run companies, which made a frequent object of criticism by President Basescu in the press lately. Ariton replied that it has been no such thing as  a government discussion about an would-be reshuffle, yet, if that happened, he would not be upset, as he has nothing to reproach himself. The sources quoted said Premier Emil Boc has two alternatives for Ariton’s successor: one of his cabinet state secretaries or a member of the Blaga faction. If the second option is the case, Mihaela Sandru, a member of the Chamber of Deputies Commission for economic policy and privatization, is rumoured to be the top pick. Sources with the PDL leadership told “Gandul” that Valeriu Tabara would be replaced by Deputy Stelian Fuia. The successor is yet to be known to the finance minister as a common ground has not yet been reached on the issue.

Basescu does not rule reshuffle out

President Basescu too has not dismissed a reshuffle as likely, yet he would not give a clue to which ministers are earmarked for change. “I think that, quite soon, the new National Standing Bureau will hold an internal meeting. Next week quite likely, in two weeks, they will also examine the solutions for giving the governance a fresh boost. I am convinced they are a responsible party,” Basescu said. Asked what could be the ministers going to be replaced, the head of state declined to make any “government-related’ statements on the programme. It appears the president also gave up on the technocrat premier alternative, since, asked about it, he said that, “for the time being, the key word is stability”. (…) I would not say that an independent or a political premier creates instability, but the beginning of a long debate on government being replaced, the conditions generating what is called instability,” he explained.

Contentious fallout

If some of the Democrat-Liberals are hailing Bocs re-election as the party’s head, others are still sighing over the lost positions. At a press conference in Bistrita, Friday, PDL General Secretary Ioan Oltean said that, after the National Convention, the party ceased being ‘stronger, more united,” and the National Standing Bureau, “extremely competent”. Oltean also referred to the chorus of discontent in the party, saying that those Democrat-Liberals for whom “demagoguery is more important than responsibility” are free to leave the party.

Raluca Turcan however was critical, yet again, of having lost her post as vice-president, saying she was sacrificed from the Boc team, as her post was given to somebody from Blaga’s team, and she would have rather been told in advance about it. “It was the sacrifice of a team member, given the political vote, being known my votes must go to another colleague. I was bitter about the move, mainly that I know I’m a politician that understands what such leadership position is tied to in this context,” the Democrat-Liberal deputy said on a ProTv programme yesterday. In her view, the greatest risk for a party is not splitting, but lack of mobilization.

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