The Senate appointed former Foreign Minister Andrei Marga (PNL) President of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) yesterday. The decision was adopted with 50 votes in favor, 26 against and 5 abstentions. Andrei Marga was USL’s candidate for the office. The voting took place in Marga’s absence and without him being heard by the Senate’s special commissions. PDL and UDMR representatives voted against the appointment. “We (the group leaders – editor’s note) agreed that the ICR has to be able to work without any kind of break,” Mario-Ovidiu Oprea, the leader of the PNL group, stated in an effort to explain the haste with which Marga was voted by the Senate. Marga’s hearing should have taken place yesterday morning within the Senate’s joint Culture and Foreign Policy Commissions, but that did not happen since the former minister is not in Romania. “The fact that he was voted in office without being heard within the commissions represents the violation of a customary law that was in force ever since the first sitting. The current majority and ruling power does not take any norm, any regulation, any customary law into account within the Senate. I have no idea what Mr. Marga is thinking. It was a blank check vote, we don’t even know whether he knows the law, we don’t know what he wants to do next, what he wants to keep from among the old projects, what line he wants to take,” PDL Senator Radu F. Alexandru stated for ziare.com.Unlike Andrei Marga, the candidates for the ICR’s two offices of Vice President will have to undergo grilling within the relevant commissions.