Mona Pivniceru’s likely leaving her position as justice minister for that of Constitutional Court judge fuels succession talks in the National Liberal Party (PNL). We remind our readers that, at Monday’s session of the Senate Standing Bureau, USL representatives announced their endorsing Mona Pivniceru for Constitutional Court judge. According to the “Adevarul” daily newspaper, the names of the rumored successors include those of Senate Law Commission Chairman Tudor Chiuariu and MEP Norica Nicolai. “Tudor Chiuariu wants the post and has the strong backing of Crin Antonescu, yet, his file raises about his illegibility. Norica Nicolai’s name popped up as a second alternative unless Chiuariu, who was justice minister in the Tariceanu 2 Government, would neither confirm nor refute the information. Norica Nicolai however was quite straightforward about not going to leave her MEP mandate for that of justice minister.
Premier Victor Ponta and PNL President Crin Antonescu, too, will look into the issue, though Ponta avoided saying on Monday whether he would become interim justice minister after Mona Pivniceru leaves government or the Liberals would nominate the new minister right away. “I will talk with Mr. Antonescu, since government membership is my task, although I have always consulted Mr. Antonescu,” Ponta explained. In an “Adevarul” interview yesterday, Ponta said the next minister should have the credibility and ability to explain to Brussels what is going on in Romania. Asked whether the future minister should be a technocrat or politician, the PM had this to say: “The less political, the better for the judiciary.” Crin Antonescu, too, avoided commenting on whether Mona Pivniceru’s successor should be a technocrat or politician. “Mrs. Mona Pivniceru has not resigned. She hasn’t left the Justice Ministry and as long as she remains a minister I refuse any discussion about a successor,” Antonescu explained.