POLITICS

Ponta considers running for presidential elections in 2019-2024

The Premier stated on Tuesday evening on Romania TV that he is willing to be the interim justice minister if Traian Basescu will reject the minister that USL will propose after Mona Pivniceru leaves for the Constitutional Court.

PSD President and Premier Victor Ponta reiterated that he is taking into account the possibility of running for president in 2019 or 2024, but pointed out that this scenario will be valid only if his term as prime minister ends “somewhat well” in 2016. He pointed out that it would be difficult for him to be elected president if his term as prime minister ends with a failure. “If the failure is serious who will vote for you?” Ponta rhetorically asked on RTV.

The PSD President also reiterated the idea that PSD and PNL will part ways in 2016, each in line with its own ideology, but refused making other statements on this issue. The Premier had made a similar statement in early January, stating back then that he will back Crin Antonescu in the 2014 presidential elections but does not rule out the possibility of running for president in 2024 when he will have “the appropriate age” for the position. On the other hand, Ponta stated that he is willing to take over the Justice Ministry ad interim if President Traian Basescu will reject the minister that USL will nominate for the office of justice minister after current Justice Minister Mona Pivniceru leaves for the Constitutional Court. “Yes, it’s very possible, I didn’t hide my weakness for the justice ministry’s portfolio,” the Premier stated. At the same time he pointed out that if there is an efficient and coherent solution he will do everything in his power for the Prosecutor’s Office and the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), as well as other institutions that are part of the judiciary, to have non-political and stable leaderships.

The Premier added that he wants to see the prosecutors appointed as fast as possible but pointed out that he cannot establish a date in this sense because in the end everything depends on President Basescu, who “is not a very predictable man.” Regarding the problem concerning the presidential airplane, Ponta stated that when the financial possibilities exist the government will rent or buy an airplane that will be used as the President’s or Prime Minister’s official airplane. He pointed out that it is normal for a head of state or government to have an airplane with special communications equipment onboard but pointed out that the airplane that the Presidency is currently using is very expensive. “That airplane costs enormously,” the Premier stated. We remind our readers that Transportation Minister Relu Fenechiu recently stated that TAROM should give up the Airbus A310 presidential airplane because it causes annual losses of EUR 7 M.

Premier keeps his PhD in criminal law title

The Ministry of Education has issued a final decision that PM Victor Ponta did not plagiarised his PhD thesis, although the University of Bucharest and the National Council for the Attestation of Academic Titles, Diplomas and Certificates had brought consistent proof that the premier had massively used other authors’ text without using quotation marks, gandul.info says. According to the quoted source, the Ministry of Education ignored the decisions of the two institutions and only chose to consider the conclusions of the National Ethics Committee, an institution subordinated to it and which last year said Ponta’s paper did not rise any plagiarism suspicions. The Ministry also declined the request of the Bucharest University to withdraw the PhD in criminal law title Ponta had obtained in 2003, with the thesis ‘International Criminal Court’, coached by ex-PM Adrian Nastase.

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