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January 23, 2022

Ponta – considering law out of the rule applied in Fenechiu’s case

PDL is calling for an extraordinary parliamentary session in order to discuss the CVM implications of the Fenechiu case. PM Ponta stated he hopes the new Transportation Minister will be appointed in the following days.

Premier Ponta stated yesterday that he is mulling making a law out of the rule applied in Fenechiu’s case, namely for a minister to leave office the moment a judge makes a ruling in a legal case concerning him, even if the ruling is not final, pointing out that an acquittal has to similarly be taken into account.
“The rule is the following: any of us can be accused of something, some of us are accused of something every day. The prosecutors’ charges have the same value as the lawyer’s defense. I won’t start following the lawyers. The moment a judge’s decision appears, like it did on Friday in the case of Mr. Fenechiu, even if the decision is not final, I obviously take it into account; it’s not final but I took into account the sentencing of Mr. Fenechiu and he left at exactly the same moment. This is a rule I am thinking of including into a law, very clearly,” Ponta said. He stated that the moment a judge issues a ruling things can no longer continue from a political point of view.
At the same time, the Premier expressed his hope that the appointment of a new Transportation Minister will take place “these days,” pointing out that he had a phone conversation with PNL President Crin Antonescu on this issue and he will forward the proposal to the Head of State after PNL’s decision. Ponta added that based on his information Ovidiu Silaghi was acquitted by the first court in the lawsuit with the National Integrity Agency (ANI), pointing out that he does not know whether the appeal filed by ANI is an impediment in appointing Silaghi as Transportation Minister and this issue will be discussed.
Ovidiu Silaghi showed up at the Victoria Palace yesterday but Premier Victor Ponta was at the Transportation Ministry in order to take over the office of interim Transportation Minister. The Premier expressed his surprise with the fact that Ovidiu Silaghi was already at the Victoria Palace, but pointed out that he will meet him since he is already at the government’s headquarters, adding that the decision to close the ANI notification is a final decision, not a decision taken by the first court. Ovidiu Silaghi (PNL) was previously Transportation Minister last year, during the first Ponta Government; however he was sacked by the Premier after he became involved in an investigation carried out by the National Integrity Agency.
The Premier stated yesterday that he met former Transportation Minister Relu Fenechiu on Saturday but not in Bucharest, their talks lasting one hour. Asked whether Fenechiu was in Bucharest, the Premier answered: “No, I went where he was.”
Also yesterday, Ponta designated Secretary of State Cristian Ghibu to be the one managing for now the current affairs that need to be dealt with at the Ministry.
PDL wants extraordinary parliamentary session
PDL asked yesterday for the convening of an extraordinary Parliamentary session in order to debate the impact that Fenechiu’s case has on the CVM and the law on the judiciary’s specialized personnel, PDL President Vasile Blaga announced yesterday after the party’s Permanent National Bureau (BPN) meeting. The PDL leader pointed out that he tasked the leaders of the party’s parliamentary groups to discuss with the leaders of UDMR and PPDD groups in order to collect signatures in order to convene the extraordinary session. He pointed out that 137 signatures are needed, signatures that PDL does not have at this moment.
In reply to Blaga’s request, Ponta stated that his statement concerning the convening of an extraordinary Parliament session that would focus on the Fenechiu case’s impact on the CVM is a public relations ploy, pointing out that so far he did not hear anything smart coming from Blaga.
Top favorites for the Transportation Ministry’s leadership
The PNL leadership will propose a new Transportation Minister after former Transportation Minister Relu Fenechiu was sentenced. MP Ovidiu Silaghi has the highest chances of being nominated, but Fenechiu lobbies for Mugur Cozmanciuc, a person close to him, “Romania Libera” writes. PNL President Crin Anotnescu admitted that the Silaghi option is taken into account by the PNL leadership. “It’s one of the options, but the decision will be taken by the BPN and there is no point talking about names before that meeting,” the PNL President stated.

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