Lower Chamber MP Ovidiu Silaghi (photo) was nominated yesterday by PNL’s Permanent National Bureau (BPN) for the office of Transportation Minister. The voting took place through secret ballots, Ovidiu Silaghi being the only proposal put up for vote. His nomination was adopted with 47 votes in favor and 5 against. PNL’s BPN meeting was chaired by PNL First Vice President Klaus Johannis, alongside Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Chitoiu, given the fact that PNL President Crin Antonescu is abroad.
PNL First Vice President Klaus Johannis stated that he was the one that proposed Silaghi as Transportation Minister within the BPN, following talks with PNL President Crin Antonescu. At the same time, PNL’s First Vice President pointed out that the proposal concerning Silaghi will be communicated to the USL partners who will pass it forward, pointing out that an USL meeting will not be convened in order to present the result of the BPN vote. At the same time, Johannis denied the press allegations concerning a portfolio swap between PSD and PNL, a move through which PNL allegedly ceded the Transportation Ministry to PSD in exchange for the Education or Defense Ministry.
In his turn, after he was proposed by PNL’s leadership for the office of Transportation Minister, Ovidiu Silaghi stated that he finds it “absolutely normal” for President Traian Basescu to think about his nomination, pointing out that he does not believe the President has something against it. Before the meeting PNL released a communiqué in which it points out that the decision taken by the Oradea Court of Appeals to close the National Integrity Agency (ANI) case against MP Ovidiu Silaghi is final and irrevocable. Likewise, PNL recalls that Ovidiu Silaghi was Transportation Minister before too, from May to December 2012.
The Liberal MP also stated yesterday that he filed an appeal at the Supreme Court (ICCJ), asking for damages of RON 1 from ANI and for the Oradea Court of Appeals’ decision to be posted on ANI’s website.
Silaghi also stated that he and his PNL colleagues appreciated Relu Fenechiu’s job at the helm of the Transportation Ministry. He pointed out that following “long talks” with Fenechiu he established the strategy of continuing all programs he started.
Resigning Transportation Minister Relu Fenechiu stated yesterday for the press that it is difficult for all projects he started at the ministry to be finished, adding that they will be finalized “when I’ll get back.” The former Transportation Minister also stated that he is going through the most difficult period of his life and he does not wish this on anyone, especially since he knows he is innocent.
According to official sources quoted by Mediafax, President Traian Basescu and Premier Victor Ponta met yesterday at the Presidential Palace in order to talk mainly about the new agreement that Romania can sign with the IMF, taking the opportunity to tackle the issue of a possible appointment of Ovidiu Silaghi at the helm of the Transportation Ministry too. The information was confirmed by Premier Victor Ponta who pointed out that the main subject was the new agreement with the IMF, but that he wanted to take this opportunity to inform the Head of State about the possibility that PNL might propose Silaghi as Transportation Minister.
“We had an informal talk on the issue of the future minister, because I knew it’s possible the Liberal colleagues will propose Silaghi today. The President said he is thinking, he did not reject this option, neither did he say he accepts it, he only said that he will have a point of view probably by mid-week,” Ponta said for RTV.
On Monday Premier Victor Ponta expressed his hope that the appointment of a new Transportation Minister will take place “these days.”