Interior Minister Radu Stroe will not leave the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The PNL leader said that the liberals will decide on their proposal in a meeting of the leadership of the National Council of the party, so that PM Victor Ponta can submit it to President Traian Basescu on Monday morning, before the chief of the Executive leaves on state visit to Chisinau.
PNL president Crin Antonescu rejected Wednesday evening, on Realitatea TV, the media scenarios about a possible castling at the Ministry of Transportation, which is currently under the interim management of Premier Victor Ponta, after former minister Relu Fenechiu resigned because he is probed in a case of corruption, while Ovidiu Silaghi, who was due to replace him, is probed for bribe taking.
“There was no discussion, not even for one moment, and it is out of question and exchange of ministries between us and the ruling partners. PNL assumed this portfolio (Transportation) and will continue doing it,” Antonescu said, quoted by Mediafax. He also ruled out the idea of transferring Radu Stroe from Internal Affairs to Transportation: “Radu Stroe would certainly have been a variant worth considering for the Ministry of Transportation. He is a man who worked many years with this ministry. But this will not happen, because Mr. Radu Stroe is minister of Internal Affairs who carries his duty without any problem so far.”
The leader of PNL added that several proposals will be made within the party for Transportation and that he has his own proposal, which he cannot make public, but it is not among the variants presented by the media. It is a political leader of PNL, but it is not the acting president of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce, Sorin Mandrutescu, the liberal president mentioned, answering a question.
On the other hand, Antonescu stressed that the premier was right when he noticed that, whenever someone is nominated as minister, “a file promptly appears.” “This should concern us, because this means, as said by the prime minister himself, practically the suspicion that the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), leaders or other institution of the state are doing politics. Of course, this is also my suspicion,” he added.
He reiterated that the proposal for the office of Transportation Minister will be made Sunday afternoon, following a discussion in the National Council of PNL. The PNL leader mentioned that the candidate will be someone with enough political weight, with enough administrative experience and who was not involved, for many years, in any dispute related to the DNA or the National Integrity Agency.
“We make a proposal which we discuss with the prime minister. If he accepts it, he submits it to President Basescu. We do not ask permission from Mr. Basescu,” the PNL president stated.
PNL sources hinted to the existence of several scenarios in the party regarding the situation created by the need to make a new nomination for the Ministry of Transportation, following the withdrawal of the candidacy of Ovidiu Silaghi. One of these scenarios referred to a castling between acting minister of Internal Affairs, Radu Stroe who would take over the Transportation Ministry, while his place at MAI would be occupied either by Tudor Chiuariu, a former minister of Justice, or by Cristian David, a former minister of Internal Affairs, or by George Scutaru.
Liberal Ovidiu Silaghi had been nominated in July for the office of Transportation minister, vacated by the resignation of Relu Fenechiu, who was sentenced on July 12 to 5 years of prison by the Supreme Court, in the ‘Power Transformer’ case, for complicity to misuse of authority in qualified form.