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February 3, 2023

Usually, there’s no smoke without fire: Has Ponta prepared a government reshuffle?

Prime Minister Victor Ponta will try to diminish the effects of his defeat in the presidential elections, spilled over also his government, through the easiest strategy of image : a government reshuffle. Moreover, wind of change has already begun to blow in the government, with the forced resignation last week of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Melescanu, after a period of only 8 days of mandate for organizing a disastrous vote abroad.

The press wrote last week that Ponta, who returns to the government today, after a week of leave taken after losing the presidential race, plans to wash his credibility and image, seriously crumpled after the failure in the elections, through a reshuffle. According to these speculations, the reshuffled ministers  will be Bogdan Stanoevici (Minister for Romanians Abroad), Ioana Petrescu (Minister of Finance) who often has blundered in public space despite studies conducted at Harvard, Remus Pricopie (Minister of Education) who managed miserably  the ABC textbooks crisis at the beginning of this school year, and Mihnea Costoiu (Delegate Minister for Research). The place of reshuffled ministers would be taken by names from Tariceanu’s  Liberal Reformist Party (PLR), to give a sign that the Social Liberal Union (USL)  reborn after signing the agreement to restore the Union on the Friday before the second round of presidential elections. According to sources cited in the last days by Digi 24, stiripesurse.ro and Adevarul,  at the Ministry of  Finance would be nominated Daniel Chitoiu (former  PNL member and Minister of Finance during Crin Antonescu’s PNL leadership), currently a member PLR, or other Liberal “traitor” (who followed Calin Popescu -Tariceanu in PLR), Andrei Gerea, former Minister of Economy for less than four months (between October 2013 and February 2014).

The Education portfolio might be taken by Daniel Barbu, former Minister of Culture, who stepped down from the Government in December 2013, following a big scandal erupted after his statements on money spent for the national programs to combat AIDS, in comparison with the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

PSD senator, Ion Chelaru, told Adevarul a few days ago that his party is expected to discuss officially  the issue of reshuffle this week. “Of course, I heard about reshuffle, people speak about that. But officially, there haven’t been any discussions on this issue . We are waiting for the PSD leadership meeting next week, where certainly these issues will be discussed, although the decision should belong to the Prime Minister, “said Chelaru.

Adrian Nastase’s advice for Ponta: The Gov’t should seek a vote of confidence in Parliament, possibly on a reshuffle

The government should seek a vote of confidence in Parliament, possibly on a government reshuffle. It is the opinion of former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, who claims that the presidential election was about two Romanias and that Victor Ponta and his team haven’t been able to foster a positive vote. In addition, former Prime Minister believes that the problems of Romanians in Diaspora should have been treated with greater attention.

‘I believe as well that in the recent election, Victor Ponta and his team did not know how to stimulate positive voting. It was an anti-Ponta vote, much as it was an anti-system ballot that gathered together those who did not want shale gas and gold mining at Rosia Montana. So, a very odd vote that in the end led to the undecided showing up to vote through emotional contagion,’ Nastase said at the Gaudeamus Book Fair in Bucharest while launching his latest book ‘Cele doua Romanii’ (Two Romanias).
“For the beginning of the parliamentary session, it  would be important to seek a vote of confidence in Parliament, possibly on a government reshuffle, so all the question marks about the authority and legitimacy of government and parliamentary majority formula can be shattered by a vote in Parliament,” said Adrian Nastase.


“Victory has very many parents, while defeat is orphaned”


Asked whether he got involved in Ponta’s campaigning, given that he is known as Ponta’s former mentor, Nastase said no, insisting that ‘mentorship is for up to a certain age.’ ‘This mentorship idea amuses me a lot. You need a mentor up to a certain age, after which you are tempted and want to decide on your own, without needing any mentor. As I said publicly, I did not want to take part in the electioneering precisely to avoid creating a certain vulnerability to Ponta, given that some would have immediately linked my participation to some court decisions. And that is why I preferred to stay away. I did not take part in any form in the campaigning,’ said Nastase.
In his opinion the PSD leadership is the only one to decide on its future. ‘Victory has very many parents, while defeat is orphaned. They will go on in a formula to be decided upon by the party colleagues at their future convention,’ added Nastase, quoted by Agerpres.



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