Prime-Minister Victor Ponta decided to suspend himself as Prime-Minister for a period of 28 days, on Sunday. His decision is motivated by his condition, Ponta requiring a period of rehabilitation after the knee surgery he had in Istanbul last week. During his self-suspension, the Executive will be headed by Gabriel Oprea, Minister of Interior. However, according to the Constitution, the president is not bound to appoint interim PM the person proposed by the PM, and he has the freedom to appoint any of the current ministers.
‘Today, the doctors have decided that I can be discharged / in the next seven days I will undergo daily checking procedures, changing of dressing and monitoring. After that, for two weeks I will need to do physiotherapy and recovery treatments before the doctors an allow me to walk without the support of permanent medical devices / within 28 days I can resume my normal activity and will continue the rehabilitation programme for six months.
Tomorrow I will ask the President of Romania to appoint Deputy Prime-Minister Gabriel Oprea, under Section 107 of the Constitution, as acting Prime-Minister (will also chair Cabinet meetings) during this period (I enclose the letter). I would like to thank again the doctors here and Dr. Ionut Codorean for their attention and professionalism’, Ponta states on Facebook.
The maximum period for which an interim –PM may be appointed is 45 days.
What the Constitution says
Section 106: The office as member of the Government ceases after resignation, revocation, loss of electoral rights, incompatibility, death and in other cases under the law.
Section 107: (1) The Prime-Minister heads the Government and coordinates the activity of its members, observing his/her duties. He/she presents to the Chamber of Deputies or Senate reports and statements on the policy of the Government, which are debated on with priority.
(2) The President of Romania may not revoke the Prime-Minister.
(3) If the Prime-Minister is in one of the situations stipulated at Section 106, except for revocation, or cannot discharge his/her duties, the President of Romania shall appoint another member of the Government to act as Prime-Minister until a new Government is set up. The interim office, during the period of impossibility of discharging duties, ceases if the Prime-Minister resumes activity in the Government.
(4) The provisions at paragraph (3) also apply to the other members of the Government, at the proposal of the Prime-Minister, for a maximum period of 45 days.
Gov’t: Within a maximum of 28 days PM Ponta will resume its normal activity at the Victoria Palace
Prime Minister Victor Ponta is going to resume his activity as head of the Government within maximum 28 days, informs a release of the Government on Sunday sent to Agerpres..
“The doctors decided that the Prime Minister Victor Ponta can be released from hospital today [i.e. Sunday], but he must still see a specialist daily, for the next 7 days. The complicated recovery process, including treatments and physical therapy, will take at least 14 days, which means that within maximum 28 days the head of the Executive will be able to resume his normal activity at the Victoria Palace [the Government office]. The Government activity, however, won’t be affected until then, as the Prime Minister will transfer all his responsibilities for the needed time of his recovery to the Deputy PM Gabriel Oprea; he reassured the Romanian citizens that he will return to work in the shortest while possible,’ the Government announced.
The PM will also notify President Klaus Iohannis on Monday with respect to the appointment of Deputy PM Gabriel Oprea as interim PM for a maximum of 45 days, based on the article 107, paragraph (3) of the Romanian Constitution.
The Prime Minister took this decision because of the ‘knee surgery he underwent in a hospital in Turkey early this week.’
Victor Ponta closely follows the advice of specialists and reassures the public opinion and the Romanian citizens that the Romanian Government’s activity won’t be affected,’ reads the release sent to the Government.
PNL’s Gorghiu: Ponta, a prime-minister in exile who tries to conduct a victimization campaign by fax
PNL Co-president Alina Gorghiu says Ponta has chosen ‘an indign option’ and is again demanding his resignation.
‘Victor Ponta is backing off, but in an indign option. Despite a medical situation, I think Prime-Minister Victor Ponta wants to buy time, as he is unable to find another way out of the grievous situation he ended up in. It is a kind of self-suspension after trying all the other possible and impossible tricks. Whenever he may be back, whomever he may delegate his duties to, Victor Ponta must resign. Now he is nothing but a prime-minister in exile, who is trying to conduct a victimization campaign by fax, nothing else. Ponta must resign today! We’ll accept it also by fax’, Alina Gorghiu states on Facebook.
Predoiu: DNA and IMF look for him in Bucharest and he’s hiding like a coward behind doctors in Turkey
PNL’s shadow-PM Catalin Predoiu also had a reaction: ‘The justice fugitive Ponta is mocking the office as prime-minister and Romania. DNA and the IMF are looking for him in Romania for serious things and he, like a coward, is hiding behind the doctors in Turkey. ‘The Government is paralyzed. The Administration is paralyzed and the credibility of Romania as an investment attractive country has been ruined. Ponta, resign! You have no right to bedevil the country!’ Predoiu says.