On Thursday morning, several ministers – including Deputy Premier and Regional Development Minister Sevil Shhaideh, Minister for Romanian Expats Andreea Pastirnac, European Affairs Minister Ana Birchall, Energy Minister Toma Petcu and Economy Minister Mihai Tudose – lodged with the Government General Secretariat (SGG) requests to have their resignations withdrawn.
Similar requests were shortly thereafter lodged by Education Minister Pavel Nastase and by Environment Minister Adriana Petcu.
According to initial reports, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was among those withdrawing their resignations, however Justice Ministry sources later stated Toader did not change his mind regarding the resignation tendered, especially since in the morning he had stated that he will remain in office until June 30, in line with the law, date on which a new Cabinet is expected to exist.
As early as Wednesday evening, outgoing Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated that the members of the Grindeanu Government will withdraw the resignations they had tendered, in order to make sure the Government will function until a new Cabinet is sworn in.
“I believe we will all withdraw our resignations, in order for the ministries to be functional until the future Government is sworn in, to ensure the leadership of the ministries as interim ministers,” she said.
Health Minister: We withdrew resignations because we don’t want to block Gov’t activity
Health Minister Florian Bodog stated on Thursday, for News.ro, that he withdrew his resignation, like most of his colleagues, until the new Government is formed, because he does not want to block the Government’s activity.
“I withdrew my resignation a bit later because I attended the opening of a plastic surgery conference. From a juridical standpoint, the resignation would have produced effects in 15 days,” the Health Minister pointed out.
He said he withdrew his resignation, alongside most of the ministers, because he does not want the Government’s activity perturbed. “It’s the unanimous decision, we don’t want the activity perturbed,” the Health Minister added.
Gov’t spokesperson: Twenty of the twenty-seven members of Government lodged requests to have their resignations withdrawn
On Thursday, twenty of the twenty-seven members of Government lodged requests to have their resignations withdrawn, Government Spokesperson Alina Petrescu informed, pointing out that the requests lack an object.
Alina Petrescu pointed out that Article 6 of law no.90 on the way the Government is organised and functions stipulates that the resignations are irrevocable once their lodging has been noted.
“All of the 20 standard documents, that have identical text, also include the resignations’ registration numbers, from the Prime Minister’s office. When the [Prime Minister’s] office and the Government General Secretariat issue registration numbers for these documents, I’m asking rhetorically, have these resignations been recorded?” Petrescu stated.
She pointed out that whether ministers can return to their offices or not is moot, since ministers have exercised their prerogatives in recent days too. “During all these days, the outgoing ministers came to work. There were some who delegated their right of signature to secretaries of state or to the ministry’s secretary general, but the overwhelming majority came to work,” Alina Petrescu pointed out.
Tudorel Toader convinced that another Gov’t will be sworn in by June 30
Outgoing Justice Minister stated on Thursday that he filed his resignation on June 15 (which means it will become irrevocable on June 30), date on which the period of leadership ad interim started. He expressed his conviction that the new Government will be sworn in by the end of the month. Toader avoided saying whether he wants to be a member of the future Government too.
“I’ve always said this: I’ll carry out the duties of ad interim, I’ll carry out my prerogatives until the final moment of my term in office,” Tudorel Toader stated.
He pointed out that, according to Article 6 of law no.90/2001 on the way the Government is organised, a tendered resignation becomes irrevocable 15 days after it is lodged with the Premier.
“This means I tendered my resignation on June 15, it becomes irrevocable on June 30. It means that I can no longer withdraw my resignation until June 30, but this doesn’t mean I can’t carry out the duties of ad interim. Consequently, the irrevocable character means the principle of unattachedness, but not an automatic cessation of the mandate too, because continuity, ensuring functionality, is necessary,” Toader explained.
Tudorel Toader pointed out that Wednesday he met ALDE President Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
“And we discussed two issues: the first concerned exactly what you asked me about, the concurrence between the juridical effects of a minister’s resignation and the juridical effects of the motion adopted, in the sense of avoiding the vacuum of authority. The second concerned the stage of the judiciary laws. (…) Regarding the judiciary laws, there is no delay, because in the governing platform the judiciary laws basically have a different name, we’re talking about a bill modifying the judiciary laws, and the governing platform lists the end of June as the timetable, which means we are within the deadline,” the outgoing Justice Minister said.
Toader expressed his “full conviction” that we will have a new Government by June 30.
Asked whether he would accept being part of the new Government too, he replied: “I’ll give an answer to this question, if needed, if and when the topic is relevant.”
Ousted DevMin Shhaideh: I decided to withdraw my resignation to return to Constitution’s provisions
Ousted Minister of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds Sevil Shhaideh announced on Thursday that she was withdrawing her resignation in order for the activity of the ministry not to be blocked “through all sorts of judicial tricks that can ensue in this period.”
“All I can say is that immediately after taking note of the publication of the censure motion in the Official Journal of Romania, (…) I convened ministry experts in order to identify possible risks that might lead to the blockage of this institution. As you well know, there is no secretary of state and no secretary general in office at this ministry. (…) From talking with all judicial experts (…) in order not to block, by using all sorts of legal tricks that can ensue in this period, I decided to withdraw my resignation in order to return to what the Constitution provides for, namely Article 85: ousted Government, caretaker Cabinet,” Shhaideh told Antena 3 private broadcaster.
She motivated her decision by saying that had her resignation been published under a presidential decree, she would have not been a main employer anymore, and so the ministry would have been blocked, giving that there is no state secretary, no secretary general in office.
“Therefore, I had to carry out my activity normally. I don’t think that anybody has to suffer, including local administrations. Huge efforts were deployed to submit projects rennin on European funds. Don’t you think that we should have contracts as well in order to have fund absorption?” Shhaideh added.
Ponta: Resignations are irrevocable
Government Secretary General Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook, on Wednesday evening, that the resignations tendered by the members of the Grindeanu Government were publicly announced, their lodging was noted, so that they are “irrevocable” and the ministers should not “make a laughing stock of themselves forever” by returning to a Cabinet ousted by their own votes. Ponta’s reaction was prompted by outgoing Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu’s announcement that all ministers will withdraw their tendered resignations in order to carry out the duties of ad interim until the new Government is sworn in.
“STOP – the ministers who voted, with open ballots, in favour of the no-confidence motion against the Government whose members they were, haven’t they made a laughing stock of themselves enough?? The ministers who obediently listened to and approved the Dragnea-Valcov report that said they’re all catastrophically inept, haven’t they made a laughing stock of themselves enough??? The ministers who are now shadowing Liviu Dragnea in order for him to appoint them members of the future Government, back on the posts in which the Report said they did nothing, aren’t they making a laughing stock of themselves enough?” Victor Ponta wrote.
The Lower Chamber lawmaker claimed that the resignations tendered by the members of the Grindeanu Government are “irrevocable”, considering that former Government Secretary General Mihai Busuioc took note of the fact they were lodged.
“Do we still have to embarrass them, really forever, by asking them to withdraw their resignations and to return to a Government dismissed with their own votes – even though law no.90/2001 clearly says they are “irrevocable”?!?! I point out they were publicly announced, lodged with the Prime Minister, in writing, and former Secretary General Busuioc “took note of the act of lodging them”. So much lack of seriousness and such incompetence are difficult to find…,” Victor Ponta concluded.
He also posted the articles of law concerning the resignation of the ministers, according to which the resignation from the Government is publicly announced, lodged with the Prime Minister, in writing, and becomes irrevocable once note has been taken of the act of lodging it, but no later than 15 days from the date the resignation is tendered.
Traian Basescu: It’s the acme of embarrassment for PSD’s “outgoing and incompetent” ministers to withdraw their resignations
PMP President Traian Basescu wrote on Facebook, on Thursday, that it is “the acme of embarrassment” for all PSD ministers who voted to topple the Government whose members they were, as a result of the “incompetence” shown in carrying out the governing platform, to now withdraw their resignations in order to be members of the Cabinet.
“The acme of embarrassment! At the motion, all PSD ministers voted to topple the Government whose members they were, as a result of the incompetence shown in carrying out the governing platform. Shortly after the Government fell, Olguta Vasilescu announced that the outgoing – but also incompetent – ministers are withdrawing their resignations. How could you vote that you were an incompetent minister who failed to carry out your programme, only to afterward announce that you want to be minister again?” the PMP Senator pointed out.
Traian Basescu concluded by saying that “political common sense, the sense of the ridiculous and of embarrassment have nothing to do with the PSD.”
Orban: PSD has become a laughing stock; after toppling their Gov’t, ministers withdraw resignations
On Thursday, PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban lampooned PSD, calling it a laughing stock of a party, for the fact that ministers are withdrawing their resignations after toppling their own Government through a no-confidence motion.
“PSD has become a laughing stock. Yesterday they adopted a no-confidence motion against their own Government, a completely abnormal case; today, we find out that the ministers who were dismissed via no-confidence motion and who were outgoing, have reconsidered their resignations. We’re glad we got rid of one PSD gang and we’ll do everything in our power to get rid of the other PSD gang, the Dragnea-Firea-Olguta gang,” Ludovic Orban said.
President Iohannis: Talks on ministers’ resignation is artificial; I am not appointing ministers for two days
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday in Brussels that the discussion on the Grindeanu Government ministers’ resignations is “artificial,” mentioning that he will not appoint ministers “for two days.”
When asked what he will do about the ministers’ resignations that already arrived at his office, given that many ministers retracted them in the meantime because they wanted to provide caretaker governance, Iohannis answered: “I saw that there was a big discussion about the resignations. It is useless. A minister is in office until I discharge him or her by decree, which I have not done yet, or until a new Government voted by Parliament is validated, and then the activity of the old ministers automatically ceases. Therefore, all this talk is artificial. I believe it is obvious to everyone that I will not appoint ministers for two days. That’s something that cannot be done.”
Furthermore, the head of state mentioned that the ministers have to conduct their official business until the matter of the new Executive is clarified.
“The incumbent office holders can conduct their official business until we clarify the matter of the new Government,” Iohannis said.