President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday sent a letter to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila informing her of his decision to reject the appointment of Lia Olguta Vasilescu as Deputy PM, Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration.
“I decided to reject the proposal to appoint Lia Olguta Vasilescu as Deputy PM, Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration”, reads the letter.
The head of state asked the PM to make another proposal for the respective office.
“Therefore, according to the provisions of art. 85 paragraph (2) of the Constitution and considering the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court you need to make a new proposal for the office of Deputy PM, Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration, to meet the criteria established by the law and also the requirements regarding the general training and experience in the respective field of activity, skills, clean reputation and morality,” said Iohannis.
The President explained he rejected the appointment of Lia Olguta Vasilescu as Minister of Development for she didn’t have the necessary training and experience for this field.
“After analyzing the activity of the person whose name was proposed, as resulting from the documentation I received, I saw that Mrs Lia Olguta Vasilescu does not have the necessary training in any of the fields corresponding to the activity of the Ministry she is supposed to lead. Moreover, the same documentation shows that Mrs Lia Olguta Vasilescu does not have the necessary experience to promote and manage public policies at national level in the complex field of regional development and public administration. In her capacity as city mayor, Mrs Lia Olguta Vasilescu did not promote or manage public policies at national level, while in her capacity as MP she only activated in such parliamentary committees that, through their object of activity, were directly related either to her professional training, which is culture, art and mass information means, either related to her experience as Minister in the labour and social protection field,” he argued.
According to the head of the state, in her capacity as Labour Minister, Vasilescu promoted a “lack of transparency” in the relation with the civil society and in the social dialogue process and made a series of “controversial” statements.
The letter mentions nothing about Mircea Draghici, the Social Democrat whom Viorica Dancila nominated as Transport Minister.
Premier Viorica Dancila has stated that she called President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday, before she left for Brussels, asking for his answer on the nominations made at the helm of the Transport and Development ministries, pointing out that the President promised her he would give an answer in the following days.
Viorica Dancila says she called the Head of State the day before the left for Brussels, where she was scheduled to meet European officials.
President Klaus Iohannis has repeatedly refused to appoint Mircea Draghici and Olguta Vasilescu at the helm of the Development and Transport ministries respectively. Each time, the Premier re-nominated the same persons.
Lia Olguta Vasilescu: President Iohannis is perfect case of abuse of office; I’ll file a criminal complaint
Deputy Lia Olguta Vasilescu on Thursday announced she is preparing a criminal complaint against President Klaus Iohannis for abuse of office, after the latter rejected her appointment as Minister of Development.
“Since there are no legal grounds for his rejection, and this is nothing else by personal hate, I believe that Mr. Klaus Iohannis is the perfect case of abuse of office, as stipulated by article 297, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Criminal Code, for which reason I have already started to write my criminal complaint in this respect,” Vasilescu wrote on her Facebook page.
PSD: He has shown he is the most irresponsible President Romania has had. He will remain in history as the “Monkey-wrench President”
The Social Democratic Party (PSD) stated on Thursday, after President Klaus Iohannis refused the nomination of Lia Olguta Vasilescu at the helm of the Development Ministry, that he has shown that he is the most irresponsible Romanian President and he will remain in history as the “Monkey-wrench President,” announcing that the Social Democrats will make use of legal and constitutional means to determine the Head of State to observe his obligations.
“Klaus Iohannis has shown today that he is the most irresponsible President Romania has had. He has not come up with any project, any constructive proposal, with nothing that would improve the life of Romanians. He is driven by personal frustrations and only knows how to block. He will remain in history as the ‘Monkey-wrench President,’” the PSD points out, accusing the President of “doing everything in his power to block PSD from making the investments so long expected by citizens.”
In the Social Democrats’ opinion, “based on the criteria on whose grounds he rejected Olguta Vasilescu today, Iohannis would have never become President of Romania, nor could he have held a ministerial office.”
They believe that Iohannis contradicts himself, because he endorsed the appointment of Olguta Vasilescu at the helm of the Labour Ministry, where “she drafted the most complex laws of this Government: the salary law and the pensions law. PSD has had enough patience.”
“Up next, we will make use of legal and constitutional means to determine the ‘Monkey-wrench’ President to observe his obligations toward the law and the citizens,” the PSD informs.
Stefanescu: In the end, the Gov’t is left to notify the CCR
PSD Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu has stated for MEDIAFAX that the only option is for the Government to notify the Constitutional Court (CCR) about a constitutional conflict caused by President Klaus Iohannis’s new refusal to appoint Olguta Vasilescu at the Development Ministry.
“To refuse Lia Olguta Vasilescu for the umpteenth time – because she attacks the deep state, Kovesi and the abuses within the judiciary – means being the spokesman of a toxic establishment that clearly and openly manoeuvres you. To say that Olguta Vasilescu has no experience, after two years in which she was Labour Minister and she solved far ahead of schedule the entire national programme regarding the hiking of pensions and salaries, means not caring at all for Romania and Romanians. The option left in the end is for the Government to notify the CCR about a juridical conflict of a constitutional nature,” Codrin Stefanescu stated.
Cazanciuc: A desperate attempt to validate himself in the public space
In his turn, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Cazanciuc has stated for MEDIAFAX that President Klaus Iohannis has refused to appoint Olguta Vasilescu at the helm of the Development Ministry, each time without arguments, in a desperate attempt to validate himself in the public space.
“Too bad the President never had arguments when he rejected a minister nominated by the PSD. Things like he didn’t have their criminal record or that they talked publicly and the President didn’t like it? It’s normal for a minister to talk publicly in line with their beliefs at one point. If they believe there are abuses in the judiciary, they will talk about it. Unfortunately for Romania, the President is consistent in erring. You can’t keep an important ministry blocked just because the President believes he doesn’t have the criminal record of a minister nominated by the party, as the President would like to. Unfortunately, it’s only an attempt – almost desperate – on the part of the President to validate himself in the public space. We are leaving an important ministry without a minister at a time when we hold the presidency of the EU Council, even if we are destroying the country. It has nothing to do with the decision of a President who thinks about his country,” Robert Cazanciuc stated on Thursday for MEDIAFAX.
Asked whether the PSD considers notifying the CCR, the Social Democratic Senator said that a decision will probably be taken “at the level of the PSD leadership, during the first meeting of the Standing Bureau or the ExCom.”
Asked whether, in his opinion, such an action would be advisable, Robert Cazanciuc said: “It’s obvious that there’s a conflict between the President and the Government. It’s no secret. Unfortunately, the conflict is visible to anyone. It’s for the party’s leadership body to decide whether there will be a demarche at the CCR.”
USR’s remark after Iohannis refuses to appoint Olguta Vasilescu: You can’t endlessly come up with the same nomination
Save Romania Union’s (USR) House lawmaker Stelian Ion stated on Thursday, at the Palace of Parliament, after President Iohannis announced his decision to once again refuse to appoint Olguta Vasilescu at the helm of the Development Ministry, that it is the Head of State’s prerogative to do so, and that the PSD cannot endlessly come up with the same nomination.
“It’s very clear for me that it’s the President’s prerogative to refuse, and you can’t endlessly come up with the same nomination that was refused once. It’s only a gimmick and arm twisting on the part of the PSD, as they have got used to doing. They repeat the procedures until they get their way. Now they don’t. Next, we’ll see if the CCR endorses PSD’s ambition,” House lawmaker Stelian Ion (USR) stated on Thursday at the Palace of Parliament.
Regarding the Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) imposing deadlines for the Head of State to enforce Constitutional Court (CCR) decisions, a GEO that the PSD is mulling, the House lawmaker said it is an addition to the Constitution.
“In my view, I believe it’s an addition to the Constitution. The Constitution does not establish this, it talks about those procedures, but such deadlines are not set. If this Constitution does not contain certain deadlines, I believe it’s not constitutional to add to that procedure,” Stelian Ion explained.
PNL leader proposes solution to the ministers’ crisis: They should come up with other candidates
Following Klaus Iohannis’s refusal to appoint Olguta Vasilescu at the helm of the Development Ministry, National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Ludovic Orban has stated that this is hard-headedness on the part of the Government and the Premier must understand and come up with a different nomination, preferably after she consults the President.
“I don’t know why the nomination had to be resent, considering that President Iohannis refused to appoint Mrs Vasilescu. They should come up with other candidates. (…) This is PSD’s hard-headedness. Is the PSD really not finding other candidates? Of course, we no longer hope for any serious candidate for any ministerial office, following the 71 clueless persons who have populated the leadership of ministries in recent years. Preferably, the Premier should also consult the President before making a nomination, also as regards the conditions that this candidate must meet,” Ludovic Orban stated on Thursday at the Palace of Parliament.
Regarding a potential GEO that will introduce deadlines for President Klaus Iohannis to enforce Constitutional Court decisions, Ludovic Orban has stated that the Government must stop issuing tailor-made legislative acts.
“I’ve heard a statement that the Government wants to issue a GEO to appoint Olguta Vasilescu as minister. I believe governing via tailor-made legislative acts must cease. We can’t issue legislative acts in order to find Olguta Vasilescu a job. How would a GEO meant to find Olguta Vasilescu a job look like? They must understand that they must come up with a different nomination. Preferably someone who has expertise in this field and the capacity to solve the problems in this field,” Orban added.