On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis signed a decree dismissing Stelian Ion as justice minister.
He also signed a decree appointing incumbent Interior Minister Lucian Bode acting justice minister.
Prime Minister Florin Citu announced Wednesday evening that he sent President Klaus Iohannis the request for the dismissal of Justice Minister Stelian Ion from the USR PLUS junior coalition partner.
“I took a necessary decision. A few minutes ago I sent the President of Romania the request for the removal from office of Justice Minister Stelian Ion,” PM Citu said.
“I will not accept in the Government of Romania ministers who oppose the country’s modernization. As a minister, Stelian Ion has failed to assert himself in the coalition, he fell short of carrying his projects through. For example, the abolition of the Section for the Investigation of Judicial Crimes, which eight months into office, has still not been dismantled,” the Premier said in a press statement at the Victoria Palace of Government.
Citu added that “blocking the government’s activity just because one doesn’t agree to develop communities” is a violation of the mandate entrusted by Parliament through the governing program, and that he will not allow “the blackmailing” of the Romanian people.
“I no longer accept in the government anyone who resorts to blackmail. No one who doesn’t understand that we are not talking here about mayors, but about communities and the citizens’ interest. We need to develop Romania. Just because our USR PLUS coalition colleagues don’t have many mayors doesn’t mean that the Romanians have to suffer. I take full responsibility for this decision. The PNL National Political Bureau has undertaken this investment project, which is not PNDL 3. It’s a dedicated road paving, water & sewage and gas project. It is the symbol of Romania’s modernization after 30 years,” the Prime Minister went on to say.
Citu added that he will nominate for interim Justice Minister someone who understands the “number 1 priority of investments” in Romania.
“I want our coalition partners from USR PLUS to have the broadmindedness and responsibility not to choose to pull out of government, as they have been conveying via various channels since this morning. This coalition is bound to deliver reforms for Romanians. I assure you that this government carries on and that we will overcome this moment as well, because the public interest, the interest of the Romanians is above the interest of a politician,” the Prime Minister concluded.
Outgoing JusMin Ion: Anghel Saligny draft is burdened with legal issues
Dismissed Justice Minister Stelian Ion said on Thursday that many legal and constitutional issues have been identified in the draft version of the Anghel Saligny programme.
Asked by journalists what problems he identified, Ion answered: “From what I see at first sight, from the documents presented at one point by the approving colleagues, there are many constitutional, legal issues, issues related to the public property regime, to whom these projects are awarded what the legal conditions are. Beyond that, once again, I was asked something impossible, to issue an opinion on a document that I did not have at the ministry. That’s borderline absurd. (…) I think that there is a stake related to internal competition inside the National Liberal Party (PNL), I think that this is the real stake.”