Just arrived from a short vacation in Dubai, PM Victor Ponta went in Parliament to table future plans regarding ruling, but also regarding party reorganization. Ponta stated that people would find out next week if the ruling coalition keeps going, adding he will submit a governmental restructuring next after the state budget is adopted, meaning after December 10. “We shall probably decide on having less ministers and on portfolios reassigning. It means we’ll have a restructuring, to reboot the Government for 2015-2016”, the prime minister explained.
Political source quoted by Mediafax are claiming that Finance minister Ioana Petrescu, Education minister Remus Pricopie and Economy minister Constantin Nita are among the ministers to be reshuffled. The same sources added that most of the minister delegates would not sit on the next Cabinet either, with Mihnea Costoiu, Research minister delegate and Bogdan Stanoevici, minister delegate for Romanians abroad topping the reshuffling list.
However, PM Ponta himself unveiled that one of the reasons for restructuring is to co-opt the Liberal Progressive Party headed by the Senate Speaker, Calin Popescu Tariceanu to join the ruling coalition. It was a pre-electoral promise made to Tariceanu and now the prime minister wants to meet it.
Parliamentary sources said PM Ponta would have promised to Tariceanu two minister seats in the future Government, one of them being the Finance portfolio.
Party introspection, mea culpa on Diaspora vote
Ponta, also president of the Social Democrat Party said that PSD would assess the outcome that lead to losing presidential elections in the spring of 2015, stressing that a lot of things must be radically changed inside the party. According to Ponta, PSD must submit a new strategy and a new political project if it targets winning 2016 parliamentary elections.
All in all, Ponta stated he takes upon himself the presidential elections’ failure, pointing out he couldn’t blame anyone else, as he carried the garland when he has won.
He stated in the Parliament plenum he had paid the political price for the Diaspora vote, adding he regrets that some Romanians living abroad could not vote. Thus he called on the political parties to enact the necessary law-making framework for the mail voting and for assigning the voting process organization to a non-political body. He suggested that the Permanent Electoral Authority, which is subordinated to the Parliament, to manage the future voting process.
However, the premier’s regrets and excuses did not impress the Liberals, as PNL MP Ludovic Orban asked for Ponta’s resignation and held him responsible for Romanians’ failing to vote in some European cities. While Orban called Ponta “a stigma on the country’s chin”, the premier replied it is an offence for the Romanian Diaspora to be represented by some “buffoons”.
Row with Realitatea TV journalist
On the other hand, PM Ponta insisted on clearing all charges brought against him for his holiday destination in Dubai. He said he went on vacation “on his own expenses and not on the Government’s”, also dismissing information on his huge check paid in a nightclub or on his drinking. “All those who have been acquainted with me for 40 years know that I don’t drink whiskey, maybe other presidents do,” he said. Then, he lashed out at Rares Bogdan, Realitatea TV journalist, who has actually disclosed all this information, including an alleged 2,690 euros check paid by the premier in a single night in a luxury club. “Since Mr. Turcescu exposed himself, Mr. Rares Bogdan remained the undercover officer dealing with this stuff.” In retort, Rares Bogdan threatened with new disclosures, accusing the premier he has “the IQ of a juicer.”