New Ponta Cabinet unveiled. One vice-premier left, four ministers leave the Cabinet, two ministries massed

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The Social Democrat Party leadership convened on Sunday unanimously agreed on a new Government led by PM Victor Ponta. Liviu Dragnea was stripped of the vice-premier position, being offered the Regional Development and Public Administration ministry instead. Conservative leader Daniel Constantin will not be vice-premier anymore, as well, so the fourth Ponta Cabinet will have only one vice-premier position, held by Interior minister Gabriel Oprea.

Four ministers lost their positions, Ioana Petrescu was replaced from the Finance minister position, Remus Pricopie is not Education minister anymore, Razvan Cotovelea looses Communications portfolio and Constantin Nita looses the Economy portfolio. Two ministries have been massed however. The Budget portfolio was massed with the Finance ministry and the new Finance ministry is the former Delegate minister for Budget, Darius Valcov. The Energy ministry has also taken over the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) portfolio, with Andrei Gerea proposed as minister, a member of the Liberal Progressive Party. Calin Popescu Tariceanu’ s party was also offered the Environment ministry, Gratiela Gavrilescu being proposed as minister. The Economy minister was taken over by PSD, which suggests Mihai Tudose as minister. Tudose, a lawmaker and leader of PSD Braila branch, was asked if he would comply with an extra position. “I think I will, I am 1.98 meters tall and 100 kilos.”

Education portfolio was given to the Conservative Party (PC), with Sorin Campeanu proposed as minister. Social-Democrat Sorin Grindeanu was proposed to take over the Communications ministry. PSD will also take over Culture portfolio from UDMR, which officially stepped out the ruling coalition on Saturday. Ionut Vulpescu was proposed to run the Culture ministry.

As for the Ministry for Romanians Abroad, it stays in the future Cabinet, but it won’t by run by delegate minister Bogdan Stanoevici anymore. Senator Adrian Anghel was tendered to hold the position. The Social Dialogue portfolio also remains in the next Government, with Liviu Pop being the delegate minister proposal.

 According to PM Ponta, the new ministers list will be submitted to the Parliament on Monday. “Our parliamentary groups have given all their unanimous support for this Government formula. It is important the reshuffled cabinet should do its job in 2015 and 2016, and fulfill all obligations assumed by the Social Liberal Union’s ruling program in 2012,” Ponta said.

The prime minister also explained why the new Cabinet would have only one vice-premier, saying “it’s all a political calculation.” “Mr. Dragnea, who will run the Development ministry, will have more political duties, the same goes for Mr. Constantin, who was the one who asked for a very strong and important ministry for PC, the Education ministry,” Ponta said.

Previously on Sunday, 18 PSD MPs wrote an address to PM Ponta, asking him to name “young, professional and clean-fingered persons” in the new Government, arguing this kind of people will help PSD rejuvenate and be credible.

PSD leadership also decided on Sunday the lawmakers who will veto the future Government in Parliament would be expelled from the party.




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