President signs decrees appointing Interior and Foreign ministers, deputy PM. USR slams Iohannis

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President Klaus Iohannis has agreed the latest government reshuffle proposed by PM Dancila, signing the decrees appointing Ramona Mănescu as Foreign Affairs minister, Nicolae Moga as Interior minister and Mihai Fifor as deputy PM for strategic partnerships. The new ministers have taken the oath today at 11:00hrs.

Ramona Mănescu is replacing Teodor Melescanu and Nicolae Moga is replacing Carmen Dan.

Nicolae Moga has been senator of Constanţa during 2008-2012, 2012-2016 and 2016-2020. He was also vice-president of the Senate in the second legislature (2012-2016). Moga was also in the cards to take over either the Development portfolio or the Tourism ministry, according to sources.

An engineer by training, Nicolae Moga went into politics in 2003, when be became PSD member together with Radu Mazare to whom he was a close friend. They had also close professional connections, setting up a local TV channel that Moga led between 1996 and 2000. He was deputy prefect of Constanta and he was elected senator in 2008. He was vice-chairman of the Defence Committee, vice-president of the Senate and member in the Committee for justice laws.

A former Liberal, Ramona Manescu, who joined ALDE in 2017, was Transports minister in Ponta Cabinet, and a former MEP while she was member of the National Liberal Party.

Carmen Dans resignation came amid criticism of her close relation with former PSD leader Liviu Dragnea and amid accusations of poor management at the Interior Ministry and of orchestrating the violent intervention of the riot police at the Diaspora rally on August 10, 2018.

As for Teodor Melescanu, President Iohannis himself has repeatedly asked for his resignation for the queues in the Diaspora during the vote at the EP elections and the referendum on May 26.

However, one opposition party, Save Romania Union (USR) has criticised the head of state’s decision to appoint Ramona Mănescu and Nicolae Moga in the Government, with USR deputy Stelian Ion and MEP Clotilde Armand questioning Iohannis’ motivation.

USR depuyt Stelian Ion has wondered “for whom the President is actually playing”. “Nicolae Moga’s appointment for the Interior portfolio and Ramonei Mănescu at the Foreign Ministry are dishonouring for Klaus Iohannis (…) Nicolae Moga has been permanently standing next to Radu Mazare and Nicuşor Constantinescu in their actions to rob Constanta’s budget for almost two decades and he is undoubtedly one of those to blame for the decay of this Romanian important city. It is an absurd theatre that, while the judiciary is dismantling a mafia and is putting the mobster chiefs in jail, their lieutenant should become head of the police. In her turn, Ramona Mănescu is a person unable to justify her impressive fortune, seldom acquired by dubious transactions (see the Rise Project investigations). And what is even more serious is that nothing recommends Manescu to be the head of the diplomacy. This is what Romania deserves, Mr president Klaus Iohannis?,” Stelian Ion says in a Facebook post.

USR MEP Clotilde Armand has also asked President Iohannis to explain his decision to accept Moga and Manescu, arguing that “the Interior Ministry will be led by Mazare’s man and the Foreign Affairs are taken over by the lady with the illegal retrocessions in the Capital.

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