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Update: President Iohannis denies nominations for the Development and Transports on “legality and opportunity grounds”

After President Klaus Iohannis has signed on Thursday afternoon the decrees recalling deputy PM and Development minister Paul Stanescu and Transports minister Lucian Sova, he has announced in a press conference on Friday that he is not accepting the nominations of Olguta Vasilescu and Mircea Draghici for the Development and Transports ministries, explaining his denial comes amid „legality and opportunity grounds”.

I signed the revocation decrees yesterday. I will refuse the proposals advanced by the prime minister for we have legality, but also opportunity grounds. I will reveal the reasons of my denial by the middle next week,” the President pointed out, adding the arguments will be made public in written.

I don’t know what PSD will do, we’ll see. I intend to talk to the prime minister anytime she is looking for me for a discussion regarding the government”, the head of state further said.

Iohannis: My goal is to win a second mandate as President

On the other hand, Klaus Iohannis has said that his goal is to win a second mandate as President of Romania.

We start 2019 that is a year with many challenges. We practically start directly with the Presidency of the EU Council, we’ll have the EC visit next week to hit the ground with the Presidency. I am convinced we’ll handle well. We already have in May the first elections, for the European Parliament and it’s very important to race in these elections. The more voters are coming the clearer the result will be. We’ll have presidential elections at the end of the year and I am reiterating I will enter the race for a new mandate as President”, Iohannis stated.

For the entire 2019 my objectives are a better and deeper European integration, our enhancement within NATO and maybe we’ll manage to have a reinforcement on the western flank. One of the very important goals for me is enhancing the rule of law in Romania, meaning a continuation of the anti-corruption fight. My personal goal for the elections is to win a new mandate as President”, he underlined.

I am very optimist. I fear no contender. At the end of 2019 we’ll know what president the voters will want“.

President rejects Justice minister’s request to dismiss PG

At the same time, the head of state told the same press conference he will not dismiss Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar, as Justice minister Tudorel Toader has requested, arguing the minister had nothing better to do and sent again the same documents asking for Lazar’s revocation.

The Justice Minister, as he probably had nothing better to do, has sent to me again the same revocation documents. I can simply tell you- I will not dismiss Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar. Romania’s prosecutor general is doing an excellent job out there. I am content with his activity”, Klaus Iohannis said.

Referring to the Justice minister’s assessment, the President replied: “the Justice minister’s assessment does not satisfy the rigor of the law”.

As for the minister’s proposals for the National Anti-corruption Directorate’s leadership, President Iohannis explained they are analysed by the Presidency’s legal department. “Minister Toader has chosen to send the same proposals, which is at least strange“.

On extending the mandate of the Army’s chief

Referring to extending the mandate of the Chief of Staff Nicolae Ciuca by one more year, the Romanian President said that the Constitutional Court cannot be notified for the law allows the signing of a decree to extend a mandate.

I see the CCR cannot be notified. I signed that decree for the law demands. There is not mention in the law that the President must wait for the minister’s proposal. PSD has not been able to come up with a serious nomination. I cannot allow Romania has no chief of Army. There is no conflict”, Iohannis explained.

Criticism on the lack of 2019 state budget

President Iohannis has also slammed the ruling Social Democrat Party for the lack of a state budget, saying this is a very serious issue and that, by the law, PSD should have adopted the budget since November 15 last year.

I asked this question. Where is the draft budget? PSD has ruled all this time and it should have come up with the draft by November 15. Instead of taking care of the budget it is more preoccupied in replacing the ANAF president. There are probably issues with the budget“, the head of state said.

About Alina Grigoras Butu

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