Parliament agrees new Cabinet but relations sour
The Romanian parliament saw another of those exciting days yesterday when political alliances turned and soured as the day went on. The parliament did succeed in approving the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, known as Ponta 3, by 346 votes for, to 192 votes against.
The formation of the new Cabinet came after the National Liberal Party (PNL) withdrew from the Social Liberal Union (USL) government last week. The PNL and Social Democratic Party (PSD), headed by Prime Minister Victor Ponta had argued for weeks over a new Cabinet following several resignations and the atmosphere had become increasingly bitter.
Such is the acrimony that yesterday Crin Antonescu, the leader of the PNL, said that without his party the USL no longer existed and that he would resign as President of the Senate and the prime minister should also resign his position. In the end Crin Antonescu did resign and the prime minister formed his new Cabinet.
Meanwhile President Traian Băsescu questioned the legality of the new government because a new party has been brought in to replace the PNL; the new coalition is made up of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Conservative Party (PC), the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) and the new party, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR). The President said he wanted the Prime Minister to introduce a new programme to parliament and receive a vote of confidence for the new government. Without this the President believes the new government could be challenged in the Constitutional Court.
The full list of new Cabinet members includes a number of technocrats without party affiliation. The full list with party affiliation is as follows:
Victor Ponta (PSD); Prime Minister
Liviu Dragnea (PSD); Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development
Gabriel Oprea (PSD); Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Domestic Affairs
Daniel Constantin (PC); Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture
Hunor Kelemen (UDMR); Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Culture
Titus Corlăţean (PSD); Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mircea Dusa (PSD); Minister of Defence
Robert Cazanciuc (PSD); Minister of Justice
Atilla Korodi (UDMR); Minister of Environment
Constantin Nita (PSD); Minister of Economy
Ioana Petrescu; Minister of Finance
Nicolae Bănicioiu (PSD); Minister of Health
Remus Priocipie (PSD); Minister of Education
Rovana Plumb (PSD); Minister of Labour
Eugen Teodorovici (PSD); Minister of European Funds
Dan Sova (PSD); Minister of Transport
Liviu Voinea (PSD); Minister of Budget
Gabriela Szabo; Minister of Youth and Sport
Răzvan Cotovelea; Minister of Information Technology
Răzvan Nicolăescu; Minister of Energy
Florin Jianu; Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Tourism
Mihnea Costoiu (PSD); Minister Delegate for Research
Bogdan Stanoevici; Minister Delegate for Romanians Abroad
Doina Pana (PSD); Minister Delegate for Waters
Aurelia Cristea; Minister Delegate for Social Dialogue
Eugen Nicolicea (UNPR); Minister Delegate for the relation with the Parliament