The candidates for the ministerial portfolios on Tuesday cleared the nomination hearings in the Parliament expert commissions. The 15 members of the new ruling line-up are as follows:
Vasile Blaga, Minister of Administration and the Interior; Adriean Videanu, Minister of Economy, Trade and the Business Environment; Radu Berceanu, Minister of Transports and Infrastructure; Mihail Dumitru, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development; Daniel Funeriu, Minister of Education, Research, Innovation, Youth and Sports; Mihai Seitan, Minister of Labour, Family and Social Protection; Elena Udrea, Minister of Regional Development and Tourism; Gabriel Sandu, Minister of Communications and Information Society; Hunor Kelemen, Minister of Culture, Religious Affairs and National Heritage; Laszlo Borbely, Minister of the Environment; Attila Cseke, Minister of Health; Catalin Predoiu, Minister of Justice; Sebastian Vladescu, Minister of Public Finance; Gabriel Oprea, Minister of National Defense; Teodor Baconschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Bela Marko, leader of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania will be holding the position of Vice-Premier. President Traian Basescu on December 17 designated head of the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) Emil Boc for the position of Prime Minister, insisting on the fact that the government should be invested on December 23 for it to be able to submit to Parliament the draft state budget for 2010 by the end of the year.
Premier Emil Boc on Wednesday asked for the lawmakers’ vote of confidence “so as to do the right thing for Romania,” mentioning that political normalcy needs to be set in place and measures need to be established in order to bring prosperity to the 22 million Romanians. “From my point of view, the electoral campaign has come to end. We are out of the campaign logic and from this moment, what needs to be done in the first place is to set political normalcy in place and reach the decisions Romania needs. (…) We are asking for your vote of confidence to do the right thing for Romania,” said Boc.
He underscored that he did not accept a new term as Prime Minister in order to gain in ‘popularity’ and recalled the economic difficulties of 2009. “I said I do not come to the government’s helm in order to gain in popularity, I agreed to continue this work because we are all doing it to the best of Romania. 2009 was a difficult year all over the world. The entire EU, except for Poland, witnessed economic decline. All the governments faced difficult situations. We have the chance to reap in 2010 the fruit of the good measures reached in 2009 in order to avoid economic slippages,” said the Prime Minister designate.
Taking the Parliament floor, Senate chairman and leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Mircea Geoana declared that the members of the PSD + PC Alliance would not vote for an old government that has no solution for the Romanians and that fell in a no-confidence vote in Parliament. He argued that the current majority is ‘formed by treason’ being, in his opinion, “a gathering of cronies serving the vested interests of the Liberal Democratic Party (PD-L) and President Traian Basescu.’ Geoana said that the vote cast by such a majority would defy common sense, the Romanians who are unhappy with their living standards and who see the threat of unemployment and the decline of the purchasing power looming large over them in 2010.
President of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Crin Antonescu apologized to the voters of his party for the few Liberal MPs who gave their nod of approval to the members of the Boc government during the hearings in the expert committees. According to the president of the Liberal Party, the majority that supports the government proposed by Emil Boc was built according to reprehensible criteria.
“We each backed a particular vision and a governing program. If we endorsed a governing manner and vision different from that of the vote-winning President, this victory being actually the ground on which you are now forming the government, how can you now require us to jump the fence to your governing manner and vision, just like that, before the eyes of the world and invoking national interest?” was Antonescu’s address to the MPs.
The parliamentary group of national minorities would give the Boc government the investiture vote, group leader Varujan Pambuccian announced, specifying that these deputies will not vote for any no-confidence or censorship motion against this Cabinet. “We are experiencing the joy of the moment, but reality might get tough in the coming months. We will support you to overcome this reality. Governing will be difficult, you are assuming an extremely difficult task,’ Pambuccian declared before Parliament.
Independent Senator Liviu Campanu said that group of independent MPs would back the new Boc Cabinet and would be loyal partners thereof, but made his point that independent lawmakers will highlight all slippages from national interest. “The group of independent MPs announced its support for this governing team. (…) I assure you that in us you will have loyal, yet not comfortable partners, because we’ll be the first to highlight whatever slippage might occur in the pursuit of national interest,” said Campanu.