Liberal senator Norica Nicolai confirmed on the phone yesterday while in New York that she agreed to take over the Romanian Ministry of Justice, although PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu wouldn't like to appoint her.
Sources from the PNL (National Liberal Party) say the PM doesn't want the Liberal senator to head the Ministry of Justice because it would put some more gas on his war with the President of Romania Traian Basescu. Sources comment: "President Traian Basescu would surely refuse and delay his consent to such a proposal. On the other hand, senator Nicolai is a leader who has many a time disagreed with the PM, especially in matters related to the restructuring of the Cabinet."
The same sources claim that after yesterday's meeting with the Liberal Permanent Delegation the Romanian PM also denied the idea to appoint Victor Alistar, a head of the Transparency International-Romania to head the Ministry of Justice. Many Liberal leaders take the latter for part of the Cotroceni group within civil society.
One possibility is that Liberal Teodor Melescanu or Gheorghe Mocuta, a state secretary in the Ministry of Justice, should be an interim Justice minister, sources say. It is to be reminded that in 2000 prosecutor Gheorghe Mocuta was the first to announce the start of criminal inquiry against Traian Basescu in the Fleet case.
PM Tariceanu asked Romanian Liberals' leaders to name some civil society representatives able to rule the ministry.
Applause for ex minister
The resigning minister Tudor Chiuariu explained his decision in the Liberals' meting yesterday, when asked to by Crin Antonescu. He got applause even from the PM, sources comment.
The ex minister told his party colleagues what he had mentioned in last Sunday's press conference. He also replied to the comments coming from some local Liberal leaders claiming that the poor results in the Euro-elections also effected from some ministers' scarce activity. Sources mention the ex minister reminded that during the entire campaign he had been in overt conflict with the National Anti-Corruption Department, trying to prevent it from harming the party's image.
In the end the Romanian PM praised Tudor Chiuariu for his 9-month activity as minister and the Liberals rewarded him with applause. The resignation reached the PM's office yesterday afternoon.