President Rejects Proposal For New Development Minister, Asks For Different Candidate

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis again rejected the Government’s proposal for the office of regional development minister, Lia Olguta Vasilescu, on Thursday, and requested the prime minister to propose a different candidate for the office.

Imaginea articolului President Rejects Proposal For New Development Minister, Asks For Different Candidate

President Rejects Proposal For New Development Minister, Asks For Different Candidate

This is the fifth time the president rejected Vasilescu for a cabinet role since mid-December 2018, when she was initially proposed as transports minister.

The head of state said in a letter sent to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila that Vasilescu, a former mayor of Craiova and labor minister, does not have specialized training in any of the domains related to the cabinet role she was proposed for.

“While she was a mayor, Lia Olguta Vasilescu did not promote or handle nation-wide public policy, and as an MP her activity was carried out in parliamentary committees which are directly linked to her professional background – culture, art and the means of spreading mass information, or were linked to the experience she gained as a minister, in labor and social protection,” the president said in a letter.

Iohannis also criticized Vasilescu’s previous activity as labor minister, stating that it lacked transparency, communication with the civil society and debate, and also mentioned that several statements she made were deemed country’s top judicial watchdog CSM as attempts to pressure the judiciary.

President Iohannis made no mention in the letter of the nomination of Mircea Draghici as transports minister, which he has also rejected several times.

The response comes after Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced on Tuesday that she called the president and requested him to answer her proposals for the two roles.

The deadlock on the two offices started after a cabinet reshuffle in December 2018, when the president refused to dismiss the previous transports and regional development ministers, and delayed their release from office when they resigned.

After a Constitutional Court decision forced him to sign a decree to vacate the two offices, Iohannis continued to reject the prime minister’s proposals, arguing that their nomination files lacked several necessary documents.

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