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New cabinet secures Parliament backing

Premier designate Victor Ponta secured the majority of the votes ahead of Friday’s investiture vote in Parliament, the Romanian Times correspondent in Bucharest informs.

Ponta signed a protocol today (Weds) with the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) to support the new Cabinet in the legislative.

UNPR, a party set up mainly by the defectors of Ponta’s Social Democratic Party (PSD), joined the former ruling coalition in 2009 and led some of the most important ministries, such as Defence and the Foreign Affairs until now. Also today, the group of the national minorities in Parliament announced their support for the new Executive.

"Currently the Social Liberal Union (USL) has 229 legislators. Adding 17 from the minorities group and 27 from UNPR, we have a majority of 43 MPs. I don’t know if it’s a comfortable majority, but it is a stable one", Ponta said.

The former ruling party, the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) of ex-PM Emil Boc announced today it will not endorse the new cabinet. Previously, PDL considered backing Ponta’s cabinet, but changed its mind after the Social Democratic leader presented its cabinet, on Tuesday night. Democrat Liberals argue the new cabinet formula will increase the public spending by creating two new ministries.

The new cabinet will have two new ministries resulted from the splitting of the Finances and Economy Ministry and of the Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs.

After presenting the list of his ministers on Tuesday night, Ponta told a joint press conference with the other two leaders of the USL that his cabinet is a special government designed for special times and was designed to function only six month, until the general elections due in November.

One of the new government's priorities will be to mend the social injustices and imbalances, he said. "Our political and economic vision will ensure predictability and boost creation of jobs in Romania," Ponta said.

The new Government will be headed from Victoria Palace (government offices) not from Cotroceni Palace, the offices of the President Traian Basescu, Ponta assured.
The PM intends to change all secretaries of state and also the prefects appointed by the previous governments.

The  cabinet of Premier Victor Ponta:

Public Finances – Florin Georgescu, former finance ministry 1992 -1994, deputy governor of the central  bank until now

Defence – Corneliu Dobritoiu, former secretary of state within the same ministry

Home Affairs - Social Democrat Ioan Rus, former interior minister

Administration – Liberal Deputy Victor Paul Dobre, former state secretary within Home Affairs Ministry

Economy Trade and Business environment – Liberal Deputy Daniel Chitoiu, former member of the fiscal body and of the Court of Audit

Foreign Affairs –  Liberal Andrei Marga, former Education Minister and rector of Babes Bolyai  University in Cluj Napoca (West)

European Affairs – Leonard Orban preserves his portfolio from the previous cabinets, independent

Transportation and Infrastructure – Liberal Deputy Ovidiu Silaghi, former minister for small and medium enterprises

Environment – Social Democrat Rovana Plumb, former MEP

Regional Development – Liberal Eduard Hellvig

Culture – Liberal Senator Mircea Diaconu

Justice –  Social Democrat MP Titus Corlatean

Communications –   Social Democrat MP Dan Nica, former Communications and Home Affairs Minister

Labour and Family – Liberal Mariana Campeanu, previously held the same portfolio

Education – Social Democrat Corina Dumitrescu

Health – Doctor Vasile Cepoi former state secretary within the same ministry, independent

Agriculture and Rural Development – Daniel Constantin, president of the Conservative Party

Liaison with Parliament – Mircea Dusa

Liaison for Social Dialogue - Liviu Marian Pop

Liaison with the business community – Lucian Isar

Minister Delegate for government strategies, transparency and relation with civil society – Victor Alistar, former president of Transparency International Romania

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