Romanian government to nominate MEP Manescu for new transport minister

By bne IntelliNews August 26, 2013

Romania’s junior ruling party PNL (centre-right) has made two nominations for transport minister but PM Victor Ponta from the governing leftist party PSD will pick up MEP Ramona Manescu for the post, Agerpres announced. Manescu's nomination has to be endorsed also by President Traian Basescu.

Manescu has no relevant experience but at least she has not been involved in corruption scandals - as opposed to the other candidates, and is likely to be eventually appointed.

The nomination of a new transport minister has prompted various controversies after former minister Relu Fenechiu had to step down amid corruption allegations.

Initially, the ruling coalition agreed informally to nominate Ovidiu Silaghi for the position. But the anti-corruption prosecutors have started probes against Silaghi related to alleged corruption deeds in 2012 when Silaghi has served also as transport minister.

PNL then came up with the name of MP Nini Sapunaru – another controversial top party member that has served as head of the customs agency in the past and was subject to various corruption allegations. As a last-minute option, PNL resorted to MEP Ramona Manescu – a highly influential member of the party yet not involved in public positions so far thus not exposed to corruption allegations.

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