Top Romanian politician involved in corruption case Dan Voiculescu resigns from Senate again​ Dan Voiculescu, the founding leader of Romania's Conservative Party, a small but highly influential party of the governing coalition, announced his resignation from the Senate on Monday. The announcement comes several days before a new term in a corruption case involving Dan Voiculescu was due at the High Court of Justice. His resignation means the case is returned from the High Court, which deals with cases involving dignitaries, to a lower court - the Bucharest Tribunal. It is the second time in less than a year when Voiculescu resigns as Senator and thus avoid High Court hearings.
Romanian PM Ponta says government looks for solution to increase taxes on high incomes among public sector employees Romanian PM Victor Ponta said in an interview with the Romanian-language version of on Friday that his government was looking for the "right judicial and constitutional solution" to allow for higher income taxes for budget sector employees with incomes of more than 4,500 lei (1,000 euro). He said he believed that an income of 1,000 euro would provide for a "decent living in the public sector".
Romanian PM Ponta says integrity body will receive extra responsibilities to combat EU funds-related conflicts of interests Romania's National Integrity Agency (ANI), a key body in preventing and fighting conflicts of interests, will receive more responsibilities in combating conflicts of interests related to EU funds, an initiative which would be discussed in government session next week, PM Victor Ponta said in an interview with the Romanian-language version of on Friday.
Romanian PM Ponta says he supports shale gas exploration Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta said in an interview with the Romanian-language version of on Friday that he supported the exploration of shale gas in the country.
Romanian Prime minister presents extensive team of new government Romania's designated prime minister Victor Ponta presented on Wednesday the structure and members of the future Government. It will include many more ministerial seats than before, many of which split from existing governing bodies. Ponta's team was announced after days of negotiations between the governing Social Liberal Union (USL), formed of Ponta's Social Democrats and the National Liberal Party, who won the December 9 parliamentary elections by a large majority.
Victor Ponta designated prime minister of Romania following December 9 general elections Romanian President Traian Basescu signed on Monday the decree designating Victor Ponta, leader of the Social Democrats (PSD) and co-head of the Social Liberal Union (USL) as prime minister of Romania. The move comes as the USL, the alliance of PSD and the Liberals (PNL), obtained a large majority of votes in the December 9 parliamentary elections.
Romania general elections results now official. PM Ponta says he hopes new government will be in place by Christmas The official results of the December 9 parliamentary elections in Romania were published in the Official Gazette on Friday. President Traian basescu said in Brussels today that he would call the Parliament immediately after the publication of results and that he would consider whether to do so on December 19. Meanwhile, PM Victor Ponta, whose governing alliance won a majority of votes in the elections, said in an interview he hoped the new government would be in place by Christmas.
US Ambassador Mark Gitenstein completes assignment in Romania US Ambassador Mark H Gitenstein has completed his diplomatic assignment in Romania and has returned to the US, the Embassy announced in a press release on Friday. Deputy Chief of Mission Duane Butcher has become charge d'affaires ad interim as of December 14.
Aftermath of Romania parliamentary elections: Main opposition alliance dismantled. Social Liberal Union claims 66% win. Not enough places in Parliament for elected MPs​ The main alliance of Romanian opposition parties, the Right Romania Alliance (ARD), was dismantled a day after parliamentary elections in which it suffered an overwhelming defeat against the governing Social Liberal Union (USL). While partial results show USL with about 60% of the total number of votes, USL says its own parallel counting shows it won with about 66% of MP seats. Meanwhile, The elections were harsh for the ARD leaders who have yet to learn if they'll get a seat in the Parliament - which will have more MPs than available room on the parliamentary floor.
Romania Parliamentary elections. The stake of PM Ponta's offer for Hungarian Democrats to support USL in Parliament, Government after Sunday poll Negotiations between the Romanian PM Victor Ponta's Social Democratic Party (PSD), a member of the Social Liberal Union (USL) along the National Liberal Party (PNL), and the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) for a possible collaboration in the Parliament and the Government had started before the December 9 general elections and are aimed mainly at strengthening the PSD position before PNL within the USL alliance, according to sources. PM Ponta announced on Sunday night that he talked with UDMR over such a possibility. According to sources, the talks took place between Ponta and UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor, who may receive the seat of Culture minister.
Partial results in Romania parliamentary elections. House: USL alliance - 58.61%, ARD alliance - 16.58%, PPDD - 13.82%, UDMR - 5.21% / Senate: USL - 60.08%, ARD - 16.79, PPDD - 14.46%, UDMR - 5.31% The governing Social Liberal Union received 58.61% of votes in the Sunday elections for House of Deputies and 60.08% for Senate, according to partial results announced by the Central Electoral Office at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, with 95.83% of the votes counted. USL is followed by the Right Romania Alliance with 16.58% (House)/16.79% (Senate). the populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party and the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR).
Romania's governing USL claims victory "against Basescu regime" in parliamentary elections Leaders of Romania's governing Social Liberal Union (USL) including Social Democratic PM Victor Ponta Liberal Senate speaker Crin Antonescu claimed victory in the parliamentary elections today, with exit polls showing USL getting over 50% of the votes. They said it was a "victory against the [President Traian] Basescu's regime" and insisted that NATO and EU will remain the "cardinal directions" of Romanian foreign policy. Meanwhile, opposition ARD alliance said they trusted it will reach its 20% target - while reports claim some of ARD leaders might not even enter Parliament.
EXIT POLLS Governing Social Liberal Union gets over 50% of votes in Romania parliamentary elections Romania's governing Social Liberal Union (USL), formed of Social Democrats and Liberals, scored over 50% of votes in parliamentary elections on Sunday, according to exit polls presented by TV channels at 9 p.m. today. According to exit polls, USL scored between 54 and 58%; the opposition ARD alliance - between 19 and 21%; the populist Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) - between 10 and 14%; the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) - about 5%.The exit poll results are "affected" by a large number of voters who notably refused to tell poll operators whom they voted with, as one polling institute director has said.updating
Romania parliamentary elections: 20.56% turnout by 2.00 p.m as bad weather affects most of the country 20.56% of Romanian voters showed up to cast their ballots in the parliamentary elections by 2.00 p.m. on Sunday, according to data announced by the Central Electoral Office. As bad weather affects most of the country, turnout is slightly above the 2.00 p.m. level of the 2008 parliamentary elections (19.84%) and below the level of the referendum to dismiss president Basescu this summer (21.37%).UPDATE 1 Turnout at 6 p.m., 3 hours before closing vote, stood at 36.54%UPDATE 2 Turnout at closing polls (9 p.m.) stood at 41.72%
OPINION ​The significance of Romania's December 9 general elections. Plus a few predictions ​Romania is facing yet another one of its all to frequent milestone moments in its recent history with the parliamentary elections taking place on December 9. It has to choose between returning to the path to a Western model or to push quickly on the path to the Hungarian, Turkmen or Uzbek model - considering US Secretary of State Clinton's recent statements. The options are simple: functional institutions, rule for everybody and improving politicians or almighty oligarchs replacing institutions hand in hand with corrupt politicians. Will Romanians look for political leaders accepted by the West or for nationalist braggarts? On the domestic front, Romania is no longer facing the eternal choice of "the least evil". The stake for 2012: limiting "the biggest evil".
Romania's December 9 parliamentary elections: actors, context, stakes Some 18.2 million Romanian voters are expected to cast their ballots in parliamentary elections on December 9. The poll is a key moment in a political storm pitching the governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) against President Traian Basescu over the past seven months, a storm which sparked rising Western criticism of Romania's compliance with the rule of law and European values and amplified the stakes for the economic, political and international future of the country.
​OPINION "Uzbekistanisation" of Romania - a country on a brink US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday gave a terrible blow to the double-faced policy promoted by Romania's governing coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL), who are wearing a pro-Western mask before foreign officials and journalists while launching furious attacks on institutions and ignoring any economic reform when at home.  Clinton held a tough speech in which she mentioned Romania along former USSR countries and Hungary as countries with democratic difficulties. The speech came a few days after European Commission officials had sent the least wanted message from Brussels, the Commission is unwilling to conclude a new precautionary accord along the IMF in 2013 because Romania has not fulfilled its promises in the current accord. The two pieces of news mean two things: Romania's access to funding will be more expensive, while investors are to avoid Romania. could not be accessed Wednesday morning following "DNS poisoning attack" The Romanian-language version of Google has not been accessible for many Romanian users for several hours on Wednesday following what a report called a DNS poisoning attack. Google has said its services in Romania were not attacked, but that for a short period of time some and other web services users were redirected to another website. For a while in the morning, the users could see the interface replaced with a message from an "Algerian hacker".
Romania marks 10 years since invitation to join NATO The Romanian Presidency marked on Wednesday 10 years since Romania was invited to join NATO. The ceremony was a rare moment when incumbent President Traian Basescu and predecessors Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu were seen together, in the company of ambassadors and other officials. US Ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein used the occasion to describe the US-Romania partnership as essential for NATO's European missile shield.
US Ambassador to Romania warns against renewed talks on changing law on integrity agency US Ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein has told that any initiative to renew talks on changing law regulating the National Integrity Agency (ANI) - which focuses on the wealth and interests of Romanian officials would be a very bad idea and would not be well received by the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, by the EU or the US. He urged Romanian authorities to prove caution in this regard. His statements came a day after he said Romania was facing difficult elections that may divide the people and that worried him.


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