POLITICS
Democrat Liberals submit censure motion against the first car registration tax The Democrat Liberals (PD-L) was due to submit on Monday a simple motion regarding the first car registration tax, party leader Emil Boc announced after a party meeting. The censure motion has two objectives: to cancel the first car registration tax and return the money for those who paid the tax, Boc explained.
Governing Liberals claim most news on Romania public television The editorial policy of the news department at Romania's public television TVR has changed for the past year as compared to 2006, according to statistics provided by Monitoring Media. The governing Liberals (PNL) appeared in 41% of the political news of the main news broadcast of the TVR1 channel by the end of 2007, way up from the 22% reported the previous year. Meanwhile, little over 12% of the news refer of Democratic-Liberal (PD-L) politicians and some 16% report on Social Democrats (PSD, main opposition group).
President Basescu: Romania needs better governance Romanian President Traian Basescu took part at an Romanian Academy debate on a new sustainable development strategy for the country. Basescu used the occasion to talk among others about Romania's problems and the long term objectives needed to sustain the further development of the country. Moreover, he added that what Romania needs is a better governing team.
Disputes revived over nomination of new Justice minister in Romania Romania's governing Liberals gathered on Monday to analyze the case of Norica Nicolai, the Liberal nominee for the seat of Justice minister, whom President Traian Basescu refuses to accept in office. After hours of deliberation, the Liberal leadership concluded that they still stood for Senator Nicolai but did no appeal the Constitutional Court to unlock the relation between the presidency and the government over the nomination.
Romanian President Basescu warns new interim Justice Minister President Traian Basescu publicly warned interim Justice Minister Melescanu this weekend that his attitude could be translated as abuse, after Melescanu refused on Friday to launch the criminal procedures against eight former and current ministers, investigated by anti-graft prosecutors. Basescu said that Melescanu's attitude attempts to postpone the inevitable.
Transports minister, current mayor and PSD spokeperson - possible candidates runnig for Bucharest City Hall Liberal (PNL) Transports minister Ludovic Orban, incumbent Democratic (PD-L) mayor Adriean Videanu and Social Democrats (PSD) spokesperson Cristian Diaconescu are possible candidates running for the top job at the Bucharest City Hall, according to sources from the three parties. Parties have already started talks on nominations for local elections due to take place in Romania this year. 
Former Justice Minister named state counselor on judicial issues Former Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu was named state counselor on judicial issues, internal affairs and anti-corruption for the prime minister, a press release of the Romanian government informs on Tuesday. Anti-graft prosecutors however, have requested the President's approval to start investigating Chiuariu. The Executive press release adds that Chiuariu was named due to the experience he obtained during his previous jobs.
Romanian PM sticks to Norica Nicolai nomination as Justice minister Romanian PM Tariceanu on Monday met with Norica Nicolai, the governing Liberal Party (PNL) nominee for the seat of Justice minister, to assure her that he will continue to support her despite President Traian Basescu's recent accusations of malpractice against the Liberal senator, governmental sources quoted by news television Antena 3 say.
Transports Minister Orban announces his intention to run for Bucharest Mayor seat Romania Transports minister Ludovic Orban, recently involved in a car accident scandal, said in a HotNews.ro - BBC interview this weekend that he intended to run for for Bucharest City Hall but his final decision will depend upon a his Liberal Party decision. Orban says that local elections will be held on time, in May 25 - June 15. He also said in the interview that the government still supported the nomination of a controversial senator, Norica Nicolai, for the seat of Justice minister, but said a final decision in this regard would be taken on Wednesday.
Romanian President Traian Basescu rejects Norica Nicolai as Justice minister nominee Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu received on Tuesday a letter from President Traian Basescu in which he was soliciting to come up with another proposal for the seat of Justice minister in the current government, Romanian TV news station Antena 3 informs. Basescu wrote that the Liberal's proposal, MP Norica Nicolai was not likely to regain the people's trust in the justice system, due to her political track.
INSOMAR survey: Democrats - 40%, Social Democrats - 18% and Liberals -13% If Parliamentary elections would take place next Sunday, Democrats (PD) will receive 40% of the votes, closely followed by the Social Democrats (PSD) with 18% and governing Liberals with only 13%, Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) 7% and Liberal Democrats (now merged with Democrats), 6%m according to a new study by Romanian pollster INSOMAR.
Liberal vice president: President Basescu is the main adversary of Liberals Liberal vice president Crin Antonescu supports party colleague Norica Nicolai for the vacant Justice Minister seat and point at president Basescu, a former ally in the 2004 elections, as the main adversary of his party. In an interview for Hotnews.ro, Antonescu discusses the results at the European Parliament elections, the presumptive opposition within the party and the recent resignation of some heads of party branches around the country. 
Social Democratic leader Geoana reaches for help from former PSD bosses Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Mircea Geoana admits in a BBC-HotNews.ro interview to have met Liberal PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu to discuss the new 2008 budget proposal. Geoana also talked about his party strategy after the European Parliamentary elections.
Ex-Communist dictator Ceausescu seen as best and worst political leader in Romania Former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu is considered the best political leader Romania ever had, according to the 2007 Public Opinion Barometer published by the Soros Foundation on Thursday. Current President Traian Basescu is considered the second best political leader with a historical role after Nicolae Ceausescu and before Ion Iliescu, the first post-Communist head of state.
Democrats vote in favor of merger with a heavy heart The session of the Democrat Party College calmed things for a while on Wednesday. Democrats were forced to accept the merger with the Liberal - Democrats and, one by one, resignedly signed. Still, behind closed doors, the leaders of the party expressed their discontent. According to sources, the head of Democrats, Emil Boc, tried to calm down his party colleagues, saying that the merger is obligatory, with all the drawbacks it involves, and that statements and riots may not be visible, so that the party wouldn't lose its supporters. 
Political supporters of President Basescu join forces in newly born Romanian party The Democratic Party (PD) has announced its merger with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) to create the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL). The leaders of the two parties announced on Monday that their groups will merge to form a new political party. Until internal elections take place, it will be lead by the former Democratic leader Emil Boc and by two vice-presidents: Theodor Stolojan of PLD and another PD designated one.
Romania opposition Social Democrats dismiss rumored offer to ally with governing Liberals The leader of the main opposition party in Romania, the Social Democrats (PSD), announced on Monday that his group would stick to the opposition, thus dismissing earlier claims that the governing Liberals (PNL) would negotiate a possible entry of the PSD in the government. PSD leader Mircea Geoana said his group would continue to oppose both the parties that are now part of the governing coalition and the political groups supporting President Traian Basescu.
US Ambassador: Romanian constitution is too weak to support a democracy US Ambassador to Romania Nicholas Taubman said in a talk show on the Romanian public television this weekend that the constitution of Romania is too weak to support a democracy. He added that the constitution is easily manipulated or tricked. Taubman argues that the core document needs to be rewritten or at least adjusted.
Electoral Office hands mandates to 35 new MEPs The Central Electoral Office handed on Friday the official representation mandates to the new 35 Romanian Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). After receiving the mandates, the 35 must also be validated by the European Parliament.
Few answer Romania President call for talks following low-turnout Sunday poll Romanian President Traian Basescu has invited parliamentary parties for consultations on Thursday, November 29 following the two polls that took place in Romania last Sunday - a referendum on changing the the electoral system in Romania and the first European elections in the country. But only three parties agreed to attend the Thursday talks: the two parties supporting the president and the Hungarian Democrats.

ESRI

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