Romania Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu announced on Sunday that he would submit his resignation on Monday, after President Basescu had urged PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu to dismiss his Justice and Labor ministers. Chiuariu said that he would officially submit his resignation to PM Tariceanu on Monday morning. Aged 31, Chiuariu is one of the youngest ministers in Romania’s history but his mandate was just as short, as it lasted for eight months only.

Chiuariu sent an official message to Romania President Traian Basescu declaring that he resigns until his name is cleared by the anti-graft prosecutors in a corruption investigation. Basescu urged Tariceanu on Friday to have Chiuariu dismissed because of the corruption case the minister was facing, but Chiuariu said his resignation had nothing to do with the presidential request.

Moreover, he accused Basescu of taking the lead of the country without the needed popular support, as a recent Referendum on the uninominal voting system proved it.

Sources within the governing National Liberal Party (PNL) told on Sunday that the party was in a delicate situation in search for a replacement. The only member that wishes the Justice seat is Liberal vice-president Norica Nicolai but she was not supported by PM Tariceanu.

Another option is another Liberal member, Renate Weber, the first on the PNL list in the recent European Parliament elections.

Political reactions

Liberal vice-president Ludovic Orban said that Chiuariu shouldn’t have resigned and added that the one who should resign is President Basescu. Another Liberal voice, Crin Antonescu said that he was surprised to receive the news but he would propose Norica Nicolai for the Justice seat.

Opposition Democrats (PD) leader Emil Boc said that it was about time Chiuariu resigned as he prejudiced the integrity of Romania as a EU member state.

Transparency International director Victor Alistar says that Chiuariu's gesture protects the judicial system and the credibility of Romania would suffer if the file against him fails to conclude properly.

Anti-Graft prosecutors requested the Presidency approval to investigate Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu and former Telecom Minister, Zsolt Nagy in a corruption case involving the illegal sale of a plot of land in downtown Bucharest.