The political board of the governing National Liberal Party (PNL) has approved Senator Norica Nicolai to take over the Justice minister portfolio on Monday. The ministerial seat was left vacant a week ago following the resignation of ex-minister Tudor Chiuariu. 28 members of the PNL board were in favor of Nicolai, with one vote against her.

Prominent Liberal leaders such as Crin Antonescu, Puiu Hasotti, Senate speaker Bogdan Olteanu and Transport minister Ludovic Orban had said they saw Nicolai as the best solution for the Justice portfolio.

Nicolai had been opposed by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu given her links to the intelligence services and her activity as a prosecutor under the communist regime before 1989. She is also known for her repeated votes along the lines of the opposition Social Democrats in the Parliament over the past several years.

She is to replace Chiuariu, who was forced to resign a week ago, days after President Basescu called for his and Labor minister Paul Pacuraru's resignations given their involvement in graft inquiries.