Romanian President Traian Basescu signed on Monday a decree to suspend Labor minister Paul Pacuraru, who has been officially indicted by anti-graft prosecutors in a bribery case. Presidential administration sources told HotNews.ro that the head of state postponed an official announcement in this regard until Tuesday to prevent accusations that he wanted to interfere with the announcement of the candidates of the governing Liberal Party (PNL, to which Pacuraru belongs) for general elections later this fall.
The candidates were announced in a PNL event on Monday.
Minister Pacuraru allegedly intervened by Dan Ilie Morega, a local Liberal leader in the county of Gorj, South Romania, so that the firm run by his son obtain public contracts. According to the Constitution, the head of state has the right to suspend a minister against whom a criminal inquiry has been launched.