Appointment of new Romanian justice minister promises end of upheaval


 Reuters International

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A new Romanian justice minister was confirmed in office on Thursday, ending a month-long upheaval triggered by a government decree that would have decriminalised several graft offences and shielded dozens of officials from prosecution.

Florin Iordache quit as justice minister this month after protests involving at least half a million people and criticism from European Union and NATO allies. President Klaus Iohannis's office said he had signed a decree appointing non-partisan Tudorel Toader, 56, to replace him.

The new minister is chancellor of the University of Iasi and a former judge of Romania's Constitutional Court. He is also a member of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters.

The leader of the ruling Social Democrat Party, Liviu Dragnea, had said Toader would not need to join the party.

Three other ministers, Alexandru Petrescu, Mihai Tudose and Rovana Plumb were approved for the trade, economy and European funds ministries respectively.

Iohannis, a former centre-right politician and a strong critic of the graft decree, plans to hold a national referendum over anti-corruption reforms.

Romania is one of the EU's most corrupt states and Bruseels keeps its justice system under special monitoring.

(Reporting by Radu Marinas)

Reuters

 Reuters International