News & Analysis

Romania’s justice minister resigns

Romania’s justice minister Tudorel Toader resigned on April 18, a day after the ruling PSD-ALDE coalition withdrew political support for the embattled minister.

Mr Toader has come under increasing criticism from the PSD in recent months for his refusal to adopt controversial emergency ordinances that would pardon leading politicians either accused of or already found guilty of corruption. Any emergency ordinance related to the justice system needs to be signed off by the minister.

“I will be handing my resignation to the prime minister this evening,” said Mr Toader. “We shall see what she does with it. Whatever happens, I will remain at the ministry until a replacement has been appointed.”

The PSD has already proposed one of its MPs, Eugen Nicolicea, as the new justice minister. Mr Nicolicea, 62, has little legal experience and infamously gained his legal degree via distance learning at the age of 52. The appointment needs to be approved by the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis.

In the early 1990s Mr Nicolicea publicly called for Romania’s former king Michael to be declared persona non grata.