How is it possible that Interior Minister Lucian Bode remains in the…

How is it possible that Interior Minister Lucian Bode remains in the Government after plagiarism and silence on domestic violence? The explanation: a shared vulnerability with Prime Minister Ciucă

Lucian Bode plagiarized his PhD, a Babeș Bolyai University commission decided, but the PNL defends him. Lucian Bode has been silent in the scandal of the PNL deputy secretary Silviu Mănăstire who received a restraining order in a final court decision in July 2020 after he slapped her across the face and threatened to kill his girlfriend. Despite the almost total media protection bought with PNL money, the two scandals strongly erode the image of the party that claims to be liberal and continues the „Educated Romania” comedy. Still, Bode seems cemented in his chair, even though President Iohannis himself said at the opening of the academic year that „We need zero tolerance for plagiarism”.

Lucian Bode is the fourth PNL minister in the Ciucă government involved in a plagiarism scandal. The first was Florin Roman, who quickly resigned. The second – education minister Sorin Cîmpeanu, who also left after President Iohannis gave the decisive signal. The third is Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă himself, who refused to leave office and started a legal battle. Bode also chose the court route, like Ciucă.

The prime minister is the beneficiary of the rigging of the random file allocation process, using the „cover” method, as G4Media explained. His file ended up with a judge who was promoted to several government positions by the PNL, the party whose president is currently Nicolae Ciucă himself. What’s more, until last year, Judge Marius Iosif and Dan Cărbunaru, the executive spokesman appointed by the same Ciucă, were members of the same Masonic Lodge. The judge annulled all the allegations of plagiarism in Ciucă’s file.

Lucian Bode also wants to get rid of plagiarism accusations in court, and the PNL is building a wall around him. At least for now.

Otherwise, a dismissal or reshuffle of Bode on plagiarism charges would mean acknowledging that Prime Minister Ciucă, who is affected by the same problem, must also go. Which, obviously, Nicolae Ciucă does not want. On the contrary, the Prime Minister is now fighting for two even bigger stakes: to keep the leadership of the PNL even after he leaves the government in May 2023 and to secure his presidential candidacy in 2024.

In other words, Ciucă is for now umbilically linked to Bode through the same vulnerability: academic plagiarism. One cannot leave without the other, although both should resign urgently in order not to further weaken their positions and the image of the political class in general.

The Ciucă – Bode connection is the reason why the other scandalous behavior of the Interior Minister is also tolerated in the PNL. Lucian Bode, who in theory is supposed to be a guarantor of the law, took no action in the case of his protégé Silviu Mănăstire, whom he made deputy secretary general of the PNL even though he had a restraining order two years ago for violence against his girlfriend. Mănăstire suspended himself from office after the G4Media revelations but Bode has not publicly denounced himself from his henchman’s behaviour or forced his expulsion from the party, as George Simion, the AUR leader, did in a similar case.

Despite these two scandals, Lucian Bode is unshakeable. Both from the party and from the government, despite the obvious image damage to the Liberals. And it seems that only a signal from the President’s office can change the situation, while President Iohannis still holds a shred of power.

In the meantime, a little fun fact: on the PNL website, on the page dedicated to the leadership, Lucian Bode, as secretary general, is listed above President Nicolae Ciucă. A unique situation in Romanian politics.

UPDATE: Less than an hour after the article was published, the PNL made a change on the website so that President Ciucă is listed first, ahead of Secretary General Bode, in the section dedicated to the party’s leadership.

Translated article

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