Romanian President Designates Retired General as New Premier
(Bloomberg) -- A retired four-star general was named as Romania’s prime minister-designate -- a bid to end weeks of political wrangling that have pushed the currency to a record low and hampered efforts to fight the resurgent coronavirus pandemic.
After a proposal Thursday by the ruling Liberal Party, President Klaus Iohannis nominated Nicolae Ciuca, who served in Iraq and has briefly been an interim premier in the past, to form the next cabinet.
It’s unclear at this stage whether Ciuca, who’s currently interim defense minister, can win the necessary parliamentary backing to become the eastern European country’s 10th head of government in as many years. He has 10 days to do so.
“I’ll negotiate with all the responsible political forces to set up a government that can quickly win parliament’s approval to overcome the current crisis we’re facing,” Ciuca said.
The move is an attempt to end a crisis that began when the Liberals fell out with their biggest coalition partner and escalated when their leader, Florin Citu, lost his job as prime minister in a confidence vote in parliament.
It comes as the European Union’s most politically volatile member state battles record daily Covid-19 cases and deaths, prompting calls for assistance from the World Health Organization and nearby countries.
Proposing Ciuca, 54, is the second stab at forming a government. A minority cabinet led by Dacian Ciolos, leader of the anti-corruption USR party that quarreled with the Liberals in their earlier alliance, failed to win sufficient support in parliament this week.
With ties seemingly now beyond repair, the Liberals won’t try to restore their partnership with USR but will continue to work with the ethnic Hungarian party, the third member of the previous coalition.
The opposition Social Democrats dialed back calls for early elections because of the worsening pandemic, saying they’ll hold talks with Ciuca as the country needs a functioning government.
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