Romanian president nominates retired general as PM in bid to break political deadlock

Inquam Photos / George Călin

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Monday nominated acting Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca, a retired army general, as prime minister in an effort to break a two-month long political stalemate.

The ruling Liberal Party, the left-leaning Social Democrats and the ethnic Hungarian agreed to endorse the 54-year-old to head the government.

He needs to form a Cabinet which needs to be approved by parliament, which is considered likely.

The Liberals and the Social Democrats said the new government would be approved by November 25 ahead of national day celebrations on December 1.

Romania has been in in a deadlock since the Liberal-led coalition lost its majority when a junior party walked out. The move threatened the fight against the deadliest surge in Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

„We’ve been working to create this solid coalition, and this government that is able to ensure Romania’s stability,” the premier-designate said. “ Romanians are waiting for solutions to fight the impact of the pandemic and the energy crisis.”

Commentators say that although the new government is headed by the Liberals, the Social Democrats which have more seats than any other group will have the upper hand in the new government.

President Iohannis first nominated Mr Ciuca in October, but he gave up when it became clear he would not muster a parliamentary majority.

Romania is battling with a deadly fourth wave of Covid-19 cases, that saw 500 deaths some days last month.

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