Romania president nominates ex-economy minister as premier

Romania president nominates ex-economy minister as premier

Romania president nominates ex-economy minister as premier

The Social Democrats withdrew support for Premier Sorin Grindeanu after just six months in office saying he'd underperformed.

Romania's ruling Social Democrats picked economy minister Mihai Tudose to replace the prime minister they ousted last week, raising hopes for an end to political deadlock as early as Thursday, their leader said.

Iohannis formally proposed lawmaker Mihai Tudose, 50, the economy minister in the previous government, adding: "This political crisis is gravely harming Romania".

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Romania's leftist-led coalition will present Tudose's name to President Klaus Iohannis at 1200 GMT (6.00 a.m. ET), said officials. Parliament needs to approve his nomination for premier.

President Klaus Iohannis told reporters: "Taking into consideration the current crisis, the urgency to end it harms the economy (and) Romania's external image overseas, I have made a decision to name Mihai Tudose as prime minister-designate".

Many observers also remarked that the PSD was likely looking to install someone in power willing to make more of an effort to protect officials facing corruption charges, such as Dragnea, who is on trial for alleged abuse of power and voter fraud. Dragnea says he wants an "honest, correct person" who is not an "adventurer".

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The nomination will be followed by a confidence vote in the Romanian parliament, the date of which has not yet been set.

Dragnea is losing popularity, despite his party overwhelmingly winning December's parliamentary elections.

Iohannis recently traveled to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump, was in Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and wants to stay above political bickering, with an eye on re-election in 2019.

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