Romania MPs select new PM

Romania MPs select new PM

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose has resigned after his colleagues withdrew their support for him during a power struggle with the party chairman.

Centrist President Klaus Iohannis named Social Democrat defence minister Mihai Fifor as interim prime minister.

The left-of-centre Social Democratic Party axed Tudose after a five-hour meeting.

Tudose, 50, said he was resigning after less than seven months in office “with my head high”.

“I did not want to break the party,” Tudose said yesterday (Monday). “They named me, they removed me. I take responsibility for my deeds and I do not regret anything in my actions.”

Iohannis said he wanted a “swift procedure to form a new government to avert political uncertainty and harm to the economy”.

Tudose is the second prime minister since the Social Democrats won the December 2016 general election.

Party chairman Liviu Dragnea said 60 Social Democratic MPs voted to withdraw their support for Tudose, four backed him and four abstained.

The Social Democrats have named Viorica Dancila (pictured), a European MEP and ally of Dragnea, as their choice for prime minister. Iohannis will consult the parliamentary parties tomorrow (Wednesday) before formally proposing a prime ministerial candidate, who will then need parliamentary approval.

Dragnea is ineligible to serve as prime minister due to a vote-rigging conviction and prosecutors froze his assets in November as part of a probe of alleged misuse of EU funding. Dragnea denies any wrongdoing.

The conflict between Dragnea and the prime minister became public last week when Tudose claimed his home affairs minister, Carmen Dan, had lied and ordered her to resign. Dan, an ally of Dragnea’s, refused.

Romania, one of the EU’s poorest member-states, is meanwhile enjoying strong economic growth.

Its 2018 budget plan foresees economic growth of 5.5 per cent and a deficit just below the EU’s ceiling of 3 per cent of gross domestic product, according to Reuters.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit Romania today. Abe is on a European tour and has already visited Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.

The party sacked their previous prime minister, Sorin Grindeanu, in June with a vote of no-confidence.



The next prime minister? MEP Viorica Dancila. Picture credit: Wikimedia

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