Romanian president nominates technocrat as new PM

If approved by parliament, ex-EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos will run the country until elections next year.

    Ciolos was EU agriculture commissioner from 2010 to 2014 [Robert Ghement/EPA]
    Ciolos was EU agriculture commissioner from 2010 to 2014 [Robert Ghement/EPA]

    Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has nominated former European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos as the country's new prime minister, after mass protests over a deadly nightclub fire brought down the government last week.

    Iohannis said on Tuesday that Romania needed "a clean person" who was not involved in scandals.

    "I see a government of technocrats as the solution for now," the president told reporters. "Political parties agree with this idea. I'm convinced this is the right path for a year [until a parliament election]".

    Under the constitution, Ciolos, who was EU agriculture commissioner from 2010 to 2014, has 10 days to draft a programme, come up with a team of ministers and ask parliament for a vote of confidence.

    If approved by parliament, he will then put together a government and remain in office until elections due in the autumn of 2016.

    "I will concentrate my attention and energy on forming a team," Ciolos, who also served as Romania's agriculture minister from 2007 to 2008, told reports at the Cotroceni presidential palace.

    "We've been through a key period for our society. Romanian society has reached that degree of maturity that requires a public presence by a government, so that it acts like a bridge between various state institutions."

    Analysts expect that a cabinet of technocrats, with a term ending in late 2016, will easily garner enough parliamentary support.

    "He [Ciolos] will likely try to select independent candidates to head individual portfolios," Otilia Dhand, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence, a New York-based political risk consultancy, told the Reuters news agency.

    "His government will not make any significant changes in current policies. It will be a cabinet of 'status quo maintenance'."


    Related: Public discontent swells in Romania


    Former Prime Minister Victor Ponta quit on November 4 after tens of thousands, mostly young people, staged days of protests calling for an end to corruption and for better governance, following a fire in a Bucharest nightclub last month that killed at least 48 people.

    The government is currently headed by interim Prime Minister Sorin Campeanu, the former education minister.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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