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Romania's caretaker defense minister tapped to form government

October 21, 2021
Romania's caretaker defense minister Nicolae Ciuca
Romania's caretaker defense minister Nicolae Ciuca

BUCHAREST — Romania's caretaker defense minister Nicolae Ciuca has been nominated to try and form a new government.

Ciuca was named as the latest prime minister-designate by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday.

The reserve army general has been tasked with forming a centrist government to end a month-long political stalemate.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister-designate Dacian Ciolos failed to secure majority support in Parliament for his cabinet proposal.

As expected, his cabinet line-up was supported by only 88 deputies and senators, most of them from the centre-right Save Romania Union (USR) led by Ciolos, Xinhua news agency reported.

A minimum of 234 votes in the bicameral Parliament with over 460 seats were needed for Ciolos's proposal to pass.

"I have decided to nominate Nicolae Ciuca as my candidate for the post of prime minister," Iohannis announced after meeting with the leaders of the various parliamentary groups.

"The political crisis must end. Now. Now, we all need to end this crisis, which has gone on for so long, given the pandemic crisis, the dramatic situation of hospitals while awaiting the winter," Iohannis said.

Romanian analyst Anton Pisaroglu says that it is "not normal" for an army general to be named as a PM-designate.

"He does not have the experience to manage a government," Pisaroglu told Euronews.

Ciuca was the candidate proposed by the centre-right National Liberal Party (PNL), which was ousted in a motion of censure earlier this month.

The 54-year-old is well-known for his role as commander of the Romanian missions in Afghanistan and Iraq alongside US forces between 2001 and 2004.

In his first statement as prime minister-designate, Ciuca told reporters that he will negotiate "with all responsible political forces".

Previous attempts to form a centrist USR PLUS party government under former PM Dacian Cioloș failed on Wednesday.

Ciuca now has ten days to draft a Cabinet and seek parliamentary support before he can be sworn into office. — Agencies


October 21, 2021
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