Army general to form Romania’s new government

Iohannis hopes Nicolae Ciuca, a well-respected army general who participated in NATO operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia, will gather the support of MPs to rapidly form a Cabinet. [EPA-EFE / ROBERT GHEMENT]

President Klaus Iohannis designated the interim defence minister Nicolae Ciuca to form the new government after Dacian Ciolos failed to get parliament’s confidence vote.

Iohannis hopes Nicolae Ciuca, a well-respected army general who participated in NATO operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia, will gather the support of MPs to rapidly form a Cabinet, even if it is a minority government.

In September, the governing coalition collapsed when the centrist party USR withdrew its ministers after Prime Minister Florin Citu (of the centre-right PNL) dismissed the justice minister. Afterwards, USR voted for a censure motion against the government, saying it wanted to stay in the coalition with a different prime minister.

However, PNL continued to support Citu and said he was their proposed prime minister even when it was clear he would not win a confidence vote in parliament. But on Thursday, Citu said he came up with the idea of proposing Ciuca as prime minister during consultations with President Iohannis.

Some analysts said Ciuca was Iohannis’ favourite for a long time and that he has finally found a way to force PNL to support his favoured candidate. It seems that PNL will form the government with its junior partners from UDMR, and it is unlikely that USR will rejoin the coalition.

Ciuca could gain the support of opposition socialists from PSD, the party with the largest number of MPs, as its leader said they could support a minority government to manage the pandemic, despite favouring early elections.

(Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)

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