Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has nominated Nicolae Ciuca, Defence Minister in the caretaker cabinet, to try and form a new government as Prime Minister. “This crisis lasted too long,” Iohannis said as he announced the nomination at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace. “We have the pandemic, winter is knocking at the door, energy prices are increasing,” he said, stressing that there is need for a government with full powers to handle all these issues. Ciuca, 54, proposed by the centre-right National Liberal Party (PNL), is Iohannis’s second nominee after his first choice, centrist Dacian Ciolos, failed to win a confidence vote in Parliament on Wednesday. “I understood this mandate as a gesture of responsibility in order to overcome the crisis in which we are,” Ciuca, a reserve army general, said, adding that “we will negotiate with all the responsible forces so in the shortest possible time we can form a government”. Lately, he wrote on his social media account, once again calling on “all responsible political actors” to support his cabinet so that the country can overcome the current medical and economic crisis “as soon as possible”.The PNL has ruled out rebuilding the former three-party center-right coalition that included the Save Romania Union (USR) and decided to form a minority cabinet only with the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR). Therefore, the Prime Minister-designate needs the parliamentary backing of the main opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) to win a vote of confidence. According to observers, the PSD is likely to provide this suppo rt. PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu said late on Thursday night that he had already agreed to a meeting with Ciuca. Under the country’s Constitution, the Prime Minister-designate has 10 days to form a government and win a vote of confidence in Parliament. The coalition government led by PNL President Florin Citu collapsed on October 5 in a censure motion initiated by the PSD and supported by most other parties in Parliament. On October 11, Iohannis tasked USR leader Ciolos with forming a new government, but the l tter failed to secure majority support in Parliament for his proposed minority cabinet. The month-long political stalemate comes against the backdrop of the worst-ever phase of the Covid-19 pandemic in the eastern European country.
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