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News 11 Nov 15

Romania Names Ex-Commissioner as New PM

Victor Ponta's lilely successor, Dacian Ciolos, a former European Commissioner for Agriculture, has promised a new government of technocrats that will listen to society.

Marian Chiriac
Bucharest
Dacian Ciolos is Romania's designated Prime Minister

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday nominated former European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos as the new prime minister after Victor Ponta resigned following the nightclub fire that killed at least 48 people.

"We need an independent PM, a clean person who has never been involved in scandals ... but who also proved able to face dificult situations. In such context, my nomination is Dacian Ciolos,” Iohannis said.

Ciolos said his intention is to form a broadly backed government of technocrats able to run the country until the next elections are held in December 2016.

"I am planning a government of specialists ... We have to open government and public administration to society, to listen it and to take together decisions,” he added.

Ciolos, 46, was Commissioner for Agriculture in the executive led by José Manuel Barroso.
Before becoming Commissioner in 2009, he was Agriculture Minister from October 2007 to December 2008 in the cabinet of Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, and before that the European Commission's delegation to Romania.

Ciolos has only 10 days to draw up a governing program and pick his ministers before seeking a confidence vote in parliament.

If that fails, the President can designate another candidate and if parliament doesn't approve the second choice, early elections will be called.

Social Democrat Ponta resigned on November 4 following mass protests over the nightclub fire that killed so far 48 young people.

The resignation came after more than 20,000 people marched on the government in Bucharest, demanding the resignations of senior officials including Ponta because of the fire.

Ponta, who was Prime Minister for three-and-a-half years, is already facing trial on corruption charges.

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