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News 16 Nov 15

Romania’s New Prime Minister Names Government

Romania's proposed new administration will have technocrats in key positions and only a few old political figures after protests caused the resignation of the previous PM and his cabinet.

Marian Chiriac
BIRN
Bucharest
Romanian prime minister Dacian Ciolos proposed his new cabinet on Sunday.

A mixture of experts, diplomats and civil society activists are to take seats Romania’s proposed new cabinet, whose will run the country until the next elections are held in December 2016, prime minister designate Dacian Ciolos announced on Sunday.

“I wanted my ministers to be professional in their fields, honest and open to dialogue. They come from the private sector, Romanian and European administrations, civil society experts,” Ciolos said in a statement.

He has nominated young and independent experts for the key portfolios of the economy, justice, foreign office and health.

Ciolos selected Anca Paliu Dragu, an economic analyst at the European Commission, to take over the Finance Ministry and Cristina Guseth, chief of Freedom House Romania, as Justice Minister.

On the other hand, experienced diplomat Lazar Comanescu was proposed as Foreign Affairs Minister, while Mihnea Motoc, Romania’s ambassador to Britain, was nominated as Defence Minister.

The Economy Minister will be businessman Costin Borc, and sociologist Vasile Dancu will have the role of Minister of Regional Development.

Political commentators saw the proposed government as pro-reform.

“Most of the future ministers are competent and have relevant experience,” said journalist Cristian Pantazi.

“Besides, the government tries to comply with requests from the civil society, who wants the anti-graft campaign to continue, politics to be reformed and Romania to continue reforming,” Pantazi added.

The new government is to face parliament hearings on Monday and a confidence vote a day later. Analysts say Ciolos's team will easily win parliament’s endorsement as most of the political groupings in the legislature have already announced their support.

The former prime minister, social democrat Victor Ponta, resigned on November 4 following mass protests over a nightclub fire that killed 52 young people.

His resignation came after tens of thousands of 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, was already facing trial on corruption charges.

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