By Ana Maria Luca
Romania’s ruling Social Democrat Party nominated Viorica Dancila to replace Mihai Tudose as prime minister after the latter was dismissed on Monday.
Romania’s Social Democrats nominated on Tuesday MEP Viorica Dancila, known for her women’s rights initiatives in the European Parliament, to replace Prime Minister Mihai Tudose who resigned on Monday after the ruling party withdrew its political backing.
Dancila has been a MEP since 2009, is a member of the Social Democrat party since 1996 and is currently the head of the Social Democrat Women’s organization. She was nominated in 2017 for the European Parliament’s award for defending women’s rights.
She is the second woman the Social Democrats nominate as prime minister, after Sevil Shhaideh, a Muslim, was rejected by President Klaus Iohannis in January 2017.
Romania’s ruling Social Democrat Party on Tuesday nominated MEP Viorica Dancila to head the country’s third cabinet since they won parliamentary elections in December 2017.
Romania’s ruling party has dismissed two governments in the past seven months.
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday night, after the Social Democrat leaders voted for his ouster. Tudose has been in conflict with the party leadership over his intention to reshuffle the cabinet and fire some of the minister who did not perform well.
“The general conclusion was that there was a toxic atmosphere between the cabinet and the ruling party as well as inside the cabinet,” Social Democrats Party leader Liviu Dragnea explained on Monday night.
Tudose’s resignation came just as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Bucharest for the first- ever official visit by a Japanese head of state to Romania.
Romania’s government had to put protocol aside and Abe, who was accompanied by a delegation of 30 businesspeople, was welcomed at the airport by two state secretaries from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Japanese delegation cancelled Abe’s meetings with government officials and only met Iohannis.
The collapse of two Social Democrat-led governments is becoming worrisome, Iohannis said during a press conference.
Iohannis asked all of the country’s political parties to hold consultations on Wednesday for “an expedited procedure to name a new prime minister.”
Romania has been in constant political turmoil since the center-left Social Democrat Party won legislative elections in December 2016.
Romanians took to the streets in January-February 2017 to show their disapproval with the government’s push for judicial reform that was deemed threatening to the independence of the courts.