Romania’s governing Social Democrat Party (PSD) has begun naming its ministers.
The line-up will be rubber-stamped in a vote in parliament on Wednesday, where the PSD and its junior coalition party ALDE have a solid majority of 250 deputies out of 465.
ALDE has four portfolios in the new administration, including energy.
- 26 ministers
- 8 women
- 22 PSD
- 4 ALDE
Veteran lawmaker Viorel Stefan has been given the finance ministry portfolio.
The 62-year-old has a PhD in economics and has been head of the parliament’s lower house budget and finance committee for several years.
The party has named senior leftist MP Florin Iordache who, together with other deputies, has backed several legislative initiatives to weaken a drive against graft.
75-year-old Teodor Melescanu returns to head up the foreign affairs ministry.
He previously held the post between 1992 and 1996.
Development and EU funding
Sevil Shhaideh has been handed this ministry, as well as the position of deputy prime minister.
She was turned down for the role of prime minister due to concerns about links between her Syrian husband and president Bashar al-Assad.
Muslim woman passed over as Romania's PM named deputy (from
AP</a>) <a href="https://t.co/X0VGhtBnRM">https://t.co/X0VGhtBnRM</a></p>— Ryan Heath (PoliticoRyan) January 3, 2017
The party returns to power after being ousted just over a year ago.
A deadly fire in a Bucharest nightclub brought anger and protests over graft and public administration failings.
Run by an official convicted of electoral fraud, which he denies, the PSD appears to have won the support of many Romanians with promises of increased social spending and economic security.
Romania and the EU
Romania joined the EU ten years ago.
It is viewed as one of the bloc’s most corrupt states.
Along with neighbouring Bulgaria, its justice system is under special monitoring by Brussels.
Romania’s EU partners are likely to closely monitor the government’s activity.
What they are saying
“My colleagues and I are here to run the country, not to play politics,” – Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu
“It is a government made of people with experience, with the expertise and work ethic needed to implement our government programme,” – PSD leader Liviu Dragnea told reporters.
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