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Romania's incoming PM failed to shine as an MEP

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Romania's incoming PM failed to shine as an MEP

Viorica Dancila, Romanian Prime Minister designate
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Reuters
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The appointment of Romania’s first female prime minister has proved a controversial process.

[Romania's PM designate] only knows to say yes and that's how things will be from now on.

Stelian Tanase Political commentator

President Klaus Iohannis named Viorica Dancila as his choice to lead the government yesterday. 

Parliament, dominated by Dancila’s Social Democratic party, is expected to offer a full endorsement.

A different reaction could be seen on social media. President Iohannis lost more than 3,000 fans on his Facebook page after making the announcement as government critics expressed their disappointment that he had not chosen someone from the opposition.

Political pundits say that there was little Klaus Iohannis could do, considering that the ruling coalition headed by the Social Democrats holds an absolute majority in the Parliament.

Dancila will become third head of the government since the Social Democrats won elections at the end of 2016. Both her predecessors, Sorin Grideanu and Mihai Tudose both clashed with the PSD president, Liviu Dragnea, and were ousted amid internal power struggles

But Dancila, regarded as aDragnea loyalist, is expected to follow the party president’s lead and avoid her predecessors’ fates.

“She only knows to say yes and that's how things will be from now on,” commented political commentator Stelian Tanase on his blog. “There will be no personal opinions. She'll do what she's told by party leader."

A two-term member of the European Parliament, Dancila made little mark during her stint. Vote Watch Europe ranks her 700th out of 751 MEPs in terms of session attendance.

In an interview for the Parliament Magazine, as noted by Politico, she managed to duck five questions about her inspirations and achievements, failing to name a book she has read, a model for her career, or a surprising accomplishment.

In another interview posted by the Digi 24 channel, Dancila refereed to Iran and Pakistan as EU member states. 

Answering a question about women’s rights posed in English in her native Romanian, Dancila concludes “Of course we will not try to interfere in the internal affairs of a member state such as Pakistan or Iran.”

Dancila, 55, is from the same county as PSD leader Dragnea. She worked as a teacher at the local high school and then as an engineer at an oil and gas group before joining the European Parliament.

The first popular reaction to her appointment will be seen on Saturday when a now regular assembly of anti-government protestors is due to reconvene.