Veteran leftist Sorin Grindeanu has been named Romania’s Prime Minister-designate by President Klaus Iohannis.
The former telecommunications minister was proposed for the job on Wednesday by Romania’s Social Democrat party (PSD), victor of a general election two weeks ago.
Grindeanu, 43, is also a mathematician and former deputy mayor of the western city of Timisoara.
The PSD’s first pick to lead the cabinet was Sevil Shhaideh, a close associate of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, who was ruled out of the job by his criminal sentence in a 2012 referendum-rigging case. Shhaideh’s nomination was rejected by the president.
Shhaideh would have been Romania’s first female and Muslim prime minister.
The Social Democrats were driven out of office in late 2015 by protests against corruption but won this month’s election comfortably. The PSD and its coalition partner hold 250 of the 465 seats in the two houses of parliament.
The party promises a cut in VAT and a big rise in the minimum wage and welfare spending. It has raised fears that Romania’s budget deficit will rise above the European Union’s ceiling of three percent of GDP.