Tuesday

9th Mar 2021

Romanian president rejects PM designate

  • Iohannis: 'I have properly analysed the arguments for and against and I have decided not to accept this proposal' (Photo: Klaus Iohannis)

Romania's social democrat party (PSD) and liberals have accused president Klaus Iohannis of causing a political crisis after he vetoed their candidate for prime minister of the country.

The two parties could use their majority in Romania's parliament to try and suspend Iohannis, whom they accuse of breaching of Romania's constitution, which says the president has to be neutral.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Iohannis, formerly a member of the conservative-liberal National Liberal Party, on Tuesday rejected the nomination of Sevil Shhaideh, a member of Romania's Tatar minority, who would have been the first female Muslim to head an EU country.

Shhaideh, 52, served as minister of regional development for six months before the previous PSD-led government resigned in 2015 in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed 64 people.

She's a little-known figure, but close to social democratic party leader Liviu Dragnea who was convicted of electoral fraud in April.

He was a witness at her 2011 wedding to a Syrian businessman, who is said to be supportive of Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Dragnea has refrained from running himself, as Iohannis had previously ruled out swearing in anyone with a criminal record.

Although some opposition figures said Romania, a Nato member, could not have a PM whose husband was loyal to Assad, the president would not elaborate on his reasons for rejecting Shhaideh.

"I have properly analysed the arguments for and against and I have decided not to accept this proposal," Iohannis said in a televised statement.

He called on the social democrats to choose another candidate, but they refused.

"Just like the entire country we watched with stupefaction the president's announcement … We looked into the matter, trying to find the honest or constitutional reasons that may have stood behind this decision. We weren't able to find any constitutional grounds," Dragnea said.

"In our opinion, this man wants to trigger a political crisis in Romania," he added.

PSD won 45 percent of the ballot in Romania's parliamentary elections on 11 December.

Romanian social democrats set for return to power

The party, which was forced out only a year ago amid widespread claims of corruption, emerged as the winner in Sunday's general election after campaigning to reduce taxes and increase social spending.

Analysis

Relief in EPP group, as Orbán's party finally leaves

The debate over Fidesz had become an unbearable political burden on EPP - but it also represented a core dilemma for many centre-right, mainstream parties struggling to deal with their populist challengers.

EPP group moves forward to suspend Orban's Fidesz

MEPs are scheduled to vote on Wednesday to change the rules of procedure of the centre-right European People's Party parliamentary group to allow the suspension of a member party.

EUobserved

The trap of spreading ideas while attacking them

Ideas that are attacked are actually being promulgated. That has been the case for centuries, at least as far back as Thomas Aquinas. And that is certainly the case today with Facebook and Twitter.

News in Brief

  1. Mask-buying affairs embarrass Germany's top party
  2. EU talks on Kosovo and Serbia mark 10-year anniversary
  3. Ex-PM says Erdoğan pulling Turkey away from EU
  4. Report: EU to blacklist Myanmar conglomerates
  5. Suspected Chinese hackers hit EU banking regulator
  6. Belgium: Political pressure to abandon curfew
  7. Poland: Police 'breaking the law' on Kaczyński's orders
  8. EU expects 100m vaccines a month from April on

Coronavirus

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  3. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!

Latest News

  1. Ethiopia: Time to tell the truth, Ambassador
  2. EU Commission 'surprised' by Belgian travel ban extension
  3. Lack of legal clarity on EU 'pushbacks' of migrants at sea
  4. Africa and Arab world still in vaccine race starting blocks
  5. Frontex's 'serious incident reports' - revealed
  6. Women hit 'disproportionately' hard by Covid-19, report finds
  7. EU 'Future' Conference plus Covid recovery talks This WEEK
  8. Covid-19 recovery: How to miss the target even with a bazooka

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us