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Romanian president names Nicolae Ciuca PM-designate

Romanian president names Nicolae Ciuca PM-designate Designated PM Nicolae Ciuca Source: Defence ministry website

BUCHAREST (Romania), October 21 (SeeNews) - Romanian president Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that he has tasked interim defence minister and retired army general Nicolae Ionel Ciuca with forming a government.

"Discussions today have been considerably better and more productive than last time. We must end this crisis, which has lasted for too long. I was very happy that the National Liberal Party (PNL) came with a new approach, unanimously proposing Nicolae Ciuca for prime minister," Iohannis said during a news conference broadcast by Digi24 TV channel.

"We will negotiate with all the responsible forces, so that in a short period we will be able to form the government to seek a confidence vote in Parliament," Ciuca, who led a caretaker cabinet during December 7-20 last year, said during the same press conference.

Ciuca, 53, is a retired Romanian Land Forces general. He served as a Chief of the Romanian General Staff between 2015-2019, according to his public CV.

On Wednesday, Romania's president Klaus Iohannis invited all political parties represented in parliament for consultations on the formation of a new government after the previous prime minister-designate and chairman of USR PLUS party Dacian Ciolos failed to win approval for his proposed minority cabinet in parliament.

If the parliament rejects Ciuca's nomination for prime minister, the president can dissolve parliament and call early elections.

On October 11, Iohannis tasked Ciolos with forming a government after the Liberal cabinet led by Florin Citu lost a no-confidence vote in parliament requested by opposition left-wing Social Democrat Party (PSD) and backed by USR PLUS and far-right Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR).

PSD filed the censure motion on September 28, following a Constitutional Court decision acknowledging the existence of a legal conflict between parliament and the government on another motion against the Liberal government filed by USR PLUS and AUR on September 3, after Citu dismissed justice minister Stelian Ion. Four days later all five USR PLUS ministers in Citu's coalition cabinet, which also included UDMR representatives, resigned.

PNL and USR PLUS hold 134 and 80 seats in parliament, respectively, PSD has 157, AUR controls 43, while UDMR holds 29. The remaining seats are held by 18 MPs representing minorities, and 5 independents.

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