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BUCHAREST (Romania), December 28 (SeeNews) - Romania's Social Democrat Party (PSD) and their government coalition partner Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE) on Wednesday proposed former telecommunications minister Sorin Grindeanu as their new candidate for prime minister, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea announced.
Grindeanu, 43, has been a PSD member since 1996. He graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics of Timisoara West University in 1997. In the period December 2014-November 2015 he served as minister of telecommunications and information society in Victor Ponta's cabinet. Starting June 2016, he is president of Timis county council.
The new nomination of left-wing PSD and centre-right ALDE followed the refusal of president Klaus Iohannis to appoint Ms Sevil Shhaideh as prime minister earlier this week. Iohannis gave no reasons for his decision.
In case of approval of her nomination by the president, Sevil Shhaideh would have become Romania's first female prime minister as well as the first Muslim one. Shhaideh's husband worked for 20 year in the Syrian ministry of agriculture and posted messages of support for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime on a social network, Romanian media reported in the days following her nomination.
"I have proposed to my colleagues and I have held consultations with ALDE chairman Calin Popescu Tariceanu and they all agreed on Mr. Grindeanu's nomination. As far as I know, he is neither a Hezbollah nor a Hamas agent, maybe it will turn out he is KGB, or that he has killed someone. I do hope that our proposal will be taken seriously," Dragnea said in a statement broadcast by local TV station Digi 24.
On Tuesday, Dragnea said that the government coalition will decide whether they will come with a new proposal for prime minister or they will seek the suspension of president Iohannis over his rejection of Sevil Shhaideh.
After the president accepts a nomination, both the prime minister and the new cabinet must be approved by parliament. The MPs can reject a proposed government up to three times before the president decides to dissolve parliament and call new elections.
Under Romania's constitution, an incumbent president who severely violates the Constitution may be suspended in a joint session of the two houses of parliament. If a suspension motion passes, a referendum for the impeachment of the president shall be called within no more than 30 days after the suspension.
In mid-December, Iohannis said that the integrity criteria for local politicians remain valid in the process of appointing the new prime minister. The integrity criteria made it impossible for Liviu Dragnea to become Romania's new prime minster because he had been issued a two-year suspended jail sentence for a referendum fraud in 2012.
PSD and ALDE control among themselves 250 of 465 seats in the new parliament following December 11 election.