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UPDATE 1 - PSD threaten to seek Romanian president's suspension over refusal to appoint PM

UPDATE 1 - PSD threaten to seek Romanian president's suspension over refusal to appoint PM Liviu Dragnea, PSD leader

BUCHAREST (Romania), December 27 (SeeNews) - Liviu Dragnea, leader of Romania's Social Democrat party (PSD), said on Tuesday that in the next couple of days the government coalition will decide whether they will come with a new proposal for prime minister or they will seek the suspension of president Klaus Iohannis who rejected their candidate.

"I understand that Mr. Iohannis does not want to respect the vote on December 11, that he does not want to give the task of government to this majority (...) There is no point in hiding, in the last hours there was an avalanche of messages received from people who feel offended and ask firmly for the president's suspension," Dragnea said shortly after Iohannis refused to appoint the PSD's nominee for prime minister.

"It is not an easy decision. If following the analysis we come to the conclusion that is better for the country to suspend the president, I will not hesitate on this," Dragnea said in a televised statement aired on Digi 24 TV station.

The government coalition is also considering an option to create a parliamentary commission to determine whether the president's decision violates the constitution or not, the PSD leader added.

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.

Iohannis said earlier on Tuesday that he won't appoint Sevil Shhaideh as prime minister and asked the government coalition formed after the December 11 election to propose a new candidate.

"Last week, when we held consultations with political parties PSD and ALDE, who wanted to come together in consultations, they proposed Sevil Shhaideh for the position of prime minister. I carefully weighed the pros and cons, and I decided not to accept this proposal. Therefore, I call on the coalition PSD - ALDE to make another proposal," Iohannis said in a brief statement posted on the website of the president's office.

Iohannis gave no reasons for his decision.

Dragnea has repeatedly said that PSD, the party which won the most votes in the December election but fell short of absolute majority, will only make one proposition for prime minister.

On December 19, PSD and centre-right Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE) signed a government coalition agreement, which gave the two parties majority in parliament. Two days later, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) pledged its support for the coalition by signing a parliamentary collaboration agreement.

Iohannis received two proposals for prime minister - one from PSD and ALDE, and another one from centre-right Popular Movement Party (PMP) who barely made it to parliament, with 18 seats in Chamber of Deputies and 8 in the Senate.

PSD proposed former regional development minister Sevil Shhaideh, while PMP proposed Eugen Tomac, their executive chairman.

After the president accepts a nomination from the parties, 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.

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 PSD leader 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.