(updates with IMF statement)
BUCHAREST (Romania), October 15 (SeeNews) – Romania’s President Traian Basescu nominated Lucian Croitoru, an advisor to the central bank governor, as prime minister-designate on Thursday, two days after the country’s minority government fell in a no-confidence vote.
Basescu told reporters he had considered three nominations and added that Croitoru was his own proposal. Croitoru, 52, is not affiliated to any political party. He would succeed Emil Boc, leader of the Democrat-Liberal Party, as head of government. The prime minister-designate has 10 days to form a new cabinet and present it to parliament for approval.
“My choice of Croitoru was based on the fact that we need a prime minister who is versed in economic and macroeconomic issues, both at national and international level,” Basescu said.
Basescu also said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided to postpone its second review mission to Romania under its financing agreement with the country until a new government takes office. Initially, the review mission was scheduled to start on October 21.
The IMF said in a statement it does not anticipate an interruption in the stand-by arrangement with Romania or a change in policy as a result of the political developments. Romania signed a 20 billion euro ($29.8 billion) aid deal with the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank in March to support its crisis-hit economy.
“We will get a tranche of $300 million from the World Bank next week, and this tranche is not at risk, but we also need to receive two more tranches [of the aid package] by the end of the year [to finance the budget gap]," Basescu added.
Romania is dependent on IMF aid to cover its budget deficit which rose to 4.5% of the projected gross domestic product in the first eight months of 2009.
Following Basescu’s announcement, Croitoru said one of his priorities as head of government would be delivering on the commitments the country has made to the IMF.
Parliament opposition - the Social Democratic Party, PSD, the National Liberal Party, PNL, and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, UDMR, had nominated the mayor of the central city of Sibiu, Klaus Johannis, 50, for premier. The Liberals, Social Democrats and ethnic Hungarians together control two-thirds of the 471 seats in parliament.
PNL and PSD said they will not back Croitoru.
Ruling Democrat-Liberals had proposed a politician, Basescu said without naming the candidate.
Late on Wednesday Basescu said Romania needed a government of national unity and asked political parties to continue talks on nominating a prime minister backed by all of them.
($ = 0.67 euro)