Appointment of new Romanian PM Dacian Ciolos makes international headlines

Newsroom 12/11/2015 | 12:57

The appointment of former Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos as Romania’s new premier has garnered international attention, with a number of news sources reporting on the change in government that came after prime minister Victor Ponta resigned as a result of public protests following the Colectiv fire.

“Dacian Ciolos, is considered to be a capable manager whose appointment could help calm the political unrest that has roiled the country”, stated the New York Times earlier this week. “It is unlikely that Mr. Ciolos’s nomination will hit any roadblocks in Parliament. The resignation of Mr. Ponta — who is under a criminal investigation for financial misconduct — has tarnished Romania’s political elite, which is trying to appear united and clean up its image”, concluded the NY Times regarding the political reaction to the president’s nomination.

Ciolos’s nomination comes as “a move designed to ensure stability until elections next year and contain protests that toppled Prime Minister Victor Ponta last week,” said the Chicago Tribune. Ciolos must now form a Cabinet in 10 days and also provide the outline of a governing program that will ensure him the backing of a majority in parliament in the upcoming confidence vote, also according to the Tribune. “The opposition Liberal Party and a former junior member of Ponta’s ruling coalition said they’ll support Iohannis’ choice” but smaller parties are waiting for the governing program before making a final decision, concluded the Tribune regarding the reaction amongst political parties to the President’s choice.

“Ciolos, 46, who was picked by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in July as his special adviser on food security, will easily garner parliament support in a confidence vote likely at the end of this month”, reported Reuters earlier this week in a similar tone to NY Times. “Ponta unexpectedly quit on Nov. 4 after tens of thousands, mostly young people, took to the streets to protest high-level sleaze following the fire in a Bucharest night club”, said Reuters.

“Under the constitution, Ciolos, who was EU agriculture commissioner from 2010 to 2014, has 10 days to draft a program, come up with a team of ministers and ask parliament for a vote of confidence”, stated Al Jazeera of what is to be expected to happen in the following weeks. “If approved by parliament, he will then put together a government and remain in office until elections due in the autumn of 2016,” further reported Al Jazeera, also pointing out that “analysts expect that a cabinet of technocrats, with a term ending in late 2016, will easily garner enough parliamentary support”.

Al Jazeera and Reuters also commented on the choices Ciolos might make for his cabinet and on how his government might act. “He [Ciolos] will likely try to select independent candidates to head individual portfolios,” said Otilia Dhand, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence, a New York-based political risk consultancy, according to both Reuters and Al Jazeera. “His government will not make any significant changes in current policies. It will be a cabinet of ‘status quo’ maintenance”, further added both news sources.

Andreea Tint

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