Romania’s president has named social-democrat Sorin Grindeanu as the nation’s new prime minister, after turning down an economist who could have become the country’s first female Muslim premier.
The centre-right president Klaus Iohannis signed the official decree naming Grindeanu, a 43-year-old former communications minister, as the new prime minister.
Grindeanu is a member of the Social Democratic Party that won December 11 elections, and chairman of the Timis county council. He now faces a confidence vote in parliament on his programme and cabinet nominees.
The nomination sought to put an end to a political crisis sparked when Iohannis rejected Sevil Shhaideh, who would have been the country’s first female and first Muslim government leader.
The president offered no reasons for his rejection of Shhaideh, initially put forward by the Social Democrats (PSD), but there was speculation that it was due to her Syrian husband’s background.
Sources close to the president had indicated on Thursday that Grindeanu was considered a “better solution”.
He is seen in Romania as a “disciplined soldier” within the PSD ranks and said himself in a recent interview that he had joined the party very young as an outlet for his leftist convictions.