Former banker Florin Citu poised to become Romania's next prime minister
Jim Drury

Romanian former banker Florin Citu is set to become the country's 18th prime minister in 31 years, after three center-right parties signed a coalition agreement to form a new government.

The deal breaks the stalemate that followed parliamentary elections held on December 6. Citu is currently the minister of finance and a member of the National Liberal Party (known as the PNL).

If the deal is approved by parliament, the PNL will govern alongside the newly formed USR-PLUS alliance and UDMR, a party representing the country's Hungarian minority.



A US-educated banker, Citu, 48, must be formally nominated by President Klaus Iohannis, who has already said he won't stand in the way of the proposal. Iohannis will hold a second round of consultations with the parliamentary parties on Tuesday before making his announcement.

"We will have stable, long-term governance, focused on the citizen's interests," said Citu. 

Besides overseeing a new budget, his government will have to organize the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and work on reforms to revitalize an economy badly hit by the pandemic.

The European Union on Monday gave the green light for inoculations with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to begin in all 27 member nations after Christmas.

Romania's general elections have resulted in a fragmented parliament, with the liberals, seen as favorites, coming in second with 25 percent, compared with 29 percent for the left-wing Social Democratic Party (PSD).

But Iohannis snubbed the PSD and had made clear his preference for a PNL-led government, with the three center-right parties in parliament totaling 244 MPs, above the 233 threshold for a majority in the 465-seat legislature.

Interim Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca took office on December 7 following Ludovic Orban's resignation when the PNL party secured just 25 percent of the vote in the election.

Source(s): AFP

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