Talks soon with parties over Romania govt formation

BUCHAREST: Romania’s President will begin consulting parties on forming a new government on Wednesday, but strongly suggested he would not accept the biggest party’s leader as prime minister due to his criminal record.
The Social Democrat Party (PSD) won Sunday’s parliamentary election with about 46 per cent of votes, results from 99 per cent of polling stations showed. Its leader, Liviu Dragnea (pictured), would be the obvious choice to lead a new government, but was convicted this year of electoral fraud and given a two-year suspended sentence.
“Integrity criteria in appointing the prime minister remain in place,” President Klaus Iohannis told reporters on Tuesday, referring to his position that any future prime minister must not have a criminal record.
“I unveiled these criteria before the start of the electoral campaign to avoid unnecessary discussions afterwards,” he said. Along with its long-time ally, ALDE, which secured about 6 per cent of the vote, the PSD would have a comfortable majority in parliament. Its promise to put more money in people’s pockets proved more appealing to voters than its rivals’ pledges to root out corruption.
It was unclear whether the PSD would now nominate Dragnea for prime minister or put forward an alternative candidate. — Reuters