Romania's first woman PM leads third left-wing cabinet

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BUCHAREST: Romania's first woman Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and her cabinet were sworn in before President Klaus Iohannis late Monday. Dancila's cabinet, the third Social Democratic government in less than 13 months, won the vote of confidence in the parliament earlier, with 282 votes in favor, 136 against and one abstention, much more than the required 233 votes, thus half plus one of the total MPs.

President Iohannis, who has long been in disagreement with the ruling party, did not give up the chance to criticize his main political opponent, led by Speaker of the Deputy Chamber Liviu Dragnea. "I hope that with the investiture of the third cabinet proposed by the parliamentary majority, the government hopping will also end, which last year led to the degradation of the social climate, to a mood that can not be beneficial to the development of a society," Iohannis said after the swearing-in ceremony. The new prime minister, in her turn, said earlier that she is "totally open to dialogue with all political forces, with the Romanian president", to generate consensus on issues concerning national interests. "My term's goal is that, in 2020, Romania will be in the top half of the ranking of the strongest economies in the European Union, so that the youth should no longer leave Romania, and those who already left wish to come back home," said Dancila. "I have proposed to take this mandate for three years together with the ministers," the new prime minister suggested that she would not step down after several months in office like her two predecessors. "I want to leave with confidence and with the confidence that has been shown to me by all those who have put their hopes in this government and, above all, in the governing program," she added. She vowed to strictly follow every point of the government program and try to have a good cooperation with all the ministers. Referring to the future relationship with her predecessor, Mihai Tudose, who was forced to resign on Jan. 15 after losing the political support of his party leadership, Dancila said: "I think we need to continue everything that is good and everything that adds value," stressing that she would not put aside good things on account of somebody. Local analysts believed that her ruling would be far from going smoothly, as some people seen her as a spokesperson for the party chairman Dragnea and thought she would act in the role of a sort of "administrator", and execute what was told. In addition to this, several cabinet members have faced allegations of corruption and may be forced to leave the government at any time, bringing thus a negative impact on the government's activities and image. Dancila has 27 members in her cabinet, including four deputy prime ministers and 25 ministers, with two of deputy prime ministers also serving as minister of the environment and minister of regional development and public administration, respectively. The Social Democrats won more than 45 percent of the votes in the general elections at the end of 2016. Together with the Alliance of Democrats and Liberals, they hold a majority of 250 seats in the 465-member parliament.

News and Image Credits: Xinhua

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