BUCHAREST -- The Romanian president has proposed the leader of the center-right Save Romania Union (USR), Dacian Ciolos, as a candidate to form a government, days after a nine-month-old minority coalition was toppled in a no-confidence vote.
President Klaus Iohannis made the announcement on October 11 after holding consultations with all parties in parliament, saying that the next government's urgent tasks would be to address a devastating fourth COVID-19 wave and spiraling energy costs ahead of the winter season.
The 52-year-old Ciolos said he was honored by the nomination.
"Our objective is to pull Romania out of crisis and for this we need a lot of responsibility from all political forces," he said on Facebook.
To become prime minister, he will need the support of a majority in parliament, and two parties have already said they would not support his nomination.
Ciolos was until recently president of the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament. He has previously served as Romanian prime minister between 2015 and 2017 and as European commissioner for agriculture from 2010 to 2014 .
Romanian lawmakers from across the political spectrum on October 5 voted overwhelmingly to topple Prime Minister Florin Citu's center-right minority government.
The move came after USR withdrew from Citu's National Liberal Party-led government last month, complaining about his "dictatorial attitude" after he fired several USR members of the government, including the justice and health ministers.
The ongoing crisis threatens to further hamper Romania’s efforts to tackle an alarming surge of COVID-19 infections in the European Union nation of 19 million.
On October 11, the number of new daily coronavirus infections in Romania rose by more than 9,000, and 209 people have died from COVID-19 amid low vaccination rates.
There were nearly 17,000 people hospitalized with the disease.