BUCHAREST – Following Romania’s parliamentary elections, President Klaus Iohannis has invited political parties for consultations on December 14 about the formation of a new government.
The presidential office made the announcement on December 10, a day after the reformist center-right National Liberal Party (PNL) proposed Finance Minister Florin Citu as the next prime minister.
The leftist opposition Social Democrats (PSD) emerged as the strongest party in the December 6 general polls, which were marred by absenteeism prompted in part by the coronavirus pandemic, but failed to secure enough votes for a majority in parliament.
With the PSD lacking allies in the new parliament and Iohannis -- a former PNL leader– vowing to keep the party "outside of the political decision-making process," the Liberals, the center-right USR-PLUS alliance, and the ethnic Hungarian UDMR party are in pole position to form a coalition government.
The three groupings control about 53 percent of parliamentary seats, according to data from the election authorities.
U.S.-educated Citu would need to put together a cabinet within 10 days after his nomination, and would then have to win a vote of confidence in parliament.
PNL leader Ludovic Orban resigned as prime minister on December 7 after holding the post for just over a year.
Iohannis later appointed Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca as acting prime minister.