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Romanian Prime Minister Dancila To Challenge Incumbent Iohannis For Presidency

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila will challenge incumbent President Klaus Iohannis for his seat in the November 10 presidential election.

The Social Democratic Party, of which Dancila is a member, nominated her on July 23 despite the 55-year-old former European Parliament member having previously said she wouldn't run.

An August 3 party congress still must approve her candidacy.

"It's not an easy electoral situation for us, but I trust myself and my colleagues," Dancila, 55, said after the party meeting, as cited by AFP.

Her rival, Iohannis, of the country’s German minority already said he will run for a second five-year term.

He has been a vocal critic of Dancila’s government and the ruling coalition.

Earlier in July, Iohannis criticized the government for not adopting anti-corruption recommendations made by a European anti-graft body.

Iohannis said on July 10 that it was "extremely worrying" that Romania was still in the focus of European institutions.

A report by the Council of Europe's corruption-monitoring division said on July 9 that Romania had made "very little progress" to prevent corruption among parliament members, judges, and prosecutors and to address the concerns raised by its controversial judicial reform.

Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea furthermore has been jailed for corruption.

Another candidate is former Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, leader of the junior coalition party ALDE, which could cause discontent within the governing coalition.

Based on reporting by AFP