Romania gets first female prime minister

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Romania gets first female prime minister

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and her cabinet were sworn in before the head of state on Monday.


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Published: Tue 30 Jan 2018, 6:14 AM

Last updated: Tue 30 Jan 2018, 8:16 AM

Romania's first woman Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and her cabinet were sworn in before the head of state on Monday.

Dancila, a 54-year-old Romanian deputy of the European Parliament from the part of Social Democrat Party, is the first female prime minister in the history of this eastern European country.

"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," Xinhua quoted President Klaus Iohannis as saying. 

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.

Dancila announced to have the first meeting with her cabinet members this evening at the Victoria Palace, headquarters of the Romanian Government, with the first government meeting to be held on Wednesday.

The Social Democrats won more than 45 per cent of the votes in the general elections at the end of 2016. Together with the Alliance of Democrats and Liberals, it has an outright majority of 250 seats in the 465-member parliament. 

"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," Dancila told the parliament before the voting.

She called on the political class to show maturity, while reminding that Romania is celebrating the Great Union Centenary this year and next year is going to take over the Presidency of the EU Council.

"I'm totally open to dialogue with all political forces, with the Romanian president, to generate consensus in respect to such major topics for our country that are about our national interest," said Dancila.

When talking about foreign policy, Dancila said she intended to expand the European dimension in terms of the governing act. "I will pay special attention to Romania's strategic partnerships and, in particular, to our partnership with the US," she said.

She urged Romania to show "total openness" in international cooperation and in the diplomatic relations with other states.

The ruling majority was also supported in the voting by the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, whose leader Kelemen Hunor said earlier the union's lawmakers had decided to give their vote to the Dancila's cabinet, in order to "give the coalition another chance."

The against votes came from main opposition the National Liberal Party, as well as the Save Romania Union and the People's Movement.

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 voting was held after ministers who were nominated had been heard separately in the relevant parliamentary committees. The ministers will take the oath at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace late Monday.

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