Klaus Iohannis and Ludovic Orban, both in Romania’s top posts, have pledged the beginning of a pro-EU era for the country.
Pro-Western President Klaus Iohannis won on Sunday the second round of presidential ballot and is ready to take over another presidential term, after beating his opponent, the Socialist former PM Viorica Dancila with more than 30% of votes.
Dancila was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament in October, after wide public disapproval and EU’s heavy criticism on the country’s corruption scandals and independence of the judiciary.
The former PM had promised to resign from her position as leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), if she lost, however, after Sunday’s results, the former PM cancelled those plans, despite pressures to announce her resignation later on Tuesday.
Former foreign minister Cristian Diaconescu said Iohannis represents the “only European and Euro-Atlantic option”, while Oana Popescu Zamfir, director of the Bucharest-based Global Focus think-tank commented that “We are going to have president and government who are on the same side of the barricades, so it looks like they will have a bit more staying power and a bit more coherence.”
The real winner is “modern Romania, European Romania, normal Romania”, said Iohannis in his victory speech. The 60-year-old from the German minority had the support of Orban’s minority government of the National Liberal Party (PNL), which he once led and which was installed in early November as caretaker government until autumn’s 2020 elections.
Orban, who was nominated by Iohannis for the premiership and currently serves as Romania’s fourth prime minister in three years, had pledged to bring back government competence, invest in key infrastructure projects and correct economic measures that have plagued the business sector.
“We aim to follow all the principles of the rule of law, ensure real independence for the justice system, and bring institutions back to serving citizens”, stated Orban, targeting the PSD government.