Romania Set for First Female, and First Muslim, Prime Minister

Posted on: January 6th, 2017 by aaronjamesyoung | No Comments

BUCHAREST, Romania — In a surprise move, Romania’s largest political party nominated a woman from the country’s Tatar minority for prime minister on Wednesday. If she wins approval from the president and Parliament, she will be both the first Muslim and the first woman to hold the post.

The Social Democratic Party scored a resounding victory in the Dec. 11 general election, winning more than 45 percent of the vote. Together with its smaller ally, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, it holds a majority of the seats in Parliament.

Ordinarily, the leader of the largest party is designated by the country’s president to become prime minister. But the Social Democrats’ leader, Liviu Dragnea, would have been a problematic choice: He was convicted of electoral fraud and given a two-year suspended sentence in April. President Klaus Iohannis has said that the country’s next prime minister should be untainted by criminal convictions or continuing investigations.

So the Social Democrats turned instead to Sevil Shhaideh, 52, a relatively little-known figure who served as minister of regional development for six months in the last Social Democrat-led government.

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