Tensions as Romania president refuses to appoint ministers

December 7, 2018 GMT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s president has refused to appoint two ministers, saying the government is run by a “criminal” through intermediaries.

The decision Friday by President Klaus Iohannis comes at a time of rising political tensions within the governing Social Democratic Party in the run-up to Romania taking over the rotating presidency of the European Union on Jan. 1.

Iohannis has clashed with the government over a contentious judicial overhaul that critics say will undermine the fight against high-level corruption. The government claims prosecutors have too much power.


Though he’s not premier, Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea is widely perceived as running the government. Dragnea can’t be prime minister due to a 2016 conviction for vote-rigging. His ally, Viorica Dancila is premier on paper, but has little executive power.