Romania's President, Klaus Iohannis announced on Thursday that he appointed Education Minister, Sorin Cimpeanu as interim prime minister, following Victor Ponta’s resignation, amid mass protests across the country over a deadly nightclub fire.
Iohannis also thanked the thousands of people who took to the streets in the capital Bucharest and other cities for their non-violent demonstrations, which started when 32 people were killed and hundreds injured in a Bucharest nightclub fire over the weekend and have continued despite Ponta’s resignation.
“I saw you, I heard you, and I will take your requests into account,” he said.
The President said he will hold talks regarding the next step to take after Cimpeanu’s temporary appointment, signaling a nomination might emerge by the end of the week.
“I have decided that in addition to consulting with the political parties today and tomorrow, I will also talk tomorrow to a new actor: the civil society.” Iohannis added.
Following Ponta's resignation there are many political options to be evaluated. Ponta’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) seeks to name a new prime minister from its members, while the main opposition is asking for early elections, hoping to get enough seats to form the government.
Klaus Iohannis could also select a member from the liberal party as prime minister to form a minority government, as another option is to appoint an independent name to form a technocrat cabinet, which would prepare for general elections due in December 2016, the only option that would project the street’s voice, although there is another group that demands early elections just like the liberals.
The fifth option would be to form a national union Government, which would include social democrats and liberals, an option with low probability.
Ponta, who has been under pressure to resign after being indicted in September for fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, during his time as a lawyer and is expected to be in court before December.