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Romania's prime minister wins vote of confidence

Less than two weeks after Victor Ponta's resignation as Romania's Prime Minister, the country has appointed a new head of government. Ponta's government had been characterized by widespread corruption.

Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos's government won a confidence vote in parliament with backing from the biggest groupings, the Liberals and the former ruling Social Democrats, two deputies from both parties said on Tuesday.

"Our deputies have clear mandate to cast 'Yes,' and our internal count of those present shows this government passed the vote," one leftist deputy said.

A deputy from the centrist grouping also said the government had secured enough votes.

Rumänien Proteste und Forderung nach Rücktritt der Regierung

Demonstrators took to the streets demanding Ponta to step down as prime minister.

The Romanian parliament has approved a government of technocrats headed by an ex-European Union agriculture commissioner, after leftist Victor Ponta resigned and his government collapsed amid mass protests in the wake of a nightclub fire in which at least 56 died.

The nomination of Dacian Ciolos is a direct criticism of Romania's politicians who are perceived as being corrupt, arrogant and removed from the problems of ordinary people.

"This government has no political objective more important than supporting and strengthening democracy," said Ciolos before parliament approved his Cabinet by a vote of 389-115.

A new Romania

Among the line-up, Ciolos said he selected Anca Paliu Dragu, an economic analyst at the European Commission and Mihnea Ioan Motoc, ambassador to Great Britain, was proposed for defense minister.

Former EU ambassador Lazar Comanescu will be foreign minister and Victor Grigorescu, a member of the board of power company Electrica, will be energy minister.

Bestätigung der neuen Regierung in Rumänien

Dacian Ciolos along his Cabinet being approved by parliament.

"I wanted to pick competent and expert people in their fields, open to dialogue. They come from the private sector, Romanian and European administrations, civil society experts," Ciolos told reporters.

Ciolos named his Cabinet on Sunday and had originally chosen Cristina Guseth, an anti-corruption expert as justice minister but ended up withdrawing his proposal as she had not studied law. Ciolos also withdrew the proposed health minister, a 28-year-old surgeon, after photos appeared of him modeling underwear.

Local elections are scheduled in Romania in the first half of 2016 followed by parliamentary elections in December.

hf/kms (AP, Reuters)

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