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Muslim Woman Nominated as Romanian Prime Minister | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this photo taken May 20, 2015, Sevil Shhaideh, 52, stands at the Romanian presidency before being sworn in as regional development minister in Bucharest, Romania. Reuters

Bucharest- Romania’s Social Democratic Party has nominated former regional development minister Sevil Shhaideh to be the next prime minister.

Shhaideh, 52, would be the first the first Muslim prime minister in Romania– Muslims represent only 0.3% of Romanian population estimated as 20 million.

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) won the parliamentary elections held on December 11 but did not obtain an absolute majority.

PSD President Liviu Dragnea was unable to become a prime minister due to previously being convicted of electoral manipulation—he received a two-year suspended prison sentence for that.

According to the Romanian law, convicted individuals are banned from occupying prominent governmental positions. Dragnea, however, stated that he still enjoys political responsibility because he is the president of the party.

Dragnea expected the new government to be lined up soon; knowing that majority of parties backed the nomination of last year’s prime minister Dacian Ciolos.

Huge number of Romanians suffer poverty but the PSD promised people in the latest elections a raise in salaries and retirement allowances—these promises attracted many voters to give the party a second chance.

Three million out of the 20 million Romanian population immigrated in the recent years. Romania, a member of the European Union (EU) since 2007, witnessed an economic growth that came after a severe period of recession. Yet, Romania remains the second poorest country among the 28 members of the EU.

In Romania, the majority of parties endorse integration with Europe especially after the country has been granted EUR26 billion of aid from the EU—still, the latest elections saw some candidates calling for terminating the European mandate in order to prioritize the country’s best interest.