BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian Prime Minister-designate Viorica Dancila on Friday presented her government lineup of 27 ministers as Romania prepares for its third premier in a year.
The left-wing Social Democrat government has faced the largest protests since communism ended over moves to ease off on its anti-corruption fight, but Parliament is expected to approve the government on Monday.
If so, Dancila, whose Cabinet will include four deputy prime ministers, will become Romania’s first female premier. However, her executive powers will be limited and she will serve mainly as an administrator.
Powerful party chairman Liviu Dragnea can’t be premier due to a conviction for vote-rigging but he decides government policy. He’s also being probed for embezzling European Union funds. He denies all wrongdoing.
Dancila, who declined to answer questions on her Cabinet Friday, supports amendments to the justice system that critics, including the European Union, say will lead to a backsliding on efforts to prosecute high-level corruption.
She reappointed Rovana Plumb as minister for European funds. Plumb was forced to resign that post in October amid a corruption probe.
Plumb is suspected of transferring land near the River Danube to a local council that was then illegally leased to a private company. She denies wrongdoing. Parliament voted in October to allow her to retain parliamentary privilege against prosecution.
Her proposal for business minister, Radu Oprea, is indicted for money-laundering and tax evasion.
Dancila, 54, is a member of the European Parliament and has never been in the Romanian government.
The Social Democrats dismissed the previous two premiers because they were perceived as failing to toe the party line.