Romania: Victor Ponta, the transition Prime Minister
8 May 2012
On 7 May, a new majority in the Romanian parliament gave its backing to the government of newly designated Prime Minister, Victor Ponta. The leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is to take over from Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu of the centre-right National Liberal Party, who was forced to step down, after only three months in power, by a vote of no confidence on 27 April. The mandate granted to Ponta, a 39 year-old lawyer, is only set to last for six months until general elections are held in November.
The replacement of the Ungureanu government by the Ponta government “and the handover of power during the electoral cycle is an unprecedented development in Romanian politics”, remarks Adevărul. Four months after the first anti-austerity demonstrations, Ponta’s programme will include measures that have “a populist potential”, explains the daily. These include civil service pay rises and pension increases. However the new prime minister’s mission will remain –
… the same as the brief for the Ungureanu government: management of day-to-day problems, the organisation of elections, and, of course, boosting the electoral appeal of the parties that put him in power.