Romania’s president rejected a proposal by the election-winning leftist party to name the EU country’s first female and first Muslim prime minister.
Klaus Iohannis gave no reasons for his rejection of Sevil Shhaideh, put forward by the Social Democrats (PSD), but there was a speculation that it may be due to her Syrian husband’s background.
“I have properly analyzed the arguments for and against and I have decided not to accept this proposal,” the president told reporters in a televised statement.
“I call on the PSD coalition to make another proposal,” Iohannis said.
Shhaideh’s political experience is limited; having served as development minister for just five months before the previous PSD-led government resigned in late 2015.
This and her personal closeness to Dragnea, who was a witness at her wedding, added fuel to opposition allegations that she would simply be his puppet.
Shhaideh is from Romania’s small and long-established Turkish minority, but her Muslim faith is not considered as a problem for Iohannis. Instead, the focus may have been on her Syrian husband, whom she married in 2011.