Romania’s ruling party has new leadership

Bucharest, Oct 19 (IANS) Romania’s Social Democrat Party unanimously validated the election of Liviu Dragnea as the main ruling party’s chairman in a congress.

According to the resolution read out in the meeting on Sunday, Dragnea obtained in the internal ballot, which took place a week ago, a number of 442,650 votes in favour out of the 457,764 votes cast by the party members, Xinhua reported.

For the first time, the party chairperson was not voted within a congress, but by all party members in a nation-wide internal election. Dragnea was the only candidate for the position.

The change of the party’s leadership is not routine, but mainly because of the resignation of incumbent Prime Minister Victor Ponta as chairman of the party three months ago, after anti-corruption prosecutor had launched a probe against him into allegations that include tax evasion and money laundering.

Dragnea, 53, is considered a powerful figure within the party. He has served as the secretary general, executive chairman and acting chairman. Dragnea had also held important posts in the government, such as interior minister and deputy prime minister.

The Social Democratic Party is the largest party in the current ruling coalition, which also includes the National Union for the Progress of Romania, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Reformist Party.

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