By EurActiv.ro | Translated By Samuel Morgan
Shhaideh, a 52-year-old who hails from a family with Tartar-Turkish ancestry and who is married to a Syrian, has unexpectedly gained the confidence of the PSD, who managed to secure 45% of the vote in elections held on 11 December.
The economics graduate is a close ally of PSD President Liviu Dragnea, having worked with him during her time at Romania’s regional development ministry.
Her nomination, supported by the Liberal Democratic Alliance (ALDE), came as a shock, as Dragnea had not announced or given much indication about who would be backed to succeed outgoing technocrat Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș.
Dragnea was convicted in 2015 of organising electoral fraud during Romania’s 2012 referendum on the impeachment of then-President Traian Băsescu. His initial one-year punishment was doubled in April of this year by the Court of Cassation but remained a mere suspended sentence.
This is where Shhaideh comes into the picture. As a trusted collaborator of Dragnea, her appointment would prevent any further political turmoil in a country that is still struggling to get over the shockwaves caused by the resignation of Victor Ponta’s cabinet last year.
Dragnea said that Shhaideh is “a person I fully trust” after meeting with Iohannis yesterday (21 December), adding that she would be the only candidate his party would put forward.
Muslims only make up a tiny percentage of Romania’s population, just 0.3%, mostly Tartar-Turkish. The largest minority, 86%, are orthodox.
The president is expected to announce a decision either today or tomorrow (23 December).
Source: https://www.euractiv. com/section/elections/news/ romania-readies-itself-for- first-female-and-first-muslim- prime-minister/