Romanian former PM Viorica Dancilă resigns after election defeat

Former Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancilă (pictured above) has resigned as the head of Romania’s Party of Social Democrats (PSD) after her defeat in the country’s presidential elections on November 24.

Speaking after a tense, six-hour-long session of the PSD’s National Executive Committee, Mrs Dancilă said that her decision was made not as a sign of weakness, but as a show of dignity for her party.

Marcel Ciolacu, the speaker of the lower house of the Romanian parliament, was named the interim president of the party until new statutory leadership is elected during the next PSD congress next February, PSD’s National Executive Committee said in a statement.

Mr Ciolacu is believed to be a close confident of Liviu Dragnea, a former PSD strongman who is now in prison after he was convicted for corruption.

Mrs Dancilă’s resignation comes after she suffered a stunning defeat in the Romanian presidential election on November 24 in which Klaus Iohannis was reelected as the country’s president with 63 per cent of the votes.

She also served as Romania’s prime minister from January 2018 until her government was toppled in a no-confidence vote on October 10.