Romanian Parliament elects new leaders

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Both chambers of Romania's Parliament elected new leaders on Tuesday.

Marcel Ciolacu, chair of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) was elected speaker of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house of Parliament) with 217 votes in favor and 77 against.

The position has been vacant since Oct. 18, following the resignation of Ludovic Orban, former leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), who announced his retreat from the party after losing re-election.

The PNL's current leader, Florin Citu, was elected president of the Senate (upper house) with 82 votes in favor and 25 against, defeating Anca Dragu from the Save Romania Union (USR), who ran again after she had been removed from the position earlier in the day.

Citu, also caretaker prime minister, is scheduled to assume his new position on Friday after the investiture of the country's new government.

The elections of the parliamentary leadership were held as a result of the major changes in the compositions of the Parliament majority, when PSD entered a new three-party coalition with PNL and Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) following USR's withdrawal.

USR announced its decision to quit the ruling coalition in early September, and the minority cabinet led by Citu collapsed on Oct. 5 in a parliamentary no-confidence vote. On Monday, the PSD, PNL and UDMR agreed in forming a coalition government. President Klaus Iohannis soon nominated Nicolae Ciuca, proposed by the new coalition, to set up a new government as soon as possible.

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