Romania is set to have its first woman and first prime minister for the first time in the history. The country’s largest political party Social Democratic Party (PSD) has nominated Sevil Shhaideh, a Muslim woman from the Tartar minority, for the prime minister’s post.
The centre-left PSD led by Liviu Dragnea took 45 per cent of the vote on Election Day in 11 December, double any other party's share and together with its smaller ally, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats; it holds a majority of the seats in Parliament.
Ordinarily, the leader of the largest party is given a nod by the President to become the prime minister. But Liviu Dragnea was convicted of electoral fraud and given a two-year suspended sentence in April. So, the party collectively decided to nominate Sevil Shhaideh.
Sevil has served as the minister of regional development for six months in the last Social Democrat-led government and she is very close to Liviu Dragnea.
Dragnea, the party head, will control the government without taking direct responsibility.
"If appointed, she would be prime minister, but the political responsibility stays with me first of all," Dragnea said.
Muslims, who constitute to the 1% of population in Romania have rarely served as the heads of state or the government. So the move has come as a surprise to many.