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New leftist govt named in Romania, many ministers keep posts

Associated Press logo Associated Press 28/06/2017
In this May 12, 2017, picture, economy minister Mihai Tudose, attends a ceremony in Caragele, Romania. Romania's President Klaus Ioannis designated Mihai Tudose, the 50-year-old economy minister in the previous government and an ally of Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, as the next prime minister. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) © The Associated Press In this May 12, 2017, picture, economy minister Mihai Tudose, attends a ceremony in Caragele, Romania. Romania's President Klaus Ioannis designated Mihai Tudose, the 50-year-old economy minister in the previous government and an ally of Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, as the next prime minister. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

BUCHAREST, Romania — The chairman of Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party has named a new leftist government, yet many ministers are keeping their jobs despite being criticized for alleged underperformance.

Liviu Dragnea, who heads the Social Democrats, can't be prime minister due to a 2016 conviction for vote-rigging, but he retains control behind the scenes. His ally, Prime Minister-designate Mihai Tudose, will keep many of the ministers in outgoing Premier Sorin Grindeanu's Cabinet.

Dragnea said Wednesday that Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu will remain, as will Interior Minister Carmen Dan and Labor Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu, both Dragnea loyalists.

The Social Democrats and their allies dismissed Grindeanu's government in a confidence vote last week, saying it had failed to implement the party's program.

Parliament will vote to approve the new 27-minister Cabinet on Thursday.

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