Romanian President rejects Muslim candidate for Prime Minister

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis rejects Social Democrats' candidate for prime minister, Sevil Shhaideh.

Gary Willig,

Sevil Shhaideh
Sevil Shhaideh

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis rejected the left-wing Social Democrats' candidate for prime minister, Sevil Shhaideh Tuesday.

"I have properly analysed the arguments for and against and I have decided not to accept this proposal," Iohannis said in a televised statement. "I call on the PSD coalition to make another proposal."

He did not state any further reason for rejecting Shhaideh's candidacy.

Shhaideh, a 52 year old politician of Turkish origin, would have been the first Muslim Prime Minister in Europe if her candidacy had been accepted. The Muslim population of Romania numbers 65,000.

The Social Democrats nominated Shhaideh after its victory in Romania's parliamentary elections on December 11. The party won a plurality of 45% of the vote.

The Social Democrats have not commented on the rejection of their candidate.