Romania: Social Democrats make new proposal for premier

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's main ruling party has proposed a regional politician as the next prime minister after the president turned down the party's first choice, an economist who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier.

Liviu Dragnea, chairman of the Social Democratic Party that won Dec. 11 elections, on Wednesday named Sorin Grindeanu, 43, to become premier. Grindeanu is chairman of the Timis county council, and has been deputy mayor of the city of Timisoara and a lawmaker.

Dragnea said he wants to pursue goals including "more money in Romanians' pockets, the freedom to think, to hope, to have a good health system."

President Klaus Iohannis rejected Tuesday the nomination of Sevil Shhaideh, a relative political novice, without saying why.

Iohannis must formally endorse a nominee before Parliament's final approval.

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