BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president nominated former EU Commissioner Dacian Ciolos as new prime minister Tuesday, after Victor Ponta resigned amid protests following a nightclub fire that has killed 48 people.
President Klaus Iohannis said Romania needs "a clean person, a person not involved in scandals, a person of integrity."
Ciolos was the EU's Agriculture Commissioner from 2010 to 2014. The 46-year-old is a member of the European People's Party and served as Romania's agriculture minister from 2007 to 2008.
Iohannis said Romania's political parties needed to be cleaned up ahead of elections late next year.
"A technocratic government... is the correct way for the next year until elections" Iohannis said.
Ciolos has to form a government which needs to be approved by Parliament. If that fails, the president can designate another candidate and if Parliament doesn't approve the second choice, early elections are called.
Romanians have staged days of protests calling for an end to corruption and better governance.
Ponta, who was on trial for corruption charges, resigned on Wednesday with his Cabinet. The government is currently headed by interim Prime Minister Sorin Campeanu, the former education minister.