Romania's president has nominated former EU Commissioner Dacian Ciolos as new prime minister after Victor Ponta resigned amid protests following a nightclub fire that killed at least 48 people.

President Klaus Iohannis said Tuesday that 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 Ciolos is a member of the European People's Party and served as Romania's agriculture minister from 2007 to 2008.

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.

Romanians have staged days of protests calling for an end to corruption and better governance.