Europe

Romanian president nominates regional politician as next PM

  • In this Dec. 28, 2016, picture, Sorin Grindeanu, Romania's Prime Minister designate listens to questions during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania. Romania's president nominated regional politician, Sorin Grindeanu, 43, as the next prime minister, after turning down economist Sevil Shhaideh, who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier.(AP Photo/Octav Ganea)

    In this Dec. 28, 2016, picture, Sorin Grindeanu, Romania's Prime Minister designate listens to questions during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania. Romania's president nominated regional politician, Sorin Grindeanu, 43, as the next prime minister, after turning down economist Sevil Shhaideh, who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier.(AP Photo/Octav Ganea)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Dec. 28, 2016, picture, Sorin Grindeanu, Romania's Prime Minister designate grimaces during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania. Romania's president nominated regional politician, Sorin Grindeanu, 43, as the next prime minister, after turning down economist Sevil Shhaideh, who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier.(AP Photo/Octav Ganea)

    In this Dec. 28, 2016, picture, Sorin Grindeanu, Romania's Prime Minister designate grimaces during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania. Romania's president nominated regional politician, Sorin Grindeanu, 43, as the next prime minister, after turning down economist Sevil Shhaideh, who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier.(AP Photo/Octav Ganea)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo dated Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016, Sorin Grindeanu, left, Romania's Prime Minister designate stands next to Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the Social Democrat party, during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania. Romania's president nominated regional politician, Sorin Grindeanu, 43, as the next prime minister, after turning down an economist, Sevil Shhaideh, who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea)

    In this photo dated Wednesday Dec. 28, 2016, Sorin Grindeanu, left, Romania's Prime Minister designate stands next to Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the Social Democrat party, during a press conference in Bucharest, Romania. Romania's president nominated regional politician, Sorin Grindeanu, 43, as the next prime minister, after turning down an economist, Sevil Shhaideh, who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea)  (The Associated Press)

Romania's president has nominated a regional politician as the next prime minister, after turning down an economist who could have become the country's first female Muslim premier.

President Klaus Iohannis on Friday endorsed Sorin Grindeanu, 43, to become premier. Grindeanu is a member of the Social Democratic Party that won Dec. 11 elections, and chairman of the Timis county council. Parliament needs to approve him.

The nomination came after Iohannis declined to endorse Sevil Shhaideh.

As well as her lack of political experience, Shhaideh sparked concerns due to reports about her Syrian-born husband's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad on his Arabic-language Facebook page.

Social Democrat chairman Liviu Dragnea cannot become premier because he was convicted this year of election fraud.