Romanian president appoints defense minister as interim PM

Romania's president has appointed the defense minister as interim prime minister after Premier Mihai Tudose unexpectedly resigned.

President Klaus Iohannis named Mihai Fifor to temporarily take the post of prime minister Tuesday, saying the current "political uncertainty should not degenerate into political instability" and cause negative economic effects.

Tudose quit late Monday after the left-wing Social Democratic Party withdrew its support for him amid a power struggle with powerful party chairman Liviu Dragnea. Dragnea himself can't be prime minister due to a 2016 conviction for vote-rigging.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to arrive later, but due to the political crisis, lunch and talks with Romanian prime minister were canceled.

Abe will meet Iohannis later Tuesday for talks. He is visiting Romania at the end a six-country European tour.