Romanian President Klaus Iohannis picked the leader of the main opposition party, the Liberals (PNL) to take over as prime minister in the wake of the dismissal of the PSD government who has ruled the country for 3 years. Who is PNL leader Ludovic Orban and what has he done in politics for almost three decades?
Orban, who now has the task of forming a government team and obtain the support of the Parliament, was elected president of the National Liberal Party PNL in 2017. He is a veteran of Romanian politics, with a career spanning close to 30 years.
In the two years since his becoming head of the party, he managed to lead the recovery of the PNL from the harsh defeat in the general elections of 2016 to a victory in European elections earlier this year, when it exceeded the governing Social Democrats.
Orban, 56, has been a maverick member of the party leadership for long and, in more recent years, has been noted as an opponent of an alliance the PNL had concluded with the PSD earlier this decade.
After technical studies in Brasov in the 80s, he attended political studies at the National School of Polical and Administrative Studies in Bucharest in the early nineties.
He became a member of the PNL - Young Wing as early as 1993. He worked in local administration in Bucharest during the nineties.
He served as Transport minister in 2007-2008, when PM was Calin Popescu Tariceanu, a former Liberal leader who went on to split with the party and put up his own political group working with the PSD.
Orban has served as deputy for two terms since 2008.
He enlisted in the local elections for Bucharest Mayor in 2016, but dropped his candidacy as national anti-graft prosecutor's office DNA started an inquiry into traffic of influence, related to the funding of the electoral campaign. Orban was eventually acquitted in the case.
Orban was involved in traffic accidents repeatedly, including a notorious one in 2007 when he injured a teenager.