Sorin Grindeanu

Sorin Grindeanu

Sorin Grindeanu
Sorin Grindeanu, interview Feb 2015.jpg
65th Prime Minister of Romania
In office
4 January 2017 – 29 June 2017
President Klaus Iohannis
Preceded by Dacian Cioloș
Succeeded by Mihai Tudose
Minister of Communications
In office
17 December 2014 – 17 November 2015
Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Preceded by Răzvan Cotovelea
Succeeded by Marius Bostan
Personal details
Born Sorin Mihai Grindeanu
(1973-12-05) 5 December 1973 
Caransebeș, Romania
Political party Social Democratic Party (Before 2017)
Independent (2017–present)
Spouse(s) Mihaela Grindeanu
Children 2
Alma mater West University of Timișoara

Sorin Mihai Grindeanu (Romanian pronunciation: [soˈrin miˈhaj ɡrinˈde̯anu]; ) is a Romanian politician who served as Prime Minister of Romania from January to June 2017 when he was removed by a motion of no confidence adopted by Parliament.

Grindeanu was a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 2012 until the June 2016 local election, when he became president of the Timiș County Council.

A member of the Social Democratic Party, he was nominated by the leader of the party, Liviu Dragnea, on 28 December 2016 to form the a new government after the party won the legislative election of the previous year in a landslide. Two days later, President Klaus Iohannis officially appointed him as Prime Minister. He assumed office on 4 January 2017. He was also Minister for Communications under the fourth cabinet of Victor Ponta, between 17 December 2014 and 17 November 2015.

In early 2017, his government adopted a decree decriminalizing certain official misconduct, sparking widespread protests.

Early life and studies

Born on 5 December 1973, Sorin Grindeanu is the only child of Ana and Nicolae Grindeanu. Both of his parents were teachers, his father having been headmaster at the Colegiul Național “C.D. Loga”, a high school in Timișoara and a school inspector of the Caraș-Severin county. Nicolae Grindeanu also entered politics, having served as leader of the local organisation of the Social Democratic Party in Caransebeș and currently serving a term as county councillor in the Caraș-Severin local council.

Starting in 1992, Sorin Grindeanu attended the West University of Timișoara where he received a degree in Math and Informatics after graduating in 1997.[8] In 1999 he attended the University of Bologna for three months under a TEMPUS scholarship and received a degree in Social Statistics. He has also received degrees in various fields from the Institute for Adult Education in Frankfurt, University of Aveiro and the Leeds Beckett University.

In 2013 he received a postgraduate degree in Military Science, Information and Public Order from the National Intelligence Academy.

Political career

Grindeanu entered politics in November 1996 as a member of the Partidul Democrației Sociale din România (Party of Social Democracy of Romania), which would be later renamed the Social Democratic Party, following its merger with another minor left-wing party and becoming a member of the Socialist International. Two years later, in October 1998, he became Vice President of the Youth Organisation of the party in Timiș and in October 2002 he was promoted to the county executive bureau of the party.

Throughout the early 2000s he continued to climb the ranks of the party, becoming a prominent member of the local organisation in Timiș and its president in December 2003. Sorin Grindeanu made his entry into national politics in 2012 when he was elected for a four-years term as deputy in the Parliament of Romania. As MP, Grindeanu has co-authored several legislative initiatives on the fiscal code, social dialogue, the Labour Code, the functioning of owners’ associations, individual insolvency, energy and gas laws or credit contracts for consumers. He has also supported a proposal for the chemical castration of those accused of paedophilia.

Grindeanu was appointed Minister of Communications on 17 December 2014 as part of the Ponta Cabinet, a position he held until the latter’s resignation on 5 November 2015 and the subsequent dissolution of his government on 17 November 2015.

On 30 June 2016, Sorin Grindeanu resigned as MP to return to his home county of Timiș, where he was elected President of the local county council as part of a deal between the social-democrats, PMP and ALDE.

As Prime Minister

Following the electoral victory of the Social Democratic Party in the legislative election, Liviu Dragnea, the party’s leader was set to become the next Prime Minister after he secured an alliance with former PM Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu’s party and formed a parliamentary coalition. As per the Romanian constitution, after a legislative election, the President of Romania, after consulting all the parties in Parliament, has to designate an individual proposed by the coalition or the party that has an absolute majority in Parliament to become the next Prime Minister.

President Iohannis had said before and after the election that he would not appoint an individual that was either prosecuted or convicted before, alluding to Dragnea’s two-year suspended sentence in a case of electoral fraud. After exhausting all possible ways of removing his sentence, Dragnea decided to stop pursuing the premiership and nominated Sevil Shhaideh for the position. President Iohannis, however, refused to nominate Shhaideh, did not offer a reason for his refusal, and requested that the leaders of the majority coalition make another proposal. Had she been designated and sworn into office, Shhaideh would have been the first woman PM, the first PM from an ethnic minority and also the first PM from a religious minority.

Following the refusal, Dragnea mentioned a possible impeachment of the president, but ultimately decided to make another nomination. Sorin Grindeanu became the coalition’s second proposal. President Iohannis designated Grindeanu as Prime Minister on 30 December 2016 and he was finally sworn in on 4 January 2017.

Ordinance Bill No. 13

Loss of political support

The relationship between Dragnea and Grindeanu slowly deteriorated starting April 2017 with sources pointing to the lack of trust between the two, the former believing the latter was interesting in creating a power pole in order to challenge his leadership. Dragnea later asked for Grindeanu’s resignation as Prime Minister, which the latter refused. As a consequence, Dragnea convened the Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party in order to review the cabinet’s implementation of the governing programme with which the party won the legislative election back in 2016. Before the committee came to its conclusion, ALDE had already withdrawn its support of Grindeanu’s Cabinet. Soon after Dragnea and PSD also withdrew their support and all the ministers resigned, leaving only Grindeanu as part of the government. Sorin Grindeanu refused to resign, citing his responsibility as Prime Minister of Romania. The coalition is expected to start a motion of no confidence against their own government in order to force Grindeanu out, sometime during June.

On 15 June 2017, Grindeanu was excluded from the Social Democratic Party by the executive committee of the PSD. Following Grindeanu’s exclusion from the party, wings of the party and certain local organisations (Timiș and Iași) have declared their support for Sorin Grindeanu and former PM, Victor Ponta also joined his government as general secretary in spite of Dragnea’s threats of exclusion from the party against all those who would abstain or vote against the motion of no confidence. On 21 June 2017, the motion of no confidence was passed by Parliament with 241 votes (233 were needed), thus ending Grindeanu’s premiership.
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