This article takes a close look at the selection and survival of prime ministers in Romania. While many factors are deemed important in understanding why prime ministers are “weak” or “strong,” have short or long tenures in office (including the relationship with the president and with the governing parties), this article focuses on the level of party credentials as a critical factor in both the selection and the survival of the prime ministers. Following Grotz and Weber (2017), I argue that a better understanding of how impactful this factor is comes only after a full assessment of the political circumstances in which the selection of the prime minister takes place. “Post-electoral” context may be defined by different goals, tactics, and ambitions than the “replacement” context. I found that party leaders survive longer in prime ministerial office, that they are the first choice in post-electoral contexts, but not necessarily in both contexts taken together, and that technocrats are preferred in replacement contexts, especially when the next legislative elections are getting near.

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