BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta's new government won parliamentary backing on Friday, ending a period of political uncertainty in the European Union state.
Ponta's leftist Social Liberal Union (USL) scored a two-thirds majority in a December 9 election, cementing his position although he will still have to work with his rightist rival, President Traian Basescu.
The prime minister's first priorities will be securing a new deal with the International Monetary Fund - vital to maintain investor confidence as Romania's current agreement expires early in 2013 - and then passing a budget.
The premier's failed attempt to impeach Basescu in July brought criticism from the EU for undermining the rule of law, sent the leu currency to a record low and raised questions about the future of the IMF deal.
That row also raised questions over whether the president would risk a new political crisis by refusing to re-appoint Ponta, despite his election win. But since Basescu agreed to name Ponta as prime minister, the currency has rallied and hit a six-month high on Friday.
Ponta will also have to overcome criticism from the IMF over delayed reforms such as privatizations to secure its new funding agreement.
(Additional reporting by Sam Cage)
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