Romania's centrist, minority government was ousted three weeks ago after losing a confidence vote in parliament. The government led by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban remains in a caretaker role, including Citu as finance minister, until a new government is formed and approved.
Citu now has 10 days to nominate his Cabinet and seek approval from parliament. Orban's government had been in power only since November, when it replaced a Social Democratic government beset by corruption scandals.
The next national election is scheduled around the end of the year or early 2021. But political observers think Orban's National Liberal Party, formerly headed by Iohannis, is trying to provoke an early election to take advantage of its good standing in opinion polls.
If lawmakers reject two prime ministerial candidates proposed by the president, an early election would be called.