Romanian legislative election, 2016

Romanian legislative election, 2016

11 December 2016

All 329 seats in the Chamber and all 136 seats in the Senate
165 seats in the Chamber and 69 seats in the Senate seats needed for a majority
Turnout 39.44%

  Majority party Minority party Third party
 
Leader Liviu Dragnea[1] Alina Gorghiu Nicușor Dan
Party PSD PNL USR
Leader since 22 July 2015 18 December 2014 21 August 2016
Leader's seat DTeleorman STimiș DBucharest
Last election 59 S, 33.52%
150 D, 36.41%
50 S, 28.41%
100 D, 24.27%
Seats won 67 S / 154 D 30 S / 69 D 13 S / 30 D
Seat change 8 S / 4 D 20 S / 31 D New
popular vote 3,204,864 D 1,412,377 D 625,154 D
Percentage 45.48% D 20.04% D 8.87% D

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Leader Hunor Kelemen Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu Traian Băsescu
Party UDMR ALDE PMP
Leader since 26 February 2011 19 June 2015 27 March 2016
Leader's seat DHarghita SBucharest SBucharest
Last election 9 S, 5.11%
18 D, 4.37%
Seats won 9 S / 21 D 9 S / 20 D 8 S / 18 D
Seat change 0 S / 3 D New New
popular vote 435,969 D 396,386 D 376,891 D
Percentage 6.19% D 5.62% D 5.35% D

Prime Minister before election

Dacian Cioloș
Independent

Elected Prime Minister

Sorin Grindeanu
PSD

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Romania

Legislative elections were held in Romania on 11 December 2016.[2] They were the first held under a new electoral system adopted in 2015, which saw a return to the proportional electoral system last used in the 2004 elections. The new electoral legislation provides a norm of representation for deputies of 73,000 inhabitants and 168,000 inhabitants for senators, which decreased the number of MPs.[3] A total of 466 parliamentary seats (308 deputies, 18 minority deputies, and 134 senators) were contested, compared with the 588 parliamentarians elected in 2012. The diaspora was represented by four deputies and two senators, elected by postal vote.[4] The elections saw a turnout of 39.5%, lower than in 2012 but slightly higher than in the 2008 elections.

New electoral system

The legislative election of 2016 unfolded differently compared to 2012 and 2008. On 24 February 2015, the Electoral Code Commission decided in principle for the future electoral law to return to party-list proportional representation, thereby relinquishing the first-past-the-post (uninominal) voting system as introduced in 2008.[5] The option of turning the Parliament of Romania into a perfectly bicameral parliament, with some 300 deputies being elected on a closed list and 100 senators being elected by a single-round uninominal majority vote, had been discussed for years[6] and even agreed upon between the ruling Social Democratic Party and the opposition.[7] The new electoral law promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis on 20 July 2015 however didn't retain uninominal constituencies for the Senate. Closely sticking to the commission's recommendations, the new electoral law completely returned to party-list proportional representation.[8]

With a representation norm of one deputy per 73,000 inhabitants and one senator per 168,000 inhabitants,[9] a total of 308 deputies were elected, to which are added the 18 deputies of minorities, 134 senators and 6 MPs of diaspora (two senators and four deputies).[10] All in all this totals to a number of 466 MPs, five fewer than in 2008 and 122 fewer than in 2012.[8] While for single-party lists the electoral threshold is kept at 5%, a higher threshold of 8–10% is introduced for electoral alliances. For the first time the Romanian electors residing abroad were able to cast their vote via mail, in a reaction to the flawed procedures at the 2014 presidential election.[8]

Parties

Although the image of Victor Ponta and his Social Democratic Party (PSD) was badly affected by corruption scandals and a recent wave of protests, the party remains one of the two major parties in Romania. Besides the PSD, the Romanian party system however went through a number of substantial regroupings.

Major regroupings

Leading centre-left Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Centre Right Alliance (ACD) of the Conservative Party (PC) and National Liberal Party (PNL) contested the 2012 legislative election under the joint ticket of the Social Liberal Union (USL).[11] They won an absolute majority to form a government headed by prime minister Victor Ponta.

During the legislature, PC and PNL however increasingly distanced themselves from each other with the PC – despite its name – embracing social liberalism and being affected by corruption scandals involving its leader, Dan Voiculescu, who was subsequently sentenced to prison for money laundering. In turn, the PNL dropped out of the coalition government in February 2014.[12] Formerly affiliated with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the party applied for membership in the European People's Party (EPP) to be later admitted a full member.[13] Increasingly orienting to the right, the PNL suffered a split, as a faction centered around Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu left to become the Liberal Reformist Party (PLR) which eventually merged with the PC to form the Romanian Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, eponymous with the European party.[14][15]

Subsequently, the PNL joined forces with the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), which itself had suffered a split, when Traian Băsescu left to form the new party People's Movement.[16] Ahead of a complete merger, PDL and PNL formed the Christian Liberal Alliance,[17] which successfully fielded Klaus Iohannis in the November 2014 presidential election.[18] The two parties fully merged on 17 November 2014 under the name of National Liberal Party (PNL).

In June 2015, left-wing National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) which before had polled in the Centre Left Alliance with the Social Democrats, absorbed the remainders of dissolved populist PP-DD,[19] after that party's founder Dan Diaconescu was convicted for extortion.[20] UNPR president Gabriel Oprea advanced the variant of launching an independent list in the legislative election as one of two options.[21] While aiming for 10% at the upcoming national vote,[22] the party also reaffirmed its commitment to the Centre Left Alliance with the PSD.[23] However, in July 2016, UNPR joined the right-leaning People's Movement Party led by former president Traian Băsescu, despite protests from some UNPR members.[24][25] Oprea, himself under investigation for abuse of power, resigned from the party and declared his intention to leave politics.[26]

Further developments

Conservative MEP Maria Grapini accused PC of betrayal after fusion with PLR.[27] The People's Movement Party, formed around former President Traian Băsescu after splitting from PDL, was rocked by the arrest of its leader Elena Udrea in Microsoft licensing corruption scandal[28] and is losing popularity.

A new nationalist party, United Romania Party (PRU), was founded by MP Bogdan Diaconu on 17 August 2014 and became official by court decision on 17 February 2015.

Another new and unpredictable element in this election is the rise of the Union for the Salvation of Romania [USR], a party recently created from its base in Bucharest as the Union for the Salvation of Bucharest. Led by Nicușor Dan, a mathematics professor, this is a reformist group of newcomers to politics committed to rooting out corruption. Recent polling data shows the USR poised to exceed its goal of 10 per cent of the popular vote.

The largest political formation of an ethnic minority, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, has a chance to be represented in the parliament.

Parties to be entered in the election and their leaders[29]1
PSD (Liviu Dragnea) PNL (Alina Gorghiu) ALDE[30] (Daniel Constantin, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu) UDMR (Hunor Kelemen) USR (Nicușor Dan) PMP (Traian Băsescu) PRU (Bogdan Diaconu) AN (Marian Munteanu) PER (Dănuț Pop) PRM (Emil Străinu) PSR (Constantin Rotaru)

Opinion polls

  Parties that surpass the parliamentary threshold of 5% (except the leading party)
  Parties that do not surpass the parliamentary threshold of 5%
  Parties that maybe can surpass or not surpass the parliamentary threshold of 5%
Poll source Date Sample size PNL PDL PLR PSDUNPRPC PPDD UDMR PRM PMP PNȚCD M10 PRU Other Lead
INSCOP1–6 Jul 20141,055 19.3% 11.9% 42.3% 2.8% 5.4% 3.2% 7.5% 1.2% 13.7%
CCSCC20–26 Aug 20141,248 34% 5% 38% 4% 6% 2% 7% 4%
INSCOP30 Aug–4 Sep 20141,058 31.5% 4.4% 42.6% 3.4% 5.8% 3.3% 7.1% 0.8% 10.1%
INSCOP27 Nov–2 Dec 20141,076 41.7% 3.3% 38.8% 2.3% 5.1% 1.2% 5.6% 0.6% 2.9%
Poll source Date Sample size PNL PLR PSDUNPRPC PPDD UDMR PRM PMP PNȚCD M10 PRU Other Lead
CSOP13–18 Dec 20141,044 47% 34% 2% 6% 3% 3% 13%
CSOP27 Jan–4 Feb 20151,036 49% 32% 2% 6% 2% 3% 17%
INSCOP5–10 Feb 20151,065 44.2% 3.3% 37.4% 1.4% 5% 1.1% 4% 0.9% 6.8%
Avangarde18–26 Feb 2015900 40% 5% 37% 3% 5% 4% 3% 3%
CSOP3–10 Mar 20151,007 49% 31% 2% 7% 2% 2% 18%
CSCI24–28 Mar 20151,073 39% 6% 37% 2% 5% 2% 3% 2%
ARP30 Mar–3 Apr 20151,100 44% 3% 34% 2% 5% 2.5% 2.5% 1% 10%
CSCI20–24 Apr 20151,090 42% 5% 39% 1% 4% 1% 3% 3%
Avangarde21–29 Apr 2015950 43% 5% 40% 1% 4% 1% 2% 2% 3%
INSCOP23–30 Apr 20151,085 44.7% 2.2% 39.1% 1% 5.2% 2% 2.8% 1% 5.6%
Poll source Date Sample size PNL ALDE (PLR+PC) PSD UNPR (incl. PP–DD) UDMR PRM MP PNȚCD M10 PRU Other Lead
INSCOP9–14 Jul 20151,075 44.5% 3% 37.1% 5.1% 2.1% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 2.3% 7.4%
CSCI10–17 Aug 20151,021 41% 3% 37% 2% 5% 3% 5% 3% 1% 4%
Avangarde1–7 Sep 20151,000[31] 32% 6% 34% 7% 2% 4% 2% 5% 8% 2%
INSCOP10–15 Sep 20151,085 42% 2.6% 35% 5.1% 5% 1.3% 2.5% 1% 2% 1% 2.5% 7%
INSCOP26 Nov–2 Dec 20151,071 40.1% 4% 36.3% 2.6% 5.2% 1.1% 4.4% 1% 2.4% 2.9% 3.8%
ARP2–6 Dec 2015950 35% 6.5% 34% 2.5% 4% 5% 7.5% 2.5% 1.5% 1.5% 1%
CIADO1–5 Feb 20161,157 35.45% 4.57% 36.42%23.56% 0.97%
INSCOP21–28 Mar 20161,068 37.2% 5.3% 39.2% 5% 1% 5.1% 0.4% 2.2% 1.2% 3.4% 2%
Poll source Date Sample size PNL ALDE PSD PMP (incl. UNPR) UDMR USR PRU Other Lead
CIADO1–10 Aug 20165,428 (urban only) 32.33% 8.2% 35.76% 7.57% 5.1% 8.1% - 2.94% 3.43%
TNS 14–23 Sep 20161,000 25% 7% 45% 4% 5% 10% 3% 1% 20%
ARP17–24 Sep 20161,170 30% 5.5% 38% 4% 5% 9% - 8.5% 8%
CIADO6–30 Oct 20164,500 29.3% 6.5% 44.6% 4.9% 5.2% 5.7% 2.5% 1.3% 15.3%
CCSB 1-7 Nov 2016 1,261 27.2% 5.2% 40.2% 5% 5.4% 11% 4.2% 1.8% 13%
TNS 11-21 Nov 2016 1,003 18% 7% 40% 7% 3% 19% 3% 3% 21%
Avangarde 20-27 Nov 2016 1000 27% 6% 43% 5% 5% 8% 3% 3% 16%
SOCIOPOL 23-30 Nov 2016 1006 25% 6% 40% 5% 5% 10% 5% 4% 15%
SOCIOPOL 3-7 Dec 2016 1002 27% 6% 41% 4% 4% 7% 5% 6% 14%
IRES 6-7 Dec 2016 1100 23% 6% 44% 6% 5% 7% 4% 5% 21%
Avangarde Synthesis Unspecified 24-31% 5-6% 40% 5-7% - 7-15% 3-5% - 9-16%

Results

Senate

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party3,221,78645.6867+8
National Liberal Party1,440,19320.4230–20
Save Romania Union629,3758.9213New
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania440,4096.2490
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats423,7286.019New
People's Movement Party398,7915.658New
United Romania Party207,9772.950New
Greater Romania Party83,5681.1800
Ecologist Party of Romania77,2181.0900
Our Romania Alliance66,7740.950New
Romanian Socialist Party32,8080.4700
Humanist Power Party (Social-Liberal)3,0660.040New
New Romania Party2,3490.030New
National Unity Bloc7390.010New
Green Party7190.010New
PACT7190.010New
Our Vrancea Party6520.010New
Democratic Roma Party6480.010New
Republican Party of Romania520.000New
Independents21,3950.3000
Invalid/blank votes205,973
Total7,258,939100136–40
Registered voters/turnout18,403,04439.44
Source: BEC

Chamber of Deputies

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party3,204,86445.48154+4
National Liberal Party1,412,37720.0469–31
Save Romania Union625,1548.8730New
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania435,9696.1921+3
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats396,3865.6220New
People's Movement Party376,8915.3518New
United Romania Party196,3972.790New
Greater Romania Party73,2641.0400
Ecologist Party of Romania62,4140.8900
Our Romania Alliance61,2060.870New
Romanian Socialist Party24,5800.3500
Party of the Roma13,1260.1910
Democratic Forum of Germans12,3750.1810
Democratic Union of Slovaks and Czechs in Romania6,5450.0910
Community of the Lippovan Russians6,1600.0910
Hellenic Union of Romania5,8170.0810
Democratic Turkish Union of Romania5,5360.0810
Association of Macedonians of Romania5,5130.0810
Union of Serbs of Romania5,4680.0810
Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania5,0690.0710
Union of Armenians of Romania4,8680.0710
League of Albanians of Romania4,6400.0710
Bulgarian Union of Banat–Romania4,5420.0610
Union of Croatians of Romania3,5320.0510
Association of Italians of Romania3,4860.0510
Union of Poles of Romania3,3550.0510
Cultural Union of Ruthenians of Romania2,8240.0410
Humanist Power Party (Social-Liberal)2,5990.040New
New Romania Party1,7640.030New
Union of the Ukrainians of Romania1,1720.0210
PACT6090.010New
Green Party5660.010New
Democratic Roma Party5230.010New
National Unity Bloc5180.010New
Our Vrancea Party5110.010New
Independents76,7641.0900
Invalid/blank votes213,916
Total7,261,300100329–83
Registered voters/turnout18,403,04439.46
Source: BEC

See also

References

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  2. "Alegeri parlamentare 2016. Guvernul a decis ca pe 11 decembrie sa votam senatorii si deputatii". Știrile ProTV. 31 August 2016.
  3. Pană, Ştefan (5 January 2016). "ANALIZĂ: 2016, anul alegerilor locale şi parlamentare. Noile reguli electorale". Mediafax.
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  10. Rosca, Iulia (20 July 2015). "Presedintele Klaus Iohannis a promulgat Legea alegerilor parlamentare". HotNews.ro (in Romanian).
  11. Romanian opposition parties join forces, SE Times, 06/02/2011
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  30. Neagu, Alina (19 June 2015). "Daniel Constantin si Calin Popescu Tariceanu au semnat protocolul de fuziune intre PC si PLR: Noua formatiune se va numi Partidul Alianta Liberalilor si Democratilor (ALDE)". HotNews.ro (in Romanian).
  31. (Bucharest only)
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