Saturday

29th Jul 2017

Romanian social democrats set for return to power

  • It is unclear whether convicted Socialist leader Liviu Dragnea could become prime minister. (Photo: Partidul Social Democrat)

Romania’s Social Democrats are set to return to power a year after a major anti-corruption campaign forced the last Socialist prime minister from power.

The Social Democrat Party (PSD) won parliamentary elections on Sunday (12 December) with about 46 percent of the votes, according to official figures.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Their rival, the centre-right Liberals (PNL) received around 21 percent of the votes, while allies and newcomers to Romanian politics, the anti-corruption party Save Romania Union (USR) was on nine percent.

The PSD's likely coalition partner, the liberal Alde party, won around 6.5 percent, meaning they could secure a majority in the parliament.

The low turnout at the ballot boxes, 39.5 percent, likely aided the PSD's strong showing.

"Romania is an island of stability. I want this stable democracy to remain in place," PSD's leader, Liviu Dragnea, 54, was quoted by AFP.

"This means that all politicians and institutions have to respect today's vote. We should all understand that Romania needs a competent, stable and responsible government," he added.

Dragnea said his party would try to form a coalition with the Alde.

But it's yet to be seen whether he could become prime minister, as he received a two-year suspended prison sentence for voter fraud in April.

This bars him under Romanian law from becoming prime minister, and it would also stop former PM Victor Ponta from returning to power.

The 44-year-old Ponta is on trial for alleged tax evasion and money laundering. He denies the charges.

Corruption clean-up

PSD's revival comes only a year after a deadly nightclub fire in October 2015 at a Bucharest club, which became a symbol for a wider discontent and marked a turning point in calling for an end to corruption.

The fire, in which 64 people died, was blamed on corrupt officials turning a blind eye to a lack of fire precautions and standards.

The corruption crackdown that ensued after the tragic fire forced Ponta to resign.

Since then the country has been run by former EU commissioner Dacian Ciolos, 47, an independent who was backed by PNL and USR.

In the meantime, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, the agency responsible for the anti-corruption drive, put former ministers, media moguls, and judges under investigation.

PSD's return to power could slow down the drive against corruption. It campaigned with an increase in pensions and other social spending, and tax cuts, in one of the poorest EU countries.

Romanian anti-corruption protests bring down PM

A nightclub fire that killed 32 people in Bucharest has triggered a popular movement against corruption in the capital and in the government. PM Ponta promised to resign.

Romanian president rejects PM designate

Social democrats and liberals said they could unseat the country's president - Klaus Iohannis - after he vetoed the nomination of a woman with alleged ties to Assad regime in Syria.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound

The Labour leader has put his Brexit cards on the table again but it stands to divide the party, which still has a strong pro-EU following.

News in Brief

  1. EU citizens will need registration to enter UK in Brexit transition
  2. Italy weighs up sending navy into Libyan waters
  3. Swedish PM fights for survival amid IT scandal
  4. Poland's Kaczynski vows to continue judicial reform
  5. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  6. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  7. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  8. Swedish government rocked by data scandal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  2. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  3. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  5. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  6. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  7. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  10. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  12. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Ep. 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug

Latest News

  1. UK and EU stuck on 'philosophy' of Brexit bill
  2. Europe needs a policy for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. Spain's PM appeals to court over Catalan independence
  4. Senate backs Russia sanctions, setting scene for EU clash
  5. France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya
  6. Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound
  7. Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue
  8. EU court could dismiss national borders in cyberspace