1946 Romanian general election
General elections were held in Romania on 19 November 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. The official results gave a victory to the Romanian Communist Party (PCR), its allies inside the Bloc of Democratic Parties (Blocul Partidelor Democrate, BPD), together with its associates, the Hungarian People's Union (UPM or MNSZ) and the Democratic Peasants' Party–Lupu. The event marked a decisive step towards the disestablishment of the Romanian monarchy and the proclamation of a Communist regime at the end of the following year. Breaking with the traditional universal male suffrage confirmed by the 1923 Constitution, it was the first national election to feature women's suffrage, and the first to allow active public officials and army personnel the right to vote. The BPD, representing the incumbent leftist government formed around Prime Minister Petru Groza, was an electoral alliance comprising the PCR, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Ploughmen's Front, the National Liberal Party–Tătărescu (PNL–Tătărescu), the National Peasants' Party–Alexandrescu (PNȚ–Alexandrescu) and the National Popular Party.
All 414 seats in the Parliament
208 seats needed for a majority
According to official results, the BPD won 69.8% of the vote, enough for an overwhelming majority of 347 seats in the 414-seat unicameral Parliament. Between them, the BPD and its allies won 379 seats, controlling over 91 percent of the chamber. The National Peasants' Party–Maniu (PNȚ–Maniu) won 32 seats and the National Liberal Party (PNL–Brătianu) only three. In general, commentators agree that the BPD carried the vote through widespread intimidation tactics and electoral fraud, to the detriment of both the PNȚ–Maniu and the PNL–Brătianu. While there is disagreement over the exact results, it is contended that the BPD and its allies actually won no more than 48 percent of the total, with several authors assuming PNȚ–Maniu to be the overall winner. Journalist Victor Frunză claims that the actual votes for the PNȚ–Maniu could have allowed it to form a government, either in its own right or as senior partner in a non-BPD coalition. Various authors note however that the fraud has been mythologised by the opposition, including in its post-1990 instalments. The 1946 elections were in many ways similar to the ones won by PNL–Brătianu or PNȚ before World War II: the governing party always used state resources in its campaign, ensuring for itself a comfortable majority, against clamorous accusations of fraud and violence coming from the opposition parties.
Carried out upon the close of World War II, under Romania's occupation by Soviet troops, the elections have drawn comparisons to the similarly flawed elections held at the time in most of the emerging Eastern Bloc (in Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland), being considered, in respect to its formal system of voting, among the most permissive of the latter.