2008 Romanian legislative election

Legislative elections were held in Romania on 30 November 2008.[1] The Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) won most seats in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, although the alliance headed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) won a fractionally higher vote share. The two parties subsequently formed a governing coalition with Emil Boc of the PDL as Prime Minister.

2008 Romanian legislative election

 2004 30 November 2008 2012 

All 137 seats in the Senate
All 334 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
69 and 167 seats needed for a majority
Turnout39.20% ( 19.30pp)
Party Leader % Seats ±
Chamber of Deputies
PSD+PC Mircea Geoană 33.09% 114 -10
PDL Theodor Stolojan[lower-alpha 1] 32.36% 115 +48
PNL Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu 18.57% 65 +5
UDMR Béla Markó 6.17% 22 0
Minority parties Varujan Pambuccian[lower-alpha 2] 3.65% 18 0
PSD+PC Mircea Geoană 34.16% 49 -6
PDL Theodor Stolojan[lower-alpha 3] 33.57% 51 +22
PNL Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu 18.74% 28 +4
UDMR Béla Markó 6.39% 9 -1
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
The results for the Chamber of Deputies and for the Senate
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Emil Boc

Electoral system

President Traian Băsescu had wanted to introduce a single-winner two-round electoral system before this election, but a 2007 referendum on the proposal failed due to insufficient turnout. A new electoral system was introduced as a compromise, with the previous party-list proportional representation system changed to a mixed member proportional representation system using sub-county constituencies (colegii electorale). A candidate was declared the winner in any electoral college where they obtained more than 50% of the vote. Seats where no candidate won an outright majority are then allocated using the D'Hondt method. If necessary, the number of seats for each chamber is raised, by giving supplementary seats. An electoral threshold of 5% was applied for each chamber; or winning at least six colleges for the Chamber of Deputies and three colleges for the Senate by more than 50%. There was an additional adjustment for the Chamber of Deputies around the national minorities candidates.[2]


The main contenders in the election were the centre-left alliance made up of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Conservative Party (PC); the liberal-conservative Democratic Liberal Party (PDL); and the liberal National Liberal Party (PNL).

Other significant contenders were the ethnic Hungarian party Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the right-wing nationalist Greater Romania Party (PRM), both of whom were represented in the previous Parliament.

Opinion polls

Polling Firm Date Source PDL PSD+PC PSD PNL PNG UDMR PRM PC PNȚ-CD PIN PCM Undecided
IMAS 26/06/2008 40% N/A 26% 18% 5% 5% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
INSOMAR 22-30/07/2008 38% N/A 26% 16% 3% 4% 3% 2% 2% 2% 1% N/A
ATLE 25-05/08-09/2008 30.2% N/A 33.1% 16% 3.2% 4.8% 3.4% 3.1% 1.1% 2% N/A N/A
Metro-Media 1-16/09/2008 37% N/A 28% 17% 3% 5% 5% 3% 1% 3% N/A N/A
INSOMAR 12-17/09/2008 39% N/A 25% 20% 3% 4% 4% 1% N/A N/A 1% N/A
CCSB 22-25/09/2008 34% 36% N/A 20% 2% 5% 3% N/A 1% N/A N/A N/A
CURS 10-23/10/2008 32% 31% N/A 18% 5% 5% 5% N/A 1% 1% N/A N/A
CCSB 25-27/10/2008 34% 37% N/A 18% 2% 6% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
INSOMAR 30-03/10-11/2008 37% 32% N/A 17% 3% 6% 5% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
CCSB 11/11/2008 34.5% 37.7% N/A 14.4% 2.3% 6.6% 4.0% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
BCS 10-14/11/2008 34.4% 31.8% N/A 19.9% 1.9% 5.1% 3.6% N/A N/A N/A N/A 25.5%
BCS 17-21/11/2008 32.6% 31.2% N/A 21.4% 2.9% 6.1% 4.1% N/A N/A N/A N/A 29.5%
INSOMAR 21-23/11/2008 32% 35% N/A 21% 3% 5% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
CSOP 19-23/11/2008 34% 31% N/A 21% 3% 7% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A 27%
BCS 23-26/11/2008 31.1% 32% N/A 21.3% 3.2% 6.3% 4.3% N/A N/A N/A N/A 26%

The first exit-polls, published by INSOMAR[3] after the polls were closed, predicted the results for the Chamber of Deputies as:

PSD+PC - 36.2%;
PDL - 30.3%;
PNL - 20.4%;
UDMR - 6.7%.

And for the Senate:

PSD+PC - 35.9%;
PDL - 31.1%;
PNL - 19.9%;
UDMR - 6.7%.


The results for the Chamber of Deputies for Constituencies no. 1 to no. 42
The results for the Chamber of Deputies for Constituency no. 43
The results for the Senate for Constituencies no. 1 to no. 42
The results for the Senate for Constituency no. 43

According to the official final results, the centre-left Alliance PSD+PC won 33.1% in the Chamber of Deputies, just ahead of the PDL on 32.4%, with the National Liberal Party on 18.6% and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania on 6.2%. The alliance led by Social Democratic Party won 34.2% in the Senate, just ahead of the PDL on 33.6%, with the National Liberal Party on 18.7% and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania on 6.4%.[4]

Compared to the 2004 election, the Social Democratic Party-led alliance fell back a few percent in the national vote share. The PDL and National Liberal Party had competed in the last election together as the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), but had split in April 2007.

The Democratic Liberal Party made significant gains in 2008 to become the largest party in both houses, while the National Liberal Party made smaller gains. Support for the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania was largely unchanged. The Greater Romania Party obtained 13% of the national vote for the Chamber in 2004, but failed to make the 5% threshold for representation this year. Another nationalist party, the New Generation Party, again failed to cross the 5% threshold for representation.

Party Chamber of Deputies Senate
Votes % Seats +/– Votes % Seats +/–
Alliance PSD+PC (PSD, PC)2,279,44933.1114–102,352,96834.1649–6
Democratic Liberal Party2,228,86032.4115+482,312,35833.5751+22
National Liberal Party1,279,06318.665+51,291,02918.7428+4
Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania425,0086.222±0440,4496.399–1
Greater Romania Party217,5953.20–21245,9303.570–13
New Generation Party156,9012.300174,5192.5300
Roma Party "Pro Europe"44,0370.61
Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania23,1900.31
Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania22,3930.31
Green Ecologist Party18,2790.27048,1190.70
Democratic Union of Slovaks and Czechs in Romania15,3730.21
Bulgarian Union of Banat–Romania14,0390.21
Union of Armenians of Romania13,8290.21
Democratic Union of Turkish-Muslim Tatars of Romania11,8680.21
Association of Macedonians of Romania11,8140.21
Union of Serbs of Romania10,8780.21
Association of Italians of Romania9,5670.11
Democratic Turkish Union of Romania9,4810.11
Union of Ukrainians of Romania9,3380.11
Community of the Lippovan Russians9,2030.11
Union of Croatians of Romania9,0470.11
Hellenic Union of Romania8,8750.11
League of Albanians of Romania8,7920.11
Popular and Social Protection Party8,3880.1010,8050.160
Union of Poles in Romania7,6700.11
Cultural Union of Ruthenians of Romania4,5140.11
Romanian Socialist Party5850.004450.020
National Democratic Christian Party3160.001,3650.020
Party of the European Romania870.00
Invalid/blank votes352,077350,816
Registered voters/turnout18,464,27439.218,464,27439.2
Source: Nohlen & Stöver[5] Central Election Office

Chamber of Deputies:

115 110 18 22 65


51 48 9 28


Government formation

Second Prime Minister Designate, Emil Boc speaking.

It was expected that a grand coalition of the Social Democrats and the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) would be formed. Initially the Prime Minister-designate was Theodor Stolojan, the PDL's official candidate.[6] He was designated Prime Minister by the President Traian Băsescu on 11 December 2008, the official decree being issued and printed in the Monitorul Oficial the next day.

On 15 December 2008, four days after his nomination, and one day after the coalition protocol was signed, Stolojan announced that he had resigned from the position of Prime Minister-designate, without giving any reason.[7] The same day, Băsescu signed a decree that nominated the Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and PDL president Emil Boc.[8]

Boc's coalition government with the Social Democrats was approved by parliament in a 324–115 vote and was sworn in on 22 December 2008.[9][10] Mircea Geoana of the Social Democrats became the new head of the Senate, with Roberta Alma Anastase of the PDL as the new President of the Chamber of Deputies.[11]


At the start of the 2008–2012 parliamentary term, only parties that had won seats in the 2008 elections were eligible to contest parliamentary by-elections. However, this changed in 2011, after which all parties were allowed to propose candidates. The change came after repeated contests to the Constitutional Court of Romania of former 2009 presidential candidate Remus Cernea.

Following the nomination of Bogdan Olteanu to the Council of Administration of the National Bank of Romania as Deputy Governor, the first by-election of the parliamentary term took place in Bucharest constituency 1 will be held the first by-election of this legislature. The election was held on 17 January 2010 and was a contest between Radu Stroe of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and Honorius Prigoană, representing the PDL. The Social Democrats decided not to propose a candidate and to support the PNL candidate. Stroe was subsequently elected.

Daniela Popa resigned from the Chamber of Deputies to take office as President of the Insurance Supervising Committee, also stepping down as president of the Conservative Party.[12] The PNL decided not to have its own candidate, but to support the PSD+PC candidate, based on the gentlemen's agreement for the Bucharest by-election. The PSD nominated Conservative Party member and former Romanian Lottery director Liliana Mincă, with the PDL putting forward former TV show host Teo Trandafir, who went on to win.

Following the death of Ioan Timiş, Deputy for Hunedoara County constituency 3, a by-election took place on 28 November 2010. All parties nominated candidates, with former Minister of Labour, Mariana Câmpeanu of the PNL winning.

In January 2011, the representative of the Macedonians in Romania, Liana Dumitrescu, died. As she was a representative of a national minority, her seat had no college. As a result, her seat was left empty.

In April 2011 Victor Surdu died, vacating his seat in the Chamber of Deputies, Neamț County constituency 6. The by-election was held on 21 August 2011 and won by the PDL candidate, Adrian Rădulescu, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture.

In May 2011, Cătălin Cherecheș was elected Mayor of Baia Mare, automatically vacating her seat in the Chamber of Deputies, Maramureș County constituency 2. The by-election on 21 August saw Florin Tătaru of the Social Liberal Union elected.

On 30 August 2011, Zoltán Pálfi died, vacacting Cluj County constituency 9.

Summary of the Romanian legislative by-election results for the 2008 - 2012 legislature (LIII)
Date College - Constituency Candidates Parties and alliances Votes  %
17 January 2010 CD 1-42 Radu Stroe National Liberal Party (Partidul Naţional Liberal) 7,625 70.17%
Honorius Prigoană Democratic Liberal Party (Partidul Democrat-Liberal) 3,242 29.83%
Total valid votes (40,583 expected voters) (turnout 27.12% - 11,006) 10,867 100.00%
Source: Biroul Electoral Municipal[dead link]
25 April 2010 CD 19-42 Teo Trandafir Democratic Liberal Party (Partidul Democrat-Liberal) 53.59%
Liliana Mincă PSD+PC Electoral Alliance (Alianţa Electorală PSD+PC) 46.41%
Total valid votes (103,204 expected voters) (turnout 14.84%) 15,093 100.00%
Source: Autoritatea Electorală Permanentă[dead link]
28 November 2010 CD 3-22 Mariana Câmpeanu National Liberal Party (Partidul Naţional Liberal) 8,738 34.86%
Daniel Răducanu Democratic Liberal Party (Partidul Democrat-Liberal) 7,339 29.28%
Ţoloaș Liliana PSD+PC Electoral Alliance (Alianţa Electorală PSD+PC) 5,218 20.81%
Nicolae Timiș Independent 2,683 10.70%
Bela Fülöp Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România) 438 1.75%
Remus Cernea Independent 269 1.07%
Mircea Părăian New Generation Party – Christian Democratic (Partidul Noua Generaţie - Creştin Democrat) 197 0.78%
Iosif Danci Christian-Democratic National Peasants' Party (Partidul Naţional Ţărănesc Creştin Democrat) 187 0.75%
Total valid votes (53,222 expected voters) (turnout 48.41% - 25,763) 25,069 100.00%
Source: Autoritatea Electorală Permanentă[dead link]
21 August 2011 CD 6-29 Adrian Rădulescu Democratic Liberal Party (Partidul Democrat-Liberal) 17,186 54.95%
Liviu Harbuz Social-Liberal Union (Uniunea Social Liberală) 14,089 45.05%
Total valid votes (57,996 expected voters) (turnout 53.93% - 32,184) 31,275 100.00%
Source: Autoritatea Electorala Permanenta[dead link]
CD 2-26 Florin Tătaru Social-Liberal Union (Uniunea Social Liberală) 9,433 42.67%
Mariana Pop Democratic Liberal Party (Partidul Democrat-Liberal) 7,845 35.48%
Mircea Dolha Ecologist Party of Romania (Partidul Ecologist Român) 4,338 19.62%
Felician Horzsa Greater Romania Party (Partidul România Mare) 493 2.23%
Total valid votes (79,241 expected voters) (turnout 27,90% - 22,478) 22,109 100.00%
Source: Biroul Electoral Judeţean[dead link]
  1. Prime Minister candidate
  2. Parliamentary leader of National minorities group since 1996
  3. Prime Minister candidate


  1. "Romania to hold elections on November 30th". SETimes.com. 28 August 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  2. (in Romanian) Simulation of the algorithm using an imaginary county Archived 2008-12-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Agentia Nationala de Presa AGERPRES Archived 2008-12-10 at the Wayback Machine[unreliable source?]
  4. Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, pp1606-1613 ISBN 9783832956097
  5. "Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung für Rumänien" (in Romanian). Adz.ro. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  6. "Antena 3" (in Romanian). Antena3.ro. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  7. "Emil Boc nominated new Romanian PM". euronews. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  8. "Boc Government OK'd by Parliament, with 324 votes in favor and 115 against". Financiarul. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  9. Radu Marinas and Luiza Ilie (22 December 2008). "Romania centre-left gov't sworn in to tackle crisis". Forbes. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  10. "Romania's PM designate pledges to cut spending". 22 December 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
  11. "Jurnalul Naţional". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2010.