Democratic Party (Romania)


The Democratic Party (Romanian: Partidul Democrat, PD) was a social-democratic and, later on, centre-right political party in Romania. In January 2008, it merged with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), a splinter group of the National Liberal Party (PNL), to form the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL).

Democratic Party
Partidul Democrat
AbbreviationPD
PresidentPetre Roman (1993–2001)
Traian Băsescu (2001–2004)
Emil Boc (2004–2007)
Founded28 May 1993
Dissolved15 December 2007
Preceded byNational Salvation Front (FSN)
Merged intoDemocratic Liberal Party (PDL)
IdeologyBefore 2005
Social democracy[1]
Democratic socialism
After 2005
Christian democracy
Liberal conservatism[2]
Political positionBefore 2005
Centre-left to left-wing
After 2005
Centre-right
National affiliationSocial Democratic Union (1995–2000)
Justice and Truth Alliance (2003–2007)
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (1996–2005)
European People's Party (2005–2007)
International affiliationSocialist International (1996–2005)

From 1996 to 2005, the party was a member of the Socialist International. From 2004 to 2007, the PD was the junior member of the governing Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), although according to many Romanian opinion polls of the time, it remained the most popular of the two parties. Although it had to formally suspend his leadership to the party when elected president in 2004, the PD was largely associated with former Romanian president Traian Băsescu.

History


Conflict broke out between FSN leaders Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman in early 1992, and this led to the separation of the Iliescu wing under the name of the Democratic National Salvation Front (FDSN), which later became the Social Democratic Party (PSD).[3]

FSN was defeated by the FDSN in the 1992 legislative election and spent the next four years in opposition. In 1993 the FSN changed its name to the Democratic Party (PD). In the 1996 legislative election, the PD jointly ran with the now-defunct Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR), under the Social Democratic Union (USD) banner. After having ranked third, they joined a governing coalition with the Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) and the ethnic Hungarian party Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR).[4] From 2000 to 2004, PD has been again in opposition.

In advance of the 2004 elections, the PD joined forces with the National Liberal Party (PNL) to create the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), whose main purpose was to fight the all-dominating PSD. The DA managed to win around 32% of the votes in both Chambers, not enough for a majority and about 6% less than the PSD. Together with its Liberal allies, the UDMR, and the Conservative Party (PC), the PD was part of the governing coalition until April, 2007.

During a congress in 2005, PD members voted in favor of joining the European People's Party (EPP) and abandoning the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the Socialist International (SI). In the same year, Petre Roman left the party and, together with his followers, formed the Democratic Force (FD).

From mid-2005, the PD's relations with the PNL became strained due to an ongoing open conflict between Băsescu and then Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who was also the chairman of the PNL. Previously, after his presidential victory in 2004, Băsescu appointed Popescu-Tăriceanu as Prime Minister. Although he wanted to, he could not constitutionally dismiss him; at least, it took him a while to do so. On 1 April 2007, Tăriceanu dismissed the ministers of the PD and formed a minority government.[5]

On 15 December 2007, the PD merged with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) to form the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL).

Ideology and policies


The political doctrine of the Democratic Party (PD) shifted from social democracy to centrism and greater conservatism since 2004, combined with economic liberalism and reformism. The party supported the consolidation of the free market and is supportive of Romania's flat tax rate of 16%. The party also supported reforming the Romanian Constitution in order to bring about decentralization in administration and give greater power to the eight development regions.

In terms of European politics, the Democratic Party (PD):

  • Supported EU enlargement to the Western Balkans;
  • Supported EU membership for Turkey, as long as it satisfied membership criteria;
  • Supported the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the EU;
  • Supported the Treaty of Lisbon;
  • Believed that the European Parliament should have greater power;
  • Opposed a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy;
  • Supported a common EU migration policy;
  • Supported a common EU defence and security policy;
  • Supported a partnership between the US and the EU, where the EU is an "equal and critical" partner.

Leadership of the PD


  Also served as Prime Minister
  Also served as President
Name
Born - Died
Portrait Term start Term end Duration
1 Petre Roman1
(1946–)
28 May 1993 19 May 2001 7 years, 11 months and 21 days
2 Traian Băsescu
(1951–)
19 May 2001 18 December 2004 3 years, 6 months and 29 days
3 Emil Boc
(1966–)
20 December 2004 15 December 2007 2 years, 11 months and 25 days

1 Roman also served as Senate President between 27 November 1996 and 22 December 1999.

Notable former members


In 2007, out of 54 members of the PD group in Chamber of Deputies, 14 were not elected on PD electoral list:

  • 7 came from Greater Romania Party (William Gabriel Brânzǎ, Bogdan Catargiu, Alexandru Ciocâlteu, Dan Grigore, Dănuţ Liga, Nati Meir, Dumitru Puzdrea);
  • 4 came from Social Democratic Party (Constantin Amarie, Obuf Cătălin Ovidiu Buhǎianu, Gheorghe Sârb, Mugurel Liviu Sârbu,);
  • 3 came from Conservative Party (Dumitru Becşenescu, Graţiela Denisa Iordache, Constantin Tudor).

Electoral history


Legislative elections

Election Chamber Senate Position Aftermath
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
1990 9,089,659 66.31
263 / 395
9,353,006 67.02
91 / 119
 1st 
(as FSN)
FSN government (1990–1991)
FSN-PNL-MER-PDAR government (1991–1992)
1992 1,101,425 10.17
43 / 341
1,133,355 10.38
18 / 143
 3rd 
(as FSN)
Opposition to PDSR-PUNR-PRM government (1992–1996)
1996 1,582,231 12.93
43 / 343
1,617,384 13.16
22 / 143
 3rd 
(within USD)1
CDR-USD-UDMR government (1996–2000)
2000 762,365 7.03
31 / 345
825,437 7.58
13 / 140
 3rd  Opposition to PDSR minority government (2000–2004)
2004 3,191,546 31.3
48 / 332
3,250,663 31.1
21 / 137
 2nd 
(within DA)2
DA-PUR-UDMR government (2004–2007)
Opposition to PNL-UDMR minority government (2007–2008)

Notes:

1 USD members: PD and PSDR (1 senator and 10 deputies).
2 Justice and Truth Alliance members: PNL (28 senators and 64 deputies) and PD.

Presidential elections

Election Candidate First round Second round
Votes Percentage Position Votes Percentage Position
1992 Caius Traian Dragomir564,655
4.7%
 4th 
1996 Petre Roman12,598,545
20.5%
 3rd 
2000 Petre Roman334,852
3.0%
 6th 
2004 Traian Băsescu23,545,236
33.9%
 2nd 5,126,794
51.2%
 1st 

Notes:

1 In 1996, Petre Roman was the candidate of the center-left alliance Social-Democratic Union (USD). USD members: PD and PSDR.

2 Traian Băsescu was endorsed by the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA); alliance members: PNL and PD.

European elections

ElectionVotesPercentageMEPsPositionPolitical group
2007 1,476,105 28.8%
13 / 35
 1st  European People's Party (EPP)

References


  1. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2004). "Romania". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 30 November 2004.
  2. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2004). "Romania". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 30 April 2006.
  3. Roper, p.70
  4. Roper, p.79
  5. "Romania's prime minister names new Cabinet of minority government", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), April 2, 2007.

Bibliography


  • Ioan, Scurtu ş.a., "Enciclopedia partidelor politice din România 1859–2003", Editura Meronia, București, 2003.
  • Florin-Vasile, Şomlea, "Partidele populare din ţările Uniunii Europene", Editura Cartimpex, Cluj-Napoca, 2007.