Ludovic Orban

Ludovic Orban (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈludovik ˈorban]; born 25 May 1963) is a Romanian engineer and politician who served as the Prime Minister of Romania from November 2019 to December 2020. The current leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), he was previously Minister of Transport from April 2007 to December 2008 in the second Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu cabinet. In addition, he was a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Bucharest from 2008 to 2016. He resumed his parliamentary seat within the Chamber of Deputies after the 2020 legislative elections, being shortly thereafter also elected its president.

Ludovic Orban
68th Prime Minister of Romania
In office
4 November 2019  7 December 2020
PresidentKlaus Iohannis
DeputyRaluca Turcan
Preceded byViorica Dăncilă
Succeeded byNicolae Ciucă (acting)
President of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
22 December 2020
PresidentKlaus Iohannis
Preceded byMarcel Ciolacu
President of the National Liberal Party
Assumed office
17 June 2017
Preceded byRaluca Turcan (acting)
Minister of Transport
In office
5 April 2007  22 December 2008
Prime MinisterCălin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Preceded byRadu Berceanu
Succeeded byRadu Berceanu
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
20 December 2020
In office
15 December 2008  19 December 2016
Deputy Mayor of Bucharest
In office
July 2004  5 April 2007
MayorsTraian Băsescu
Adriean Videanu
Member of the Local Council of Sector 3
In office
23 February 1992  16 June 1996
MayorConstantin Tutunaru
Personal details
Born (1963-05-25) May 25, 1963 (age 58)
Brașov, Romania
Political partyNational Liberal Party (PNL)
Spouse(s)Mihaela Orban
EducationTransilvania University of Brașov (UNITBV)
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA)


Born in the Transylvanian city of Brașov[1] to an ethnic Hungarian father and an ethnic Romanian mother, Orban completed secondary studies at the city's Andrei Șaguna High School in 1982. He then studied industrial machinery design technology at the University of Brașov, graduating in 1988. In 1993, he completed post-graduate studies in Political Science at the National School of Administration and Political Science of Bucharest. From 1988 to 1990 he trained as an engineer at a factory in Târgu Secuiesc, and worked as one at a Brașov factory from 1990 to 1991. From 1991 to 1992, he wrote for the daily Viitorul Românesc, and from 1992 to 1997 he was an advisor for the Liberal Party 1993 (PL '93) and its predecessor PNL-AT, two splinter groups of the main National Liberal Party (PNL) which sided with the Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) during the 1990s. Between 1997 and 2001, he held a series of government and agency positions as follows: at the Energy Policy Agency, the Disabled Persons Directorate, the Public Information Department, the National Public Employee Agency and the National Centre for Communications and Public Relations Specialisation. He has also been active in a foundation called Children, the light of the world and done consulting work.[2]

Orban photographed in downtown Bucharest on 29 July 2020.

Orban served as a Sector 3 local councillor from 1992 to 1996. He was elected a Sector 1 local councillor that year, but resigned. From 1993 to 1997, he belonged to the executive committee of the Liberal Party 1993 (PL '93), and in 1998 joined the PNL's national council, after the former party merged into it. From 2001 to 2002 he sat on the PNL's permanent central bureau, and in 2002 joined the party's public administration committee. He has headed the Bucharest chapter of the PNL since November 2002, and from July 2004 to April 2007 was Deputy Mayor of Bucharest.[2] He left this office following a cabinet reshuffle, becoming Transport Minister[1] and serving until his party's loss at the 2008 election,[3] where he himself won a seat in a Bucharest constituency.[4] While minister, he also ran for Mayor of Bucharest as part of the 2008 local elections, losing in the first round by finishing in fourth place with 11.4% of the vote.[5] In March 2009, concurrent with his ally Crin Antonescu's ascent to the PNL presidency and the sidelining of the Tăriceanu faction, Orban became the party's vice president.[6] He ran for the party presidency in December 2014, and was defeated by Alina Gorghiu on a 47–28 vote.[7] Orban was a candidate in the June 2016 race for mayor of Bucharest,[8] but two months before the election, withdrew from the race as well as from his PNL and Chamber posts after being placed under investigation by the National Anticorruption Directorate.[9] He was not a candidate in the 2016 election.[10] In January 2017, the High Court of Cassation and Justice acquitted Orban on a charge of influence peddling.[11] The following month, he announced his candidacy for the PNL leadership;[12] he went on to defeat Cristian Bușoi by a 78–21 margin.[13]

In October 2019, after the fall of Viorica Dăncilă's government, President Klaus Iohannis designated Orban as Prime Minister.[14] His cabinet received parliamentary approval the following month, with 240 lawmakers voting in favor, seven more than required.[15] His government was ousted via a no-confidence motion in February 2020, with 261 lawmakers voting in favor.[16][17][18] The following month, a new Orban-led cabinet received parliamentary approval on a 286–23 vote. Most PNL representatives, including Orban himself, were absent due to suspected exposure to the coronavirus pandemic. The Social Democrats (PSD) voted in favor of the cabinet, given the emergency circumstances, while pledging concerted opposition. PRO Romania (PRO) voted against.[19] Orban resigned in December, following the PNL's poor performance at the parliamentary election.[20] At the same time, Orban himself won a new term in the Chamber.[21] Once the new parliament convened, he was elected its president, defeating his PSD rival, 179–110.[22]


Orban is a somewhat controversial figure, known for his provocative declarations. A fierce critic of former President Traian Băsescu, he called him an "imbecile" for referring to the "imbecile" attitude of a minister during summer 2008 floods,[23] and once shouted, "The President is the last Sauron to rule in this realm of darkness!", in a clear reference to The Lord of the Rings of J.R.R. Tolkien.[24]

He also criticised the Emil Boc government, which during 2009 was composed of the Băsescu-associated PDL and the Social Democrats (PSD), referring to the latter party's then-leader Mircea Geoană as Băsescu's "steward";[25] and attacking cabinet policies on education,[26] tourism promotion (which he sees as an unnecessary luxury),[27] and the financial crisis (where he foresaw the government being unable to pay pensions and salaries).[28] Speaking to a group of female PNL members in Alba County in March 2006, he drew accusations of sexism for stating, "You need not go through any boss's bed to reach important public positions", declaring that Mioara Mantale, Elena Udrea and party colleague Raluca Turcan had done so, but not Mona Muscă or Norica Nicolai.[29] Driving in Cotroceni in December 2007, his car hit a 16-year-old girl, forcing her hospitalisation; despite a call by prime minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu for his resignation,[30] Orban refused to do so and prosecutors ultimately decided not to pursue criminal charges, although his license was suspended and he was fined.[31]

Personal life

Orban and his wife Mihaela have one son.[2] His brother, Leonard Orban, is the former European Commissioner for Multilingualism.[32]

Electoral history

Mayor of Bucharest

Election Affiliation First round Second round
Votes Percentage Position Votes Percentage Position
2008 PNL64,636
 4th not qualified


  1. "Guvernul cel mai mic" [The smallest government]. Ziua (in Romanian). 3 April 2007. Archived from the original on 18 May 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  2. "Curriculum Vitae" (in Romanian). 12 March 2008. Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  3. "Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu Cabinet". ROMPRES (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  4. "Udrea, Olteanu și Orban au obținut mandate în Camera Deputaților" [Udrea, Olteanu and Orban have won seats in the Chamber of Deputies]. Gândul (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  5. "Rezultate parțiale BEM: Oprescu a obținut 30,4%, Blaga 28,3%" [BEM partial results: Oprescu has won 30.4%, Blaga 28.3%]. Mediafax (in Romanian). 2 June 2008. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  6. "Crin de Cotroceni". Ziua (in Romanian). 23 March 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  7. Marin, Iulia; Bărbulescu, Andreea (18 December 2014). "Alina Gorghiu este noul președinte al PNL" [Alina Gorghiu is the new PNL president]. Adevărul (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  8. Udrea, Andreea (22 February 2016). "Ludovic Orban intră în cursa pentru Primăria Capitalei" [Ludovic Orban enters Race for capital's hall]. Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  9. Romniceanu, Dodo; Chiric, Alexandra (11 April 2016). "Ludovic Orban renunță la toate funcțiile publice și politice și se retrage din cursa pentru Primăria Capitalei, după ce a fost pus sub control judiciar de procurorii DNA" [Ludovic Orban resigns from all public and political functions and quits race for Bucharest's hall, after being put under judicial review by DNA prosecutors]. Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  10. "Ludovic Orban anunță că nu mai candidează la parlament" [Ludovic Orban announces he will not run for Parliament]. (in Romanian). 28 September 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  11. Flutur, Firuța (31 January 2017). "Ludovic Orban, achitat în dosarul privind banii pe care i-ar fi cerut în campania electorală pentru alegerile locale din 2016" [Ludovic Orban, acquitted in the case regarding money he allegedly demanded during the 2016 local election campaign]. Mediafax (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  12. Mănoiu, Cătălina (13 February 2017). "Ludovic Orban: Mi-am depus candidatura fermă la funcția de președinte PNL" [Ludovic Orban: I have announced my firm candidacy for the PNL presidency]. Mediafax (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  13. Eremia, Radu; Popa, Laura Andreea (17 June 2017). "Ludovic Orban este noul președinte al PNL, după o victorie zdrobitoare" [Ludovic Orban is the new president of PNL, after a crushing victory]. Adevărul (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  14. "Ludovic Orban, prim-ministru desemnat. Klaus Iohannis a făcut anunțul" [Ludovic Orban, designated prime minister. Klaus Iohannis made the announcement]. Digi24 (in Romanian). 15 October 2019. Archived from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  15. "Guvernul Orban a trecut de votul Parlamentului. A primit 240 de voturi" [Orban Government approved by Parliament. It received 240 votes]. Digi24 (in Romanian). 4 November 2019. Archived from the original on 4 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  16. "Moțiunea de cenzură împotriva Guvernului Orban a fost adoptată cu 261 de voturi" [No-confidence motion against Orban Government adopted with 261 votes]. Digi24 (in Romanian). 5 February 2020. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  17. "Romanian Government Toppled In No-Confidence Vote". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 5 February 2020. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  18. "Guvernul a fost demis după ce moțiunea de cenzură a fost votată de 261 de parlamentari / Prima reacție a lui Ludovic Orban: Am pierdut doar o bătălie" [The government has been dismissed after the motion of no confidence has been voted by 261 members of parliament / The first reaction of Ludovic Orban: I have lost only one battle]. Mediafax (in Romanian). 5 February 2020. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  19. "Guvernul Orban 2 a fost învestit" [Second Orban Government Approved]. Digi24 (in Romanian). 14 March 2020.
  20. "Ludovic Orban și-a dat demisia din funcția de prim-ministru" [Ludovic Orban Resigns as Prime Minister]. Digi24 (in Romanian). 7 December 2020.
  21. "2020- parliamentary profile". Romanian Chamber of Deputies site (in Romanian).
  22. "Ludovic Orban a fost ales președintele Camerei Deputaților" [Ludovic Orban Elected President of the Chamber of Deputies]. Digi24 (in Romanian). 22 December 2020.
  23. "Ludovic Orban îl face imbecil pe șeful statului" [Ludovic Orban calls the head of state an imbecile]. Gândul (in Romanian). 2 August 2008. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  24. "Orban: "Băsescu e Sauron!"" [Orban: 'Băsescu is Sauron!']. Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). 19 January 2008. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  25. "Orban: Geoană îi împăturește izmenele lui Băsescu" [Orban: Geoană lays out Băsescu's underwear]. Ziua (in Romanian). 18 April 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  26. "Orban: Pe problemele educației, Guvernul este acela care se află în grevă" [Orban: On matters of education, it is the Government which is on strike]. Ziua (in Romanian). 4 May 2009. Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  27. "Ludovic Orban: Programul de promovare a turismului românesc este o nesimțire a Guvernului Băsescu-Geoană" [Ludovic Orban: The Romanian tourism promotion programme is a callousness of the Băsescu-Geoană Government]. Ziua (in Romanian). 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 February 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  28. "Orban: Guvernul va pune România pe butuci și nu va fi capabil să plătească pensii, prestații sociale, salarii în sectorul bugetar la termen" [Orban: The Government will handcuff Romania and be unable to pay pensions, social obligations and salaries in the budgetary sector on time]. Ziua (in Romanian). 6 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  29. Nechita, Beatrice (27 March 2006). "Turcan, Mantale, Udrea și-au făcut carieră prin patul șefilor" [Turcan, Mantale, Udrea made their careers through their bosses' beds]. Adevărul (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  30. "Ministrul Ludovic Orban refuză să demisioneze" [Minister Ludovic Orban refuses to resign]. Realitatea (in Romanian). 22 December 2007. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  31. Pascu, Eduard (5 February 2008). "Concluzia finală a procurorilor: Ministrul transporturilor, Ludovic Orban, a primit trei NUP-uri" [Prosecutors' final conclusion: The Minister of Transport, Ludovic Orban, received 3 NUPs]. Gardianul (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  32. Georgescu, Romulus (24 May 2008). "Frații Orban, în campanie fără voie de la Bruxelles" [The Orban brothers, in a disallowed campaign from Brussels]. Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2009.