Romanian Democratic Convention
The Romanian Democratic Convention (Romanian: Convenţia Democrată Română; abbreviated CDR) was an electoral alliance of several democratic, anti-Communist, anti-totalitarian, and centre-right political parties in Romania, active from 1991 until 2000. The most prominent leaders of the CDR throughout the 1990s were by far Corneliu Coposu, Ion Rațiu, and Ion Diaconescu, all three members of the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNȚ-CD - successor and political heir to the National Peasants' Party, active in the Kingdom of Romania between 1926 and 1948). The name of the CDR was coined by Sergiu Cunescu, leader of the Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR), as stated in a late 1990s interview by former PNL president Radu Câmpeanu.
- Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNȚ-CD): (1991–2001);
- Ecologist Federation of Romania (FER): (1991–2001);
- Romanian Ecologist Party (PER): (1991–2000);
- Civic Alliance Party (PAC): (1991–1995);
- Social Democratic Party of Romania (PSDR): (1991–1995);
- Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR/RMDSZ): (1991–1992, 1992–1995);
- National Liberal Party (PNL): (1991–1992, 1993–1999);
- National Liberal Party-Democratic Convention (PNL-CD): (1992–1997);
- National Liberal Party-Youth Wing (PNL-AT): (1992–1993);
- Liberal Party ’93 (PL ’93): (1993–1995);
- Union of Right-leaning Forces (PAR, then UFD): 1996–2001;
- National Christian Democratic Alliance (ANCD): (1999–2001);
- The Moldavians' Party (PM): (1999–2001).
Eventually, some parties left (more specifically, the main faction of the PNL between 1992 and 1996, as well as the PAC, PSDR, and UDMR/RMDSZ in 1995), while other minor parties joined or were created between mergers within the alliance such as the Liberal Party '93 (PL '93) or the Union of Right-leaning Forces (UFD).
CDR was founded in 1991, one year before the 1992 elections, mainly by the PNŢ-CD and the National Liberal Party (PNL). In addition, aside from the aforementioned political forces, several other noteworthy civic and cultural organisations, foundations, and other minor political parties were involved in the foundational process.
Initially, the planned name of the CDR was "The National Convention for Democracy Implementation" (Romanian: Convenţia Națională pentru Implementarea Democrației). Subsequently, the main purpose of the CDR was to amount an effective opposition against the then all-dominating National Salvation Front (FSN), a huge parliamentary bloc made up mostly of former second and third rank members of the Romanian Communist Party, which assumed leadership of the country shortly after the 1989 Revolution.
For the period 1992–1996, CDR was the main political opposition force in the Parliament of Romania and in the local administration as well. Although the convention won the capital city of Bucharest and much of the larger urban centres at the 1992 local elections, FSN swept over almost all rural areas and small towns. In the 1992 general elections, individual parties were awarded seats as follows:
The alliance also included the UDMR/RMDSZ, which ran on a separate list, and a number of minor parties and civic organisations that failed to gain parliamentary representation: the Democratic Unity Party, the Christian Democratic Union, the Ecologist Federation of Romania (FER), the Civic Alliance (PAC), and others.
At the 1992 general elections, Emil Constantinescu was the presidential candidate of the convention. He managed to qualify in the second round where he finished second with an electoral score of 38.57% (or 4,641,207 votes).
For the period 1996–2000, the CDR formed a grand coalition with the Social Democratic Union (an alliance between the Democratic Party and PSDR) and the UDMR (Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania). At governing level, this grand coalition resulted in the Ciorbea Cabinet (1996–1998), Vasile Cabinet (1998–1999), and Isărescu Cabinet (1999–2000).
Due to internal frictions within the alliance (as well as given the somewhat inconsistent and turbulent governing from 1996 to 2000), the PNL decided to withdraw from the CDR prior to the 2000 general elections. Nonetheless, PNȚ-CD and other parties ran on the CDR 2000 common list for these elections. The alliance did not manage to score the same positive results as during the 1990s and, consequently, shortly disbanded since it did not pass the electoral threshold.
- Corneliu Coposu (PNȚ-CD, early to mid 1990s);
- Ion Rațiu (PNȚ-CD, early 1990s);
- Ion Diaconescu (PNȚ-CD, early to late 1990s);
- Emil Constantinescu (PNȚ-CD, late 1990s);
- Radu Câmpeanu (PNL, only during the early 1990s);
- Mircea Ionescu-Quintus (PNL, mid to late 1990s);
- Géza Domokos (UDMR, early 1990s);
- György Frunda (UDMR, mid 1990s to late 1990s);
- Sergiu Cunescu (PSDR, early to mid 1990s);
- Otto Weber (PER, early to late 1990s);
- Marcian Bleahu (FER, early to late 1990s).
82 / 341
34 / 143
|2nd 1||Opposition to PDSR-PUNR-PRM government (1992–1996)|
122 / 343
53 / 143
|1st 2||CDR-USD-UDMR government (1996–2000)|
0 / 140
0 / 140
(as CDR 2000)3
|Extra-parliamentary opposition to PDSR minority government (2000)|
1 CDR members in 1992: PNȚ-CD (21 senators and 41 deputies), PAC (7 senators and 13 deputies), PNL-AT (1 senator and 11 deputies), PSDR (1 senator and 10 deputies), PNL-CD (4 senators and 3 deputies), and PER (no senators and 4 deputies).
2 CDR members in 1996: PNȚ-CD (25 senators and 81 deputies), PNL (22 senators and 28 deputies), PNL-CD (1 senator and 4 deputies), PAR (3 senators and 3 deputies), PER (1 senator and 5 deputies), and Ecologist Federation of Romania (FER - 1 senator and 1 deputy).
3 CDR 2000 members: PNȚ-CD, UFD, Ecologist Federation of Romania (FER), National Christian Democratic Alliance (ANCD), and The Moldavians Party (PM).
|Election||County Councilors (CJ)||Mayors||Local Councilors (CL)||Popular vote||%||Position|
307 / 1,718
355 / 2,954
6,525 / 33,429
|Election||County Presidents (PCJ)||Position|
6 / 41
15 / 41
1 / 41
Mayor of Bucharest
|Election||Candidate||First round||Second round|
|Election||Candidate||First round||Second round|
|2000||Mugur Isărescu2||1,069,463||4th||not qualified|
1 Emil Constantinescu was the common centre-right candidate that was endorsed by the PNȚ-CD in both 1992 and 1996 as part of the CDR.
2 Mugur Isărescu was endorsed by the PNȚ-CD at the 2000 elections as part of the CDR 2000 alliance.
Timeline of the constituent parties of the CDR (1991–2000)
- "Radu Câmpeanu și Niculae Cerveni invitați la Marius Tucă Show". Marius Tucă Show. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
- Roper, Steven D. (Winter 1997). "From Opposition To Government Coalition: Unity And Fragmentation Within The Democratic Convention Of Romania". East European Quarterly. 31 (4): 519.
- Dan Pavel, Iulia Huia, <<Nu putem reuşi decît împreună.>> O istorie analitică a Convenţiei Democratice, 1989-2000, Editura Polirom, Iaşi, 2003
- Roper, Steven D., <<From Opposition to Government Coalition: Unity and Fragmentation within the Democratic Convention of Romania.>>, East European Quarterly, 1997. Vol. 31, 4: 519–542.