Romania: Social Democrats won elections unexpectedly. People didn’t want privatization

The Romanian voter sent a signal that the Romanian right-wing parties are disconnected from the masses (source: Pixabay, CC0)

Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat

This article was published on December 7, 2020 on the Polish website On December 8, 2020, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban resigned, and the government was taken over by the minister of defense, general Nicolae Ciuca. Until now, Ciuca was an extremely influential minister on whom many decisions depended. If he continues to be the prime minister of the future government, it will probably be a sign that Bucharest is preparing for Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House, when Romania and Bulgaria are expected to be at the forefront of US efforts to contain Russia and perhaps Turkey.

The activity of Romanian social democrats resembles Law and Justice Party in many respects: it is a party politically representing smaller urban centers or rural areas rather than metropolises and people who have lost as a result of transition, rather than the middle class. It is usual for PSD to take a rather conservative position. During its last rule in 2016-2019, the PSD introduced, inter alia, an increase in pensions. However, the party was weakened by corruption scandals; at the end of 2019, it had to hand over power to the pro-European National Liberal Party (PNL), while PSD’s leader, Liviu Dragnea, was sentenced in the spring of 2019 to prison for abuses (he had committed them several years earlier as a prefect in the Teleorman region).

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The Romanian voter allowed the pro-European parties to rule, while punishing president Iohannis

Vladimir Mitev (source: Vladimir Mitev)

This interview was broadcast live on Bulgarian National Radio, in the Horizon program on December 7, 2020.

Georgi Markov: Elections took place in Romania during the pandemic as well. The country’s citizens were called to vote yesterday for their representatives in the lower chamber of parliament and senate. The low turnout marked these elections, which according to the latest data were won by the Social Democrats. The second place was occupied by the ruling National Liberal Party. One of the surprises in these elections is the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR). The party finished fourth according to the preliminary results.

These results reveal a fragmented political image that necessitates a governing coalition. What could it look like and what changes are happening in Romania’s political life? We will now look for the answers with our colleague Vladimir Mitev, the founder of the news site about Romania and Bulgaria “The Bridge of Friendship” and the editor of the Romanian section of the site “Barricade”.

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