Democratic Party (Romania)
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The Democratic Party (Romanian: Partidul Democrat, PD) was a centre-right political party in Romania. In January 2008, it merged with the Liberal Democratic Party, a splinter group of the National Liberal Party, to form the Democratic Liberal Party.
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, although according to many Romanian opinion polls it remained the most popular of the two parties. Although he had to formally suspend his leadership of the party when elected president in 2004, the PD was largely associated with Romanian president Traian Băsescu.
The PD traced its roots in the National Salvation Front (FSN), the body which, under the leadership of Ion Iliescu, seized power during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 which ended the Communist regime. The organization, originally announced that it is not a party and it would not nominate candidates in the elections it organized. However, in February 1990, it registered as a party and won the elections, with the help of the state-owned media under its control.
Conflicts 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 Democratic National Salvation Front (FDSN), which later became the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
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 ran jointly 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). 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 Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who was also the chairman of the PNL. After his presidential victory in 2004, Băsescu appointed Tăriceanu as prime minister. Although he wanted to, he could not constitutionally dismiss him; at least, it took him a while. On 1 April 2007, Tăriceanu dismissed the ministers of PD and formed a minority government.
Ideology and policies
The political doctrine of the Democratic Party has shifted from social democracy to centrism and greater conservatism since 2004, combined with economic liberalism and reformism. The party supports a consolidation of the free market and is supportive of Romania's flat tax rate of 16%. The party also supports reforming the Romanian Constitution in order to bring about a decentralisation in administration and give greater power to the eight development regions.
In terms of European politics, the Democratic Party:
- Supports EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
- Supports EU membership for Turkey, as long as it satisfies membership criteria
- Supports the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the EU
- Supports the Treaty of Lisbon
- Believes that the European Parliament should have greater power
- Opposes a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
- Supports a common EU migration policy
- Supports a common EU defence and security policy
- Supports a partnership between the US and the EU, where the EU is an "equal and critical" partner.
- Petre Roman - left and founded the Democratic Force (FD) party;
- Traian Băsescu - elected President of Romania, membership suspended during the mandate.
- Emil Boc - Mayor of Cluj-Napoca 2004-2008; 2012–present, Prime Minister 2008 - 2012
- Adriean Videanu - Vice-president of PDL, Mayor of Bucharest 2005-2008
- Radu Berceanu - Senator, former Minister of Transportation, Constructions and Tourism
- Cristian Rădulescu, MP, PD Leader in the Chamber of Deputies
- Gheorghe Albu, MP
- Roberta Anastase, MP
- Petru Filip, MEP, former Mayor of the municipality of Oradea
- Ioan Olteanu, MP
- Cezar Preda, MP
- Paunel Tise
- Alexandru Sassu (left for PSD)
- Bogdan Niculescu Duvăz (left for PSD together with Sassu)
- Daniel Buda
- Victor Babiuc, formerly in charge of the Ministry of Defence (currently member of the National Liberal Party - PNL)
- Radu Vasile, former Prmime Minister of Romania (came from the Christian-Democratic National Peasants' Party - PNŢCD)
- Anca Boagiu, former minister of European Integration and of Transport
- Vasile Blaga, former Minister of Administration and Interior, former President of the Senate of Romania
- Cristian Ilie, MP
- Nati Meir, member from June 2007
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)
- Roper, p.66
- Roper, p.70
- Roper, p.79
- "Romania's prime minister names new Cabinet of minority government", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), April 2, 2007.
- Ioan, Scurtu ş.a., "Enciclopedia partidelor politice din România 1859-2003", Editura Meronia, Bucureşti, 2003.
- Florin-Vasile, Şomlea, "Partidele populare din ţările Uniunii Europene", Editura Cartimpex, Cluj-Napoca, 2007.