Elections in Romania
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Romania elects on a national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people (after a change from four-year terms after the 2004 election). The Romanian Parliament (Parlamentul României) has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (Camera Deputaţilor) has currently 329 members (after the last legislative elections), elected for a four-year term by party-list proportional representation on closed lists. The Senate (Senatul) has currently 136 members (after the last legislative elections), elected for a four-year term by party-list proportional representation on closed lists.
The President is elected in a two-round system for a five-year term. If one candidate obtains a majority of 50%+1 of all registered voters in the first round, he or she is declared the winner. If none of the candidates achieve this, then a run-off is held between the two contenders with the top scores in the first round. The candidate who obtains any majority of votes in the run-off is declared the winner.
The term of the president is five years. Between 1992 and 2004 the term was of four years, but was increased following the 2003 Constitutional referendum. One person can serve a maximum of two terms, that may be consecutive.
In order to be able to run for the Office of President a candidate must fulfill the following conditions: be a Romanian citizen, be at least 35 years of age (at least on the day of the election), and not have held the office for two terms since 1992, when the 1991 Constitution took effect.
The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate are elected in constituencies, by universal, equal, direct, secret, and freely expressed suffrage, on the basis of a list system and independent candidatures, according to the principle of closed party list proportional representation. The option for an identical election system of the two Chambers of Parliament confers them the same legitimacy, as both of them are the expression of the will of the same electoral body.
The two Chambers have different numbers of members: the Chamber of Deputies is composed of 329 Deputies, and the Senate of 136 Senators. This differentiation is possible owing to the legal provision of a representation norm differing from one Chamber to the other and due to the seats allotted to the national minorities (a seat in the Chamber of Deputies for each minority) and to the Romanians living abroad (4 seats in the Chamber and 2 in the Senate). Thus, for the election of the Chamber of Deputies the representation norm is of one Deputy to 73,000 inhabitants, and for the election of the Senate, of one Senator to 168,000 inhabitants.
The number of Deputies and Senators to be elected in each constituency is determined on the basis of the representation norm, by relating the number of inhabitants in each constituency to the representation norm. There are 43 constituencies: 1 for each county and the Municipality of Bucharest, and 1 for the Romanians living abroad. In a constituency, the number of Deputies cannot be less than four, and that of Senators, less than two. The number of inhabitants taken into account is that existing on 1 January of the previous year, published in the Statistical Yearbook of Romania. If, at least five months before the election date, a general census has taken place, the number of inhabitants taken into account is that resulting from the census.
The Constitution of Romania and the Election Law grant to legally constituted organizations of citizens belonging to national minorities, in case these could not obtain at the election at least one Deputy or Senator mandate, the right to a Deputy mandate, if they have obtained throughout the country a number of votes equal to at least 5% out of the average number of votes validly expressed throughout the country for the election of one Deputy.
The mandates assigned, under the conditions of the Election Law, to organizations of citizens belonging to national minorities are added to the Deputy mandates resulted from the representation norm.
To elect the 32 MEPs (35 MEPs between 2007 and 2009, 33 between 2009 and 2014), Romania is considered a single constituency. The system used is closed party list proportional representation, with a 5% threshold of the votes.
To elect the mayors the first past the post is used. The candidate who wins most of the votes is declared elected.
For the office of Presidents of the County Councils, between 2008 and 2012, the first pass the post system was used. Until 2008 and again since 2016, the County Council Presidents have been indirectly elected by each County Council.
Irrespective of the type of election, the vote is done by using paper and manual counting. The voter is required to prove his/hers identity using the Identity card (or the previous version, the Identity bulletin), or, for special reasons, the military ID or the passport. After (s)he signs in the permanent, supplemental, or special electoral list, (s)he is handed a voting ballot (buletin de vot) and a stamp that reads VOTAT YYYY TTT (voted); YYYY stands for the year the election is held, and TTT for the type of elections to be held: L for local elections (including partial), PE for European Parliament election, R for referendums (R.V.U. was used in 2007). For the general election, up to now, there was no additional type indicator, as it is granted most importance.
For the local and parliamentary elections, the voter can vote only at the polling station where (s)he has the permanent address (domiciliu), or the temporary residence (flotant) at least three months old. For the local election, the Romanians outside Romania cannot vote. For the parliamentary election they vote the candidates for the 43rd constituency. For the European Parliament and presidential elections the voters can vote at a different pooling station than the local and parliamentary elections, but only if (s)he is not in the home-town the voting day. At the next legislative election the Romanian electors residing abroad will be able to cast their vote via mail.
The voting ballot is printed on newspaper paper, monochrome. All the candidates (or the full candidate list) are listed in a lottery type established order (first the parliamentary parties, than the non-parliamentary parties, and at the end, the independent candidates), each in a clearly designated rectangular that consists of the full party name, the candidate (or full list) and the party logo. Voters express their choice by stamping the rectangle of the party or independent candidate (s)he wishes to vote for. For referendums the same voting procedure is used. Each of the two options (YES – DA and NO – NU) are in a 5×5 cm square, YES on top and NO at the bottom, and the question voted for in the middle of the voting ballot.
|Election type||Date||Second round date|
|Presidential||November/December 2019||November/December 2019
|Candidate||Sustaining alliance or party||Votes||%||Votes||%|
|Klaus Iohannis||Christian Liberal Alliance (PNL–PDL)||2,881,406||30.37%||6,288,769||54.43%|
|Victor Ponta||PSD–UNPR–PC Alliance[a]||3,836,093||40.44%||5,264,383||45.56%|
|Elena Udrea||PMP–PNȚCD Alliance||493,376||5.20%|
|Dan Diaconescu||People's Party – Dan Diaconescu||382,526||4.03%|
|Corneliu Vadim Tudor||Greater Romania Party||349,416||3.68%|
|Hunor Kelemen||Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania||329,727||3.47%|
|Zsolt Szilágyi||Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania||53,146||0.56%|
|William Brînză||Romanian Ecologist Party||43,194||0.45%|
|Constantin Rotaru||Socialist Alternative Party||28,805||0.30%|
|Mirel Mircea Amariței||PRODEMO Party||7,895||0.08%|
|Total valid votes||9,485,340||100.00%||11,553,152||100.00%|
|Source: Biroul Electoral Central; Biroul Electoral Central; Biroul Electoral Central|
Elections were marked by the splitting of the Social Liberal Union (USL) two months earlier. The National Liberal Party ran alone, while the former allies (Social Democratic Party, National Union for the Progress of Romania, and Conservative Party) ran as an alliance that they tried to name Social Democratic Union (USD); legal provisions made this impossible. These were the first elections for the People's Movement Party, and the last for the Democratic Liberal Party, and the Civic Force, as later in 2014 they merged into the National Liberal Party.
|% of seats||% of votes|
|National Party||EU Party||EP Group|
|Social Democratic Union
(Uniunea Social Democrată)
|National Liberal Party
(Partidul Naţional Liberal)
|Democratic Liberal Party[a]
(Partidul Democrat Liberal)
|Independent candidate: Mircea Diaconu||—||ALDE||1||379,582||1||1||6.81%|
|Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
(Uniunea Democrată a Maghiarilor din România)
|People's Movement Party
(Partidul Mișcarea Populară)[b]
|People's Party – Dan Diaconescu
(Partidul Poporului – Dan Diaconescu)
|Greater Romania Party
(Partidul România Mare)
|Ecologist Party of Romania
(Partidul Ecologist Român)
|Total: 18,221,061 expected voters (turnout 5,911,794 – 32.44%)||4,899,383||32||1||100 %||100 %|
|Source: Summary of results|
- ^ Elena Băsescu re-joined PD-L after the exit-poll results where published in 2009.
- ^ Defectors from Democratic Liberal Party.
This election generated a Parliament with 117 seats more than in the pre-election Chamber of Deputies and Senate.
|Social Liberal Union||4,457,526||60.10||122||+45|
|Right Romania Alliance||1,239,318||16.71||24||–27|
|People's Party – Dan Diaconescu||1,086,822||14.65||21||New|
|Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania||388,528||5.24||9||0|
|Greater Romania Party||109,142||1.47||0||0|
|Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania||58,765||0.79||0||New|
|Ecologist Party of Romania||58,335||0.79||0||0|
|Socialist Alliance Party||2,171||0.03||0||0|
|Popular and Social Protection Party||2,100||0.03||0||0|
|Workers' Social Democratic Party||1,380||0.02||0||0|
|National Democratic Christian Party||132||0.00||0||0|
|Party||Mayor of Bucharest (PMB)||Mayors (P)||Local Councils
|Social Democratic Party[a]
(Partidul Social Democrat - PSD)
|National Liberal Party[b]
(Partidul Național Liberal - PNL)
|Alliance of Liberals and Democrats[a]
(Alianța Liberalilor și Democraților - ALDE)
|Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
(Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România - UDMR)
|People's Movement Party
(Partidul Mișcarea Populară - PMP)
|National Union for the Progress of Romania[a]
(Uniunea Națională pentru Progresul României - UNPR)
|Save Bucharest Union
(Uniunea Salvaţi Bucureştiul - USB)
|Romanian Social Party
(Partidul Social Românesc - PSRO)
|Ecologist Party of Romania
(Partidul Ecologist Român - PER)
|United Romania Party
(Partidul România Unită - PRU)
|Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
(Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România - FDGR)
|Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania
(Erdélyi Magyar Néppárt/Partidul Popular Maghiar din Transilvania - PPMT)
|Coalition for Baia Mare
(Coaliția pentru Baia Mare)
|Hungarian Civic Party
(Magyar Polgári Párt/Partidul Civic Maghiar - PCM)
|Party for Argeș and Muscel
(Partidul pentru Argeș and Muscel)
|Sources: "Situatia mandatelor repartizate pe partide". Biroul Electoral Central. "Situatia voturilor obtinute de competitori pe partide". Biroul Electoral Central.|
- suspend the President from office (article 95), or
- amend the Constitution (article 151)
Moreover, the Constitution defines that a referendum can be called on matters of national interest by the President of Romania after consultation with Parliament (article 90).
There were 6 referendums in post-communist Romania:
- 2 constitutional referendums: in 1991 and 2003
- 2 presidential impeachment referendums: in May 2007 and in 2012
- voting system referendum in November 2007
- parliamentary reform referendum in 2009
- "Legea nr. 208 din 20 iulie 2015 privind alegerea Senatului şi a Camerei Deputaţilor, precum şi pentru organizarea şi funcţionarea Autorităţii Electorale Permanente" (PDF) (in Romanian). Romanian Permanent Electoral Authority. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
- "Legea alegerilor locale, modificată: Primarii, aleşi într-un singur tur. Preşedinţii CJ, aleşi de către membrii CJ" (in Romanian). 6 May 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- "Legea votului prin corespondenţă a fost PROMULGATĂ de preşedintele Klaus Iohannis". Mediafax.ro (in Romanian). 2015-11-19.
- "Constitution of Romania" (PDF). Party Law in Modern Europe. Retrieved 2013-11-05.