List of Presidents of Romania

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The President of Romania serves as the head of state of Romania. The office was created by the Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1974 and has developed into its modern form after the Romanian Revolution and the adoption of the 1991 constitution.

The current President of Romania is Klaus Iohannis, who has served since 21 December 2014.


Political parties

Socialist Republic of Romania (1974–1989)[edit]

Portrait Name
Term of Office Political Party Ref.
1 Crop-Nicolae Ceaucescu 1978.jpg Nicolae Ceaușescu
28 March 1974 22 December 1989 Romanian Communist Party (PCR) [1]
The first President of Romania, Ceaușescu maintained his country under a communist state. Despite his country's membership in the Warsaw Pact, Ceaușescu recognised the state of Israel, supported the Romanian national identity, and denounced the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. With his 1971 July Theses speech, Ceaușescu launched a quasi-Maoist and Neo-Stalinist reform. He and his wife were deposed during the 1989 Romanian Revolution and were executed three days later.

Interim State (1989–1990)[edit]

Portrait Name
Term of Office Political Party Ref.
Ion Iliescu (2004).jpg Ion Iliescu
26 December 1989 20 June 1990 National Salvation Front (FSN) [2]
A former Romanian Communist Party (PCR) member, Iliescu was one of the founders of the National Salvation Front (FSN) during the 1989 Revolution. As a member of the FSN Triumvirate, Iliescu served as the acting head of state of Romania for almost six months during its transition to capitalism.

Republic of Romania (1990–present)[edit]

Portrait Name
Term of Office;
Electoral mandates
Political Party Ref.
2 Ion Iliescu (2004) (cropped).jpg Ion Iliescu
20 June 1990 29 November 1996 Independent [2]
1990, 1992
The second President of Romania and the first to have been freely and democratically elected, Iliescu was an "independent social democrat." He earned a populistic reputation after his handling of the Mineriad's miner interventions in Bucharest. Under his first term, the current Constitution of Romania was introduced.
3 Constantinescu emil.jpg Emil Constantinescu
29 November 1996 20 December 2000 Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNȚCD)1
Constantinescu was the successful candidate of the right-leaning Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) that won the 1996 general elections, consequently paving the way for the first peaceful transfer of power in post-1989 Romania. During his only term as president, Constantinescu struggled with the slow implementation of the modernization and privatization process which was bogged down by excessive bureaucracy.

Nonetheless, the CDR coalition managed to secure three Prime Ministers who initiated liberalizing economic reforms under Constantinescu's presidency, although the overall progress on a short-term basis was slower than expected.

(2) Ion Iliescu (2004) (cropped).jpg Ion Iliescu
20 December 2000 20 December 2004 Social Democratic Party (PSD) [2]
Iliescu was elected to his third non-consecutive term in 2000. In March, 2004, at the end of his last term, Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as part of the second largest wave of expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.
4 EPP Summit; Meise, Dec. 2013 (11449226465) (cropped 2).jpg Traian Băsescu
20 December 2004 21 December 2014 Democratic Liberal Party (PDL)2
2004, 2009
Elected with the support of the right-leaning Justice and Truth Alliance (D.A.), Băsescu won on a platform targeting widespread political corruption and solved a hostage crisis in Iraq, resulting in the rescue of three Romanian journalists. During his first term, Romania joined in the European Union. In spite of the harsh opposition of the left-leaning parties, he publicly condemned the former Communist regime.

His second term was marked by a landslide victory of the opposition coalition, specifically the Social Liberal Union (USL), in both the local and the legislative elections of 2012, amidst heavy losses for the presidential party (i.e. the Democratic Liberal Party).

Internationally, Băsescu aligned Romania closer to the United States, the European Union, and NATO, maintaining a pro-Western foreign policy throughout both his terms. He was suspended twice, namely in 2007 and 2012. Both impeachment referenda were invalidated by the Constitutional Court on the grounds of low turnout, thus paving his way for a comeback to presidency.

5 Klaus Iohannis at EPP Summit, March 2015, Brussels (cropped).jpg Klaus Iohannis
21 December 2014 Incumbent National Liberal Party (PNL) [3]
Elected with the support of the right-leaning Christian Liberal Alliance (ACL), Iohannis surprisingly won against former USL ally and coalition partner Victor Ponta in the run-off of the 2014 Romanian presidential elections. During the presidential campaign, his platform focused on anti-corruption, judicial independence, and fiscal relaxation.[4] He was also the first Romanian President to have stemmed from an ethnic minority, as he is of German (Transylvanian Saxon) origin.[5]

His first term to date was marked by many controversies, one of them being his many houses obtained with dubious funds and one of them being declared as fraudulently possesed with false documents. Also he adopted a beligerante attitude toward the landslide winner and governing coalition PSD-ALDE, in the wake of the 2016 legislative elections, as well as taking sides against the government by actively participating in the massive series of protests of 2017 and encouraging others, much smaller in numbers, during 2018,thus ignoring the constitutional obligation of the president to be a mediator between the state and society.[6]


1 Emil Constantinescu was the candidate of the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNȚCD) whose candidacy was supported as part of the larger right-leaning Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) in both 1992 and 1996;
2 Traian Băsescu was the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party (PD) whose candidacy was supported as part the larger right-leaning Justice and Truth Alliance (D.A.) in 2004, alongside the National Liberal Party. In 2009 his re-election was supported only by the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) along with a certain faction of the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNȚCD).

Acting Presidents (1990–present)[edit]

Portrait Name
Term of Office;
Electoral mandates
Political Party
Nicolae Văcăroiu (cropped).jpg Nicolae Văcăroiu
20 April 2007 23 May 2007 Social Democratic Party (PSD)
Văcăroiu, the President of the Senate, served as Interim President following Băsescu's first impeachment.
Crin Antonescu.jpg Crin Antonescu
10 July 2012 27 August 2012 National Liberal Party (PNL)
Antonescu, the President of the Senate, served as Interim President following Băsescu's second impeachment.
Klaus IohannisCrin AntonescuNicolae VăcăroiuTraian BăsescuEmil ConstantinescuIon IliescuNicolae Ceaușescu

See also[edit]

Footnotes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Grosescu, R. (2004). The Political Regrouping of Romanian Nomenklatura during the 1989 Revolution. Romanian Journal of Society and Politics, 4(1), 97-123.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "Klaus Iohannis wins Romanian presidential election". The Guardian. November 16, 2014. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Presidents of Romania since 1989". World Atlas. Retrieved 1 July 2018. 
  5. ^ "Romanians elect first ethnic German president". EU Observer. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2018. 
  6. ^ "FOTO & VIDEO. De ce a mers Klaus Iohannis în Piața Universității". Digi24. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2018. 
  • Bulei, Ion, O istorie a românilor, Editura Meronia, Bucureşti, 2007, pg. 266-267