Ludovic Orban

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Ludovic Orban
68th Prime Minister of Romania
Assumed office
4 November 2019
PresidentKlaus Iohannis
DeputyRaluca Turcan
Preceded byViorica Dăncilă
Leader of the National Liberal Party
Assumed office
17 June 2017
Preceded byRaluca Turcan (acting)
Minister of Transport
In office
5 April 2007 – 22 December 2008
Prime MinisterCălin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Preceded byRadu Berceanu
Succeeded byRadu Berceanu
Personal details
Born (1963-05-25) May 25, 1963 (age 56)
Brașov, Romania
Political partyNational Liberal Party
Spouse(s)Mihaela Orban
EducationTransilvania University of Brașov
National University of Political Studies and Public Administration

Ludovic Orban (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈludovik ˈorban]; born 25 May 1963) is a Romanian engineer and politician who currently serves as the Prime Minister of Romania. The leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), he was Minister of Transport from April 2007 to December 2008 in the second Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu cabinet. He was also a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Bucharest from 2008 to 2016.


Born in Brașov[1] to an ethnic Hungarian father and a Romanian mother, Orban completed secondary studies at the city's Andrei Șaguna High School in 1982. He then studied industrial machinery design technology at the University of Brașov, graduating in 1988. In 1993, he completed post-graduate studies in Political Science at the National School of Administration and Political Science of Bucharest. From 1988 to 1990 he trained as an engineer at a factory in Târgu Secuiesc, and worked as one at a Brașov factory from 1990 to 1991. From 1991 to 1992, he wrote for the daily Viitorul Românesc, and from 1992 to 1997 he was an advisor for the Liberal Party 1993 and its predecessor. Between 1997 and 2001 he held a series of government and agency positions: at the Energy Policy Agency, the Disabled Persons Directorate, the Public Information Department, the National Public Employee Agency and the National Centre for Communications and Public Relations Specialisation. He has also been active in a foundation called Children, the light of the world and done consulting work.[2]

Orban served as a Sector 3 local councillor from 1992 to 1996. He was elected a Sector 1 local councillor that year, but resigned. From 1993 to 1997 he belonged to the executive committee of the Liberal Party 1993, and in 1998 joined the PNL's national council, after the former party merged into it. From 2001 to 2002 he sat on the PNL's permanent central bureau, and in 2002 joined the party's public administration committee. He has headed the Bucharest chapter of the PNL since November 2002, and from July 2004 to April 2007 was Deputy Mayor of Bucharest.[2] He left this office following a cabinet reshuffle, becoming Transport Minister[1] and serving until his party's loss at the 2008 election,[3] where he himself won a seat in a Bucharest constituency.[4] While minister, he also ran for Mayor of Bucharest as part of the 2008 local elections, losing in the first round by finishing in fourth place with 11.4% of the vote.[5] In March 2009, concurrent with his ally Crin Antonescu's ascent to the PNL presidency and the sidelining of the Tăriceanu faction, Orban became the party's vice president.[6] He ran for the party presidency in December 2014, and was defeated by Alina Gorghiu on a 47-28 vote.[7] Orban was a candidate in the June 2016 race for mayor of Bucharest,[8] but two months before the election, withdrew from the race as well as from his PNL and Chamber posts after being placed under investigation by the National Anticorruption Directorate.[9] He was not a candidate in the 2016 election.[10] In January 2017, the High Court of Cassation and Justice acquitted Orban on a charge of influence peddling.[11] The following month, he announced his candidacy for the PNL leadership;[12] he went on to defeat Cristian Bușoi by a 78-21 margin.[13]

In October 2019, after the fall of Viorica Dăncilă’s government, President Klaus Iohannis designated Orban as Prime Minister.[14] His cabinet received parliamentary approval the following month, with 240 lawmakers voting in favor, seven more than required. [15]


Orban is a somewhat controversial figure, known for his provocative declarations. A fierce critic of former President Traian Băsescu, he called him an "imbecile" for referring to the "imbecile" attitude of a minister during summer 2008 floods,[16] and once shouted, "The President is the last Sauron to rule in this realm of darkness!"[17] He also criticised the Emil Boc government, which during 2009 was composed of the Băsescu-associated PD-L and the Social Democrats, referring to the latter party's then-leader Mircea Geoană as Băsescu's "steward";[18] and attacking cabinet policies on education,[19] tourism promotion (which he sees as an unnecessary luxury),[20] and the financial crisis (where he foresaw the government being unable to pay pensions and salaries).[21] Speaking to a group of female PNL members in Alba County in March 2006, he drew accusations of sexism for stating, "You need not go through any boss's bed to reach important public positions", declaring that Raluca Turcan (then a party colleague, who later joined the Liberal Democratic Party, afterwards the Democratic Liberal Party, and ending up again in the National Liberal Party after Democrat Liberals merged with the National Liberal Party), Mioara Mantale and Elena Udrea had done so, but not Mona Muscă or Norica Nicolai.[22] Driving in Cotroceni in December 2007, his car hit a 16-year-old girl, forcing her hospitalisation; despite a call by the prime minister for his resignation,[23] Orban refused to do so and prosecutors ultimately decided not to pursue criminal charges, although his license was suspended and he was fined.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Orban and his wife Mihaela have one son.[2] His brother is the former European Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban.[25]


  1. ^ a b (in Romanian) "Guvernul cel mai mic" ("The Smallest Government") Archived 2008-04-08 at the Wayback Machine, Ziua, 3 April 2007, February 28, 2009
  2. ^ a b c (in Romanian) Curriculum Vitae Archived 2009-01-29 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved February 28, 2009
  3. ^ (in Romanian) Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu Cabinet
  4. ^ (in Romanian) "Udrea, Olteanu şi Orban au obţinut mandate în Camera Deputaţilor" ("Udrea, Olteanu and Orban Have Won Seats in the Chamber of Deputies"), Gândul, 2 December 2008, retrieved February 28, 2009
  5. ^ (in Romanian) Rezultate partiale BEM: Oprescu a obtinut 30,4%, iar Blaga 28,1% ("BEM Partial Results: Oprescu Has Won 30.4%, and Blaga 28.1%"), Financiarul, 2 June 2008, retrieved February 28, 2009
  6. ^ (in Romanian) "Crin de Cotroceni"[permanent dead link], Ziua, 23 March 2009; retrieved 7 May 2009
  7. ^ (in Romanian) Iulia Marin, Alina Boghiceanu, Mădălina Mihalache, "Alina Gorghiu este noul preşedinte al PNL" ("Alina Gorghiu Is the New PNL President"), Adevărul, 18 December 2014; accessed December 18, 2014
  8. ^ (in Romanian) Andreea Udrea, "Ludovic Orban intră în cursa pentru Primăria Capitalei" ("Ludovic Orban Enters Race for Capital's Mayor"), Evenimentul Zilei, 22 February 2016; accessed March 2, 2016
  9. ^ (in Romanian) Andreea Udrea, "Ludovic Orban renunță la toate funcțiile publice şi politice şi se retrage din cursa pentru Primăria Capitalei" ("Ludovic Orban Resigns All Public and Political Posts and Quits Race for Bucharest Mayor"), Evenimentul Zilei, 11 April 2016; accessed April 11, 2016
  10. ^ (in Romanian) "Ludovic Orban anunță că nu mai candidează la parlament" ("Ludovic Orban Announces He Will Not Run for Parliament"),, 28 September 2016; accessed December 15, 2016
  11. ^ (in Romanian) Firuța Flutur, "Ludovic Orban, achitat în dosarul privind banii pe care i-ar fi cerut în campania electorală pentru alegerile locale din 2016" ("Ludovic Orban, Acquitted in Case Regarding Money He Allegedly Demanded during 2016 Local Election Campaign"), Mediafax, 31 January 2017; accessed February 1, 2017
  12. ^ (in Romanian) Cătălina Mănoiu, "Ludovic Orban: Mi-am depus candidatura fermă la funcţia de preşedinte PNL" ("Ludovic Orban: I Have Announced My Firm Candidacy for the PNL Presidency"), Mediafax, 13 February 2907; accessed February 17, 2017
  13. ^ (in Romanian) Radu Eremia, Laura Andreea Popa, "Ludovic Orban este noul preşedinte al formaţiunii după o victorie zdrobitoare" ("Ludovic Orban Is the New President of His Party after a Crushing Victory"), Adevărul, 17 June 2017; accessed June 17, 2017
  14. ^ (in Romanian) "Ludovic Orban, prim-ministru desemnat" ("Ludovic Orban Designated Prime Minister"), Digi24, 15 October 2019; accessed October 15, 2019
  15. ^ (in Romanian) "Guvernul Orban a trecut de votul Parlamentului" (“Orban Government Approved by Parliament”), Digi24, 4 November 2019; accessed November 4, 2019
  16. ^ (in Romanian) "Ludovic Orban îl face imbecil pe şeful statului" ("Ludovic Orban Calls the Head of State an Imbecile"), Gândul, 2 August 2008, retrieved February 28, 2009
  17. ^ (in Romanian) "Orban: 'Băsescu e Sauron!'" ("Orban: 'Băsescu is Sauron!'"), Evenimentul Zilei, 19 January 2008, retrieved February 28, 2009
  18. ^ (in Romanian) "Orban: Geoană îi împătureşte izmenele lui Băsescu" ("Orban: Geoană Lays Out Băsescu's Underwear")[permanent dead link], Ziua, 18 April 2009; retrieved 6 May 2009
  19. ^ (in Romanian) "Orban: Pe problemele educaţiei, Guvernul este acela care se află în grevă" ("Orban: On Matters of Education, It Is the Government Which Is on Strike")[permanent dead link], Ziua, 4 May 2009; retrieved 7 May 2009
  20. ^ (in Romanian) "Ludovic Orban: Programul de promovare a turismului românesc este o nesimţire a Guvernului Băsescu-Geoană" ("Ludovic Orban: The Romanian Tourism Promotion Programme Is a Callousness of the Băsescu-Geoană Government")[permanent dead link], Ziua, 30 April 2009; retrieved 7 May 2009
  21. ^ (in Romanian) "Orban: Guvernul va pune România pe butuci şi nu va fi capabil să plătească pensii, prestaţii sociale, salarii in sectorul bugetar la termen" ("Orban: The Government Will Handcuff Romania and Be Unable to Pay Pensions, Social Obligations and Salaries in the Budgetary Sector on Time")[permanent dead link], Ziua, 6 May 2009; retrieved 7 May 2009
  22. ^ (in Romanian) Beatrice Nechita, "Turcan, Mantale, Udrea şi-au făcut carieră prin patul şefilor" ("Turcan, Mantale, Udrea Made Their Careers through Their Bosses' Beds")[permanent dead link], Adevărul, 27 March 2006, retrieved February 28, 2009
  23. ^ (in Romanian) "Ministrul Ludovic Orban refuză să demisioneze" ("The Minister Ludovic Orban Refuses to Resign") Archived 2011-05-23 at the Wayback Machine, Realitatea, 22 December 2007, retrieved February 28, 2009
  24. ^ (in Romanian) "Concluzia finala a procurorilor: Ministrul transporturilor, Ludovic Orban, a primit trei NUP-uri" ("Prosecutors' Final Conclusion: The Minister of Transport, Ludovic Orban, Received 3 NUPs") Archived 2008-02-08 at the Wayback Machine, Gardianul, 5 February 2008, retrieved February 28, 2009
  25. ^ (in Romanian) Romulus Georgescu, "Fraţii Orban, în campanie fără voie de la Bruxelles" ("The Orban Brothers, in a Disallowed Campaign at Brussels"), Evenimentul Zilei, 24 May 2008, retrieved February 28, 2009

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Radu Berceanu
Minister of Transport
Succeeded by
Radu Berceanu
Preceded by
Viorica Dăncilă
Prime Minister of Romania
Party political offices
Preceded by
Raluca Turcan
Leader of the National Liberal Party