Petre Roman

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Petre Roman
Petre Roman (1994) by Erling Mandelmann.jpg
Prime Minister of Romania
In office
26 December 1989 – 1 October 1991
Acting until 20 June 1990
PresidentIon Iliescu
Preceded byConstantin Dăscălescu
Succeeded byTheodor Stolojan
President of the Senate
In office
November 1996 – February 2000
PresidentEmil Constantinescu
Prime MinisterVictor Ciorbea
Gavril Dejeu (Acting)
Radu Vasile
Alexandru Athanasiu (Acting)
Preceded byOliviu Gherman
Succeeded byMircea Ionescu Quintus
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 December 1999 – 28 December 2000
PresidentEmil Constantinescu
Prime MinisterMugur Isărescu
Preceded byAndrei Pleșu
Succeeded byMircea Geoană
Personal details
Born (1946-07-22) 22 July 1946 (age 73)
Bucharest, Romania
Political partyNational Liberal Party (2008–present)
Other political
affiliations
National Salvation Front (1989–1992)
Democratic Party (1992–2003)
Democratic Force (2003–2008)
Spouse(s)Mioara Georgescu (1974–2007)
Silvia Chifiriuc (2009–present)
ProfessionEngineer
Signature

Petre Roman (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈpetre ˈroman]; born 22 July 1946) is a Romanian engineer and politician who was Prime Minister of Romania from 1989 to 1991, when his government was overthrown by the intervention of the miners led by Miron Cozma. He was the first prime minister since 1945 who was not a Communist or fellow traveler. He was also the president of the Senate from 1996 to 1999 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2000. He was leader of the Democratic Force party, which he founded after leaving the Democratic Party in 2003. Currently, he is an MP in the Lower Chamber, elected in 2012. He had been removed from his seat in 2015 after being charged by the National Integrity Agency with incompatibility, but restored to office in 2016 after the Court of Appeals overturned the ruling. He is also a member of the Club of Madrid, a group of more than 80 former democratic statesmen, which works to strengthen democratic governance and leadership.[1]

Background[edit]

Petre Roman was born in Bucharest. His father, Valter Roman, born Ernst or Ernő Neuländer of Transylvanian Hungarian-Jewish descent,[2] was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a Comintern activist, and a prominent member of the Romanian Communist Party. His mother Hortensia Vallejo was a Spaniard exiled who would become director of the Spanish session of Radio Romania International.[3] The couple married in Moscow, and he has several siblings. In 1974 Roman married Mioara Georgescu, with whom he has a daughter, Oana. In February 2007, husband and wife confirmed that they were divorcing; the divorce was made final on Good Friday, 6 April 2007. In June 2009, he married a pregnant Silvia Chifiriuc (who is 26 years his junior) in a Romanian Orthodox wedding.[4]

Roman first rose to prominence during the Romanian Revolution of 1989, when he was among the crowd occupying the National Television building, and broadcasting messages expressing revolutionary triumph. He became provisional prime minister after the overthrow of the Communist regime, and was confirmed in office in June 1990, three months after the country's first free election in 53 years.

During the revolution[edit]

Petre Roman was heavily involved in the revolution as a member of the National Salvation Front as both a revolutionary and as a leading political figure during the revolution. Given that the revolution was led by politicians united not by a cohesive ideology, but by resentment for the Ceaușescu regime, in-fighting soon began, especially between its leaders, namely, centre-left liberal Dumitru Mazilu, who wished to instill capitalism, and far-left Communist Ion Iliescu, who wanted to keep communism but remove Ceaușescu. As a left-wing socialist, Petre Roman was largely the middle ground between the world-views of his colleagues, as he wanted to replace communism with socialism.

Revolutionary activity[edit]

Petre Roman speaking to the crowd in Bucharest

Petre Roman participated directly in the revolution forming a barricade in the centre of Bucharest from the days of 21 and 22 December. On 22 December 1989 Petre Roman spoke from the balcony of the headquarters of the Central Committee against the Ceaușescu regime, the first public demonstration of its kind. On 22 December, he became a member of the Provisional Council of National Salvation Front (CPFSN) established for the coordination of the revolutionary process and the establishment of democracy once the revolution had concluded.

Prime Minister[edit]

Three men are walking side-by-side holding papers. The first two are wearing a suit and the third is wearing a red sweater. The first man is smiling and flashing a V sign.
Roman (right) with FSN members Ion Iliescu (centre) and Dumitru Mazilu (left) on 23 December 1989, one day after the formation of the FSN.

On 26 December 1989, Roman was appointed as provisional Prime Minister of the provisional FSN government. At the 20 May 1990 elections–the first free elections held in the country in 53 years–he was elected as a deputy from Bucharest on the FSN list. Iliescu designated him once more as Prime Minister on 20 June. He was formally confirmed in office by the newly elected parliament on 28 June, and his governing program was approved unanimously.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Petre Roman". Club de Madrid. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/27/world/upheaval-in-the-east-leadership-an-aristocrat-among-the-revolutionaries.html
  3. ^ P.Roman "Libertatea ca datorie"
  4. ^ (in Romanian) "Petre Roman s-a cununat religios cu Silvia Chifiriuc" ("Petre Roman Has Religious Wedding with Silvia Chifiriuc"), Mediafax, 6 June 2009; accessed 6 June 2009

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Constantin Dăscălescu
Prime Minister of Romania
Acting: 1989–1990

1989–1991
Succeeded by
Theodor Stolojan