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Petre Roman

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Petre Roman
Roman in 1989
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
Member of the National Salvation Front Council
In office
22 December 1989 – 26 December 1989
President of the Senate of Romania
In office
27 November 1996 – 22 December 1999
Preceded byOliviu Gherman
Succeeded byMircea Ionescu Quintus
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 December 1999 – 28 December 2000
Prime MinisterMugur Isărescu
Preceded byAndrei Pleșu
Succeeded byMircea Geoană
Member of the Senate of Romania
In office
22 November 1996 – 12 December 2004
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
9 June 1990 – 31 July 1990
In office
6 October 1992 – 21 November 1996
In office
19 December 2012 – 9 February 2015
Co-Founding Leader of the National Salvation Front
In office
22 December 1989 – 28 May 1993
Serving with Ion Iliescu[a] & Dumitru Mazilu[b]
Succeeded byHimself (party renamed into the Democratic Party)
President of the Democratic Party
In office
28 May 1993 – 19 May 2001
Succeeded byTraian Băsescu
President of the Democratic Force
In office
Personal details
Born (1946-07-22) 22 July 1946 (age 77)
Bucharest, Kingdom of Romania
Political partySocial Democratic Party (2020–present)
Other political
Romanian Communist Party (before 1989)
National Salvation Front (1989–1993)
Democratic Party (1993–2003)
Democratic Force (2003–2008)
National Liberal Party (2008–2017?)
(m. 1974⁠–⁠2007)
(m. 2009)
Alma materPolitehnica University of Bucharest
Paul Sabatier University
Known forRomanian Revolution
a. ^ the party split on 7 April 1992: Ion Iliescu and his supporters formed the FDSN
b. ^ Mazilu resigned from the leadership of FSN on 26 January 1990

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 in the September 1991 Mineriad. Although regarded as the first Romanian prime minister since 1945 who was not a communist or communist sympathiser, he was a socialist.[1] He was also the president of the Senate from 1996 to 1999 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2000.

He was the leader of the Democratic Force (FD) party, which he founded after leaving the Democratic Party (PD) in 2003. He had previously served as 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 democratic former statesmen, which works to strengthen democratic governance and leadership.[2]


Petre Roman was born in Bucharest. His father, Valter Roman, born Ernst or Ernő Neuländer of Transylvanian Hungarian-Jewish descent,[3][4] was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a Comintern activist, and a prominent member of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR). His mother Hortensia Vallejo was a Spaniard exiled who would become director of the Spanish section of Radio Romania International.[5] 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.[6]

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 Romanian Revolution[edit]

Petre Roman speaking to the crowd in Bucharest in late December 1989, during the Romanian Revolution.

Petre Roman was heavily involved in the Romanian Revolution of 1989 as a member of the National Salvation Front (FSN), both as a revolutionary and as a leading political figure. Given that the revolution was led by politicians united not by a cohesive ideology, but by resentment towards the Ceaușescu regime, in-fighting soon began, especially between its leaders, namely, centre-left liberal Dumitru Mazilu, who wished to instill capitalism, and neo-communist Ion Iliescu, who wanted to keep communism/hard line socialism, 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 the Marxist view of socialism as a transitory stage with a more democratic understanding of socialism.

Revolutionary activity[edit]

Petre Roman participated directly in the Romanian 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 the 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 the acting/ad interim Prime Minister of the provisional FSN government. At the 20 May 1990 elections–the first free elections held in the country in 53 years and colloquially known as the "Blindman's Sunday" (Romanian: Duminica orbului)–he was elected as a deputy from Bucharest on the FSN list.

Shortly afterwards, then President Iliescu designated him once more as Prime Minister on 20 June 1990. He was formally confirmed in office by the newly elected legislature of the parliament on 28 June 1990 and his governing program was subsequently approved unanimously. He was the head of government of three cabinets between 1989 and 1991, as follows: Roman I cabinet, Roman II cabinet, and Roman III cabinet. He was succeeded by Theodor Stolojan in October 1991, after the September 1991 Mineriad.

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Affiliation First round Second round
Votes Percentage Position Votes Percentage Position
1996 USD 2,598,545
 3rd  not qualified
2000 PD 334,852
 6th  not qualified
2004 FD 140,702
 7th  not qualified


  1. ^ https://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-arhiva-1205270-ion-iliescu-petre-roman-pus-pitesti-bazele-polului-social.htm
  2. ^ "Petre Roman". Club de Madrid. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  3. ^ Binder, David; Times, Special To the New York (27 December 1989). "Upheaval in the East: Leadership; An Aristocrat Among the Revolutionaries (Published 1989)". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Juviler, P. (1999) Fantasies of Salvation: Democracy, Nationalism, and Myth in Post-Communist Europe by Vladimir Tismaneanu. Political Science Quarterly 114 (2) p.345–346.
  5. ^ P.Roman "Libertatea ca datorie"
  6. ^ (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 Prime Minister of Romania
Acting: 1989–1990

Succeeded by