Romanian Democratic Convention

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The Romanian Democratic Convention (Romanian: Convenţia Democrată Română; abbreviated CDR) was an electoral alliance of several centre-right political parties in Romania, active from 1991 until 2000. The most prominent leaders of the CDR throughout the 1990s were by far Corneliu Coposu, Ion Rațiu, and Ion Diaconescu, all three members of the PNȚ-CD (the successor and political heir to the National Peasants' Party, active in the Kingdom of Romania between 1926-48).

History[edit]

1991–1992: Foundation[edit]

CDR was founded in 1991, one year before the 1992 elections, mainly by the PNŢCD (Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party) and the PNL (National Liberal Party) as well as by several noteworthy civic and cultural organisations, foundations, and other minor political parties. The main purpose of the CDR was to amount an effective opposition against the all-dominating National Salvation Front, a political force made up mostly of former second and third rank Communists, which assumed leadership of the country after the Romanian Revolution.

Political composition[edit]

The core members of the CDR included the following political parties:[1]

Eventually, some parties left (notably, the main faction of PNL between 1992 and 1996, and the PAC, PSDR and UDMR/RMDSZ in 1995), while other minor parties joined or were created between mergers within the alliance such as the Liberal Party '93 (PL '93) or Union of Right-leaning Forces (PAR).

1992–1996: Opposition[edit]

For the period 1992–1996, CDR was the main political opposition force in the Parliament of Romania and in the local administration as well. Although the convention won the capital city of Bucharest and much of the larger urban centres at the 1992 local elections, FSN swept over almost all rural areas and small towns. In the 1992 general elections, individual parties were awarded seats as follows:

Party Parliament Seats
Chamber Senate
PNȚ-CD 41 21
PAC 13 7
PNL-AT 11 1
PSDR 10 1
PNL-CD 3 4
PER 4 -
Total 82 34

The alliance also included the UDMR/RMDSZ, which ran on a separate list, and a number of minor parties and civic organisations that failed to gain parliamentary representation: the Democratic Unity Party, the Christian Democratic Union, the Ecologist Federation of Romania (FER), the Civic Alliance and others.

At the 1992 general elections, Emil Constantinescu was the presidential candidate of the convention. He managed to qualify in the second round where he finished second with an electoral score of 38.57% (or 4,641,207 votes).

1996–2000: Government[edit]

Subsequently, CDR managed to win the 1996 Romanian elections, and the alliance's presidential candidate, once again Emil Constantinescu, became president with 54.41% (or 7,057,906 votes).

Below is the distribution of seats in the Chamber of Deputies between the components of the alliance after the 1996 elections, the first in post-1989 Romania that saw a peaceful transition of power:

Party Parliament Seats
Chamber Senate
PNȚ-CD 83 27
PNL 25 16
PNL-CD 5 5
PAR 3 3
PER 5 1
FER 1 1
Total 122 53

For the period 1996–2000, the CDR formed a grand coalition with the Social Democratic Union (an alliance between the Democratic Party and PSDR) and the UDMR (Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania). At governing level, this grand coalition resulted in the Ciorbea Cabinet (1996–1998), Vasile Cabinet (1998–1999), and Isărescu Cabinet (1999–2000).

CDR 2000[edit]

Due to internal frictions within the alliance (as well as given the somewhat inconsistent and turbulent governing from 1996 to 2000), the PNL withdrawn from the CDR prior to the 2000 general elections. Nonetheless, PNȚCD and other parties ran on the CDR 2000 common list for these elections. The alliance did not manage to score the same positive results as during the 1990s and, consequently, shortly disbanded since it did not pass the electoral threshold.

Electoral performance[edit]

Election Votes % Chamber Senate Position Government
1992 2,210,722 20.16
82 / 341
34 / 143
2nd Opposition
1996 3,772,084 30.70
122 / 343
53 / 143
1st Grand Coalition
2000 575,706 5.30
0 / 345
0 / 140
6th Extra-parliamentary opposition

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roper, Steven D. (Winter 1997). "From Opposition To Government Coalition: Unity And Fragmentation Within The Democratic Convention Of Romania". East European Quarterly. 31 (4): 519. 

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dan Pavel, Iulia Huia, <<Nu putem reuşi decît împreună.>> O istorie analitică a Convenţiei Democratice, 1989-2000, Editura Polirom, Iaşi, 2003
  • Roper, Steven D., <<From Opposition to Government Coalition: Unity and Fragmentation within the Democratic Convention of Romania.>>, East European Quarterly, 1997. Vol. 31, 4: 519-542.