Social Democratic Party (Romania)
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The Social Democratic Party (Romanian: Partidul Social Democrat, PSD) is the major social-democratic political party in Romania. The largest party in Parliament with initially 63 seats in the Senate and 158 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, it also has the largest number of mayors, local and county councilors and county presidents thus being the biggest and most influential political force in the country. PSD was formed in 1992, after the post-communist National Salvation Front broke apart. It adopted its present name after a merger with a minor social-democratic party in 2001. Since its formation, it has always been one of the two dominant parties of the country. The Social Democratic Party governed Romania from 1992 to 1996, also from 2000 to 2004 and currently does so since 7 May 2012, initially alongside allied-parties in the Social Liberal Union until February 2014. PSD founder Ion Iliescu became President of the Republic, in office from the end of Communism in 1989 to 1996, and again from 2000 to 2004.
The current president of the PSD is Liviu Dragnea, acting as interim leader of the party after incumbent Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta stepped down, on 12 July 2015, determined by corruption charges and health problems.
On 7 April 1992, the struggle for power inside the National Salvation Front (Romanian: Frontul Salvării Naţionale, FSN) between the more hard-line group led by Ion Iliescu and the more reformist group led by Petre Roman resulted in the Iliescu group withdrawing from FSN and the founding of the Democratic National Salvation Front (Romanian: Frontul Democrat al Salvării Naţionale, FDSN), which would later become the present-day PSD.
FDSN won the 1992 elections and went on to govern Romania until 1996. On 10 July 1993 it took the name of Party of Social Democracy in Romania (Romanian: Partidul Democraţiei Sociale in România, PDSR) upon merger with the Socialist Democratic Party of Romania (PDSR), the Republican Party and the Cooperative Party.
From 1994 to 1996 the PDSR ruled in coalition with three extremist parties - the right-wing Romanian National Unity Party (PUNR) and Greater Romania Party (PRM), and the left-wing Socialist Party of Labour. PUNR had ministers in the cabinet chaired by Nicolae Văcăroiu from March 1994 to September 1996. PRM was not present at the Cabinet, but was given some posts in the State administration. The PDSR lost the 1996 election, which was won by the multi-party coalition Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR).
In November 2000 the PDSR was back in power, this time in a coalition named the Social Democratic Pole of Romania along with the Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR) and the Romanian Humanist Party (PUR). PSDR merged with PDSR on 16 January 2001, and the resulting party took its present name, PSD.
In November 2004, Adrian Năstase, the PSD candidate, won the first round of the presidential elections but did not have a majority and had to go to a second round of voting, which he lost to Traian Băsescu of the Justice and Truth alliance, who is therefore the current president. In the legislative elections of 2004, the PSD gained the largest share of the vote but because it did not have a majority, all the other major parties formed the Justice and Truth Alliance, which managed to gain a parliamentary majority and is currently in government, consigning the PSD to opposition.
Considered a young reformer, Geoană was elected president of the party in April 2005 by delegates at a PSD Party Congress held in Bucharest. His victory represented a surprise defeat for former President Ion Iliescu, who was expected to defeat Geoană handily. Geoană's win was attributed by the media to last minute backroom dealing by party leaders opposed to Iliescu as well as to public gaffes made by Iliescu at the Party Congress, including using allegedly old communist terms when referring to his party colleagues.
In February 2010, the Congress elected Victor Ponta as president.
On 6 February 2011, the PSD formed a political alliance known as the Social Liberal Union (USL) with the Conservative Party and National Liberal Party. The USL was disbanded on 25 February 2014 with exit of the National Liberal Party which immediately entered opposition.
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Leadership of FSN, FDSN, PDSR and PSD
- Ion Iliescu 1990–1992; (FSN)
- Oliviu Gherman 1992–1996; (FDSN/PDSR)
- Ion Iliescu 1997–2000; (PDSR)
- Adrian Năstase 2000–2005 (acting to 2001); (PDSR/PSD)
- Mircea Geoană 2005–2010; (PSD)
- Victor Ponta 2010–2015; (PSD)
- Rovana Plumb 2015 (acting); (PSD)
- Liviu Dragnea 2015 (acting); (PSD)
- Adrian Năstase 1993–1997
- Octav Cozmâncă 2003–2005
- Adrian Năstase 2005–2006
- Dan Mircea Popescu 2005–2006, when the office was dissolved (nominated Ad interim after the resignation of Adrian Năstase from the office)
- Liviu Dragnea 2013–2015
- Ecaterina Andronescu, Minister of Education
- Titus Corlățean, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice
- Liviu Dragnea, Secretary General of PSD, Deputy Prime Minister of Romania
- Viorel Hrebenciuc
- Ion Iliescu, President of Romania, Honorary President of PSD
- George Maior, Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service
- Adrian Năstase, Prime Minister of Romania, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Robert Negoiță, Mayor of the 3rd Sector of Bucharest
- Rovana Plumb, MEP, Minister of Environment, Minister of Labour
- Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania
- Ilie Sârbu, President of the Senate
- Dan Șova, Minister of Transport
- Mircea Geoană, President of the Senate, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Sorin Oprescu, Mayor of Bucharest
- Marian Vanghelie, Mayor of the 5th Sector of Bucharest
- Radu Mazăre, Mayor of Constanța
- Sergiu Nicolaescu, director, screenwriter, actor
Political opponents have criticised PSD for harbouring former Romanian Communist Party officials, and for allegedly attempting to control the Romanian mass media. A number of its current or former senior members have also been accused of corruption, interfering in the judiciary and using their political positions for personal enrichment.
Alleged text transcripts of PSD meetings surfaced on an anonymous Web site just before the 2004 Romanian presidential election. Năstase and his ministers are shown talking about political involvement in corruption trials of the government's members, or involvement in suppressing "disobedient" media. Năstase stated that the transcripts were fake, but several party members, including former PSD president and former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoană, have said they are indeed genuine. Geoană later retracted his statement.
Politicians of the party have occasionally employed "utilitarian anti-Semitism". This means that politicians who may usually not be anti-Semites played off certain anti-Semitic prejudices, in order to serve their political necessities. PSD Senator Dan Şova, at the time party spokesman, claimed, on 5 March 2012, on the Money Channel that "no Jew suffered on Romanian territory, thanks to marshal Antonescu." Elie Wiesel National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania expressed its deep disagreement and indignation over the statements of the spokesman of the party. Following public outcry, Şova retracted his statement and issued a public apology. Nevertheless, the chairman of the party, Victor Ponta, announced his removal from the office of party spokesman.
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- "'Elie Wiesel' Institute in Romania criticizes Senator Sova for statements made on a TV channel". actmedia.eu. Retrieved 07-03-2012. Check date values in:
- "Sozi-Chef Ponta enthebt Parteisprecher Sova zeitweilig des Amtes wegen Holocaust-Leugnung" (in German). punkto.ro. Retrieved 07-03-2012. Check date values in: