1996 Romanian general election

General elections were held in Romania on 3 November 1996, with a second round of the presidential election on 17 November.[1]

1996 Romanian general election

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Presidential election
3 November 1996 (first round)
17 November 1996 (second round)
Turnout76.01% (first round)
75.90% (second round)
  EConstantinescu.JPG Ion Iliescu (2004).jpg
Nominee Emil Constantinescu Ion Iliescu
Party PNŢCD Independent
Alliance CDR PDSR
Popular vote 7,057,906 5,914,579
Percentage 54.41% 45.59%

President before election

Ion Iliescu

Elected President

Emil Constantinescu

Parliamentary election
3 November 1996

All 143 seats in the Senate
All 343 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
Party Leader % Seats +/–
Chamber of Deputies
CDR Emil Constantinescu 30.17 122 +40
PDSR Ion Iliescu 21.52 91 -26
USD Petre Roman 12.93 53 +10
UDMR Béla Markó 6.64 27 -2
PRM Corneliu Vadim Tudor 4.46 19 +3
PUNR Gheorghe Funar 4.36 18 -12
Minority parties 1.67 15 +2
CDR Emil Constantinescu 30.70 53 +19
PDSR Ion Iliescu 23.08 41 -8
USD Petre Roman 13.16 23 +5
UDMR Béla Markó 6.82 11 -1
PRM Corneliu Vadim Tudor 4.54 8 +2
PUNR Gheorghe Funar 4.22 7 -7
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Prime Minister before Prime Minister-designate
Nicolae Văcăroiu Nicolae Văcăroiu
Victor Ciorbea
Victor Ciorbea

Opinion polls prior to the elections suggested incumbent President Ion Iliescu of the Social Democracy Party of Romania (PDSR, formerly the Democratic National Salvation Front) would win a third term, though it was believed a large field of candidates would push him into a runoff.[2] Iliescu received the most votes in the first round, just ahead of his 1992 runoff opponent, Emil Constantinescu of the Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR).

In the second round, Constantinescu defeated Iliescu with 54 percent of the vote. Iliescu conceded defeat soon after the polls closed.[3] Constantinescu took office on 29 November, marking the first peaceful transfer of power since the fall of Communism. To date, it is the only time since the introduction of direct presidential elections that an incumbent president has been defeated when running for re-election.

The CDR, a broad coalition of parties opposing the governing centre-left PDSR, also emerged as the largest bloc in Parliament, winning 122 of the 343 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 53 of the 143 seats in the Senate.

Presidential candidatesEdit

Name Lifespan Public Administration Experience Affiliation and endorsements Alma mater and profession Candidacy
Announcement dates
Emil Constantinescu
Born: 19 November 1939
(age 56)
Tighina (de jure, Republic of Moldova; de facto Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic)
Rector of University of Bucharest (1992–election day)
Former presidential election:
1992: 31.1% (2nd place, 1st round), 38.6% (2nd place, 2nd round)
Affiliation: CDR Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest (1960)
Faculty of Geology, University of Bucharest (1966)

geology professor
Ion Iliescu
Born: 3 March 1930
(age 66)
Oltenița, Călărași County
President of Romania (1989–election day)
President of Water Surfaces Management Council (1979–1984)
Member of the State Council (full member: 1979–1980, observative: 1974–1979)
President of Iași County Council (1974–1979)
Vice-President of Timiș County Council (1971–1974)
Minister of Youth (1967–1971)
Deputy (1957–1961, 1965–1973, 1975–1985)
Former presidential elections:
1992: 47.2% (1st place, 1st round), 61.4% (winner, 2nd round)
1990: 85.1% (winner)
Affiliation: PDSR Energy Institute, Moscow State University (1954)

fluid mechanics engineer,
publishing house manager
Petre Roman
Born: 22 July 1946
(age 50)
Deputy (1990–election day)
Prime Minister of Romania (1989–1991)
Affiliation: Social Democratic Union
Alliance members: PD and PSDR
Faculty of Energy, Politehnica University of Bucharest (1968)

hydroelectric powerplant engineer
György Frunda
Born: 22 July 1951
(age 45)
Târgu Mureș, Mureș County
Senator (1992–election day) Affiliation: UDMR Faculty of Law, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (1974)

Corneliu Vadim Tudor
Born: 28 November 1949
(age 46)
Died 14 September 2015, Bucharest
Senator (1992–election day) Affiliation: PRM Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest (1971)

journalist, writer
Gheorghe Funar
Born: 29 September 1949
(age 47)
Sânnicolau Mare, Timiș County
Mayor of Cluj-Napoca (1992–election day)
Former presidential election:
1992: 10.8% (3rd place, 1st round)
Affiliation: PUNR Faculty of Economics and Business Management, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (unknown year)

Tudor Mohora
Born: 6 October 1950
(age 46)
Bogdana, Teleorman County
Deputy (1992–election day) Affiliation: Socialist Party Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest (1974)

chemistry teacher
Nicolae Manolescu
Born: 27 November 1939
(age 56)
Râmnicu Vâlcea, Vâlcea County
Senator (1992–election day) Affiliation: National Liberal Alliance Faculty of Philology, University of Bucharest (1962)

writer, book critic
Adrian Păunescu
Born: 20 July 1943
(age 53)
Copăceni, Sîngerei District, Republic of Moldova
Died 5 October 2010, Bucharest
Senator (1992–election day) Affiliation: PSM Faculty of Philology, University of Bucharest (1968)

Ioan Pop de Popa
Born: 6 October 1927
(age 69)
Oradea, Bihor County
Deputy (1965–1973) Affiliation: Center National Union Faculty of Medicine, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (1952)

George Muntean
Born: 17 November 1932
(age 63)
Bilca, Suceava County
Affiliation: Retirees Party Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest (1959)

historian, journalist
Radu Câmpeanu
Born: 28 February 1922
(age 74), Bucharest
Died 19 October 2016, Bucharest
Former presidential election:
1990: 10.6% (2nd place)
Affiliation: National Liberal-Ecologist Alliance Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest (1945)
Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Bucharest (1947)

Nuțu Anghelina
Born: 16 April 1956
(age 40)
Buhuși, Bacău County
Affiliation: none Faculty of Orthodox Theology, unknown university (1986)

orthodox priest
Constantin Mudava
Born: 8 April 1935
(age 61)
Ghirdoveni, Dâmbovița County
Died 1 November 2018, Târgoviște
Affiliation: none unknown education

holistic healer
Constantin Niculescu
Born: 18 May 1940
(age 56)
Râmnicu Vâlcea, Vâlcea County
Affiliation: National Party of Motorists Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Transilvania University of Brașov (1960)

mechanical engineer
Nicolae Militaru
Born: 10 November 1925
(age 70)
Bălești, Gorj County
Died 27 December 1996, Bucharest
Minister of Defence (1989–1990)
Deputy Minister for Industrial Constructions (1978–1984)
Deputy (1969–1975)
Affiliation: none Frunze Military Academy, Moscow (unknown year)




Presidential election – First round
Presidential election – Second round

Petre Roman, György Frunda, Gheorghe Funar and Nicolae Manolescu openly endorsed Constantinescu in the second round. Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Tudor Mohora and Adrian Păunescu openly endorsed Iliescu.

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Emil ConstantinescuRomanian Democratic Convention3,569,94128.217,057,90654.41
Ion IliescuParty of Social Democracy in Romania4,081,09332.255,914,57945.59
Petre RomanDemocratic Party2,598,54520.54
György FrundaDemocratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania761,4116.02
Corneliu Vadim TudorGreater Romania Party597,5084.72
Gheorghe FunarRomanian National Unity Party407,8283.22
Tudor MohoraSocialist Party160,3871.27
Nicolae ManolescuNational Liberal Alliance90,1220.71
Adrian PăunescuSocialist Party of Labour87,1630.69
Ion Pop de PopaHumanist Party59,7520.47
George MunteanIndependent54,2180.43
Radu CâmpeanuNational Liberal Ecologist Alliance43,7800.35
Nuțu AnghelinaIndependent43,3190.34
Constantin MudavaIndependent39,4770.31
Constantin NiculescuNational Party of Drivers30,0450.24
Nicolae MilitaruIndependent28,3180.22
Valid votes12,652,90796.6712,972,48599.19
Invalid/blank votes435,4813.33106,3980.81
Total votes13,088,388100.0013,078,883100.00
Registered voters/turnout17,218,65476.0117,230,65475.90
Source: Nohlen & Stöver



Romanian Democratic Convention3,772,08430.705319
Party of Social Democracy in Romania2,836,01123.0841−8
Social Democratic Union (PSDRPD)1,617,38413.1623+5
Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania837,7606.8211−1
Greater Romania Party558,0264.548+2
Romanian National Unity Party518,9624.227−7
Socialist Party277,1042.260New
Socialist Party of Labour265,6592.160−5
National Liberal Alliance236,1321.920New
Party of Pensioners of Romania178,6541.450New
Romanian Socialist Party of Workers163,5821.330New
National Union of the Centre118,8590.970New
National Peasant Party86,7460.7100
National Liberal Ecologist Alliance86,3590.700New
Party of the Roma80,6220.6600
Roma Union72,6480.590New
National Christian Democratic Party65,9320.540New
National Party of the Motorists57,6440.470New
Romanian Working Party49,3250.400New
Free Republican Party36,8770.3000
New Romania Party35,0270.290New
Ecological Convention Party of Romania33,8880.280New
Party of Reunification–Dacian-Latian Option28,6220.230New
Christian Democratic Union23,6560.1900
Party for the Motherland21,2950.170New
Party of Former Non-Communists and Political Prisoners20,9890.170New
Party of Social Protection of Romania20,9720.170New
Republican Party20,2730.1600
Romanian Socialist Party18,8340.150New
Hungarian Free Democratic Party of Romania12,1030.100New
Party of Private Entrepreneurs–Social Democratic Party11,6270.090New
Party of the Revival of Romania 'Ion Mihalache'9,1110.070New
Community of the Roma Ethnicity in Romania6,0730.050New
Liberal Christian Party5,9330.050New
Party of the Romanian Revolution2,9380.020New
Union of the Roma, Constanța County7630.010New
Party of Democratic Solidarity2990.000New
Valid votes12,287,67193.88
Invalid/blank votes800,7176.12
Total votes13,088,388100.00
Registered voters/turnout17,218,65476.01
Source: Nohlen & Stöver, University of Essex

Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) members included the PNȚ-CD, PNL, PNL-CD (1 senator), PAR (3 senators), PER (1 senator), Ecologist Federation of Romania (FER) (1 senator).

Chamber of DeputiesEdit

Romanian Democratic Convention3,692,32130.1712240
Party of Social Democracy in Romania2,633,86021.5291−26
Social Democratic Union (PSDRPD)1,582,23112.9353+10
Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania812,6286.6425−2
Greater Romania Party546,4304.4619+3
Romanian National Unity Party533,3484.3618−12
Socialist Party280,3642.290New
Socialist Party of Labour262,5632.150−13
Romanian Socialist Party of Workers212,3031.730New
National Liberal Alliance192,4951.570New
Party of Pensioners of Romania175,6761.440New
National Union of the Centre106,0690.870New
National Peasant Party102,8310.8400
National Liberal Ecologist Alliance96,4120.790New
Party of the Roma82,1950.6710
Roma Union71,0200.580New
National Democratic Christian Party69,3800.5700
National Party of the Motorists56,3870.460New
Romanian Working Party50,0110.410New
New Romania Party33,6720.280New
Free Republican Party29,5760.2400
Ecological Convention Party of Romania27,5440.230New
Party of Reunification–Dacian-Latin Option25,6200.210New
Democratic Forum of Germans23,8880.2010
Party of Former Non-Communists and Political Prisoners21,0600.170New
Christian Democratic Union19,6930.1600
Party for the Motherland17,8410.150New
Republican Party17,1900.1400
Party of Social Protection of Romania16,7620.140New
Hungarian Free Democratic Party of Romania14,3330.120New
Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania12,7460.101New
Party of Private Entrepreneurs–Social Democratic Party11,9900.100New
Community of the Lipovan Russians11,9020.1010
Union of Armenians of Romania11,5430.0910
Italian Community of Romania11,4540.0910
Liberal Christian Party10,3450.080New
Association of Italians of Romania9,8330.080New
Romanian Socialist Party9,1030.070New
Cultural Union of Albanians of Romania8,7220.071New
Hellenic Union of Romania8,4630.0710
Party of the Revival of Romania 'Ion Mihalache'7,7510.060New
Party of the Romanian Revolution7,3400.060New
Union of the Ukrainians of Romania7,1650.0610
Democratic Union of Serbs and Carasovenians in Romania6,8510.0610
Democratic Union of Slovaks and Czechs of Romania6,5310.0510
Democratic Union of Turkish-Muslim Tatars6,3190.0510
Bratstvo Community of Bulgarians in Romania5,3590.041New
Community of the Roma Ethnicity in Romania5,2270.040New
Democratic Turkish Union of Romania4,3260.0410
Democratic Union of Ukrainians in Romania4,1320.030New
Bulgarian Union of Banat–Romania4,1150.030−1
Forum of the Szeklers Youth2,1420.020New
Union of Poles of Romania1,8420.0210
Federation of Italians in Romania1,7110.010New
Hellenic Union of Romania–Prahova Hellenic Community1,5090.010New
Party of Democratic Solidarity1,3520.010New
Community of Italians from Galați7910.010New
Community of Italians from Pitești6950.010New
General Union of the Associations of the Huțul Ethnicity6460.010New
Union of the Roma, Constanța County6400.010New
Union of Croats of Romania4860.0000
Social Cultural Association in Romania4390.000New
Italian Community – Prahova County4370.000New
Federation of Italians in Romania – Italian Community Ovidius Constanta3110.000New
Valid votes12,238,74693.51
Invalid/blank votes849,6426.49
Total votes13,088,388100.00
Registered voters/turnout17,218,65476.01
Source: Nohlen & Stöver, University of Essex


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1591 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Jane Perlez (3 November 1996). "Romanians Vote Today, But Change Isn't Likely". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Jane Perlez (18 November 1996). "Non-Communist Is Elected Romania's Leader". The New York Times.