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Democratic Party (Romania)

The Democratic Party (Romanian: Partidul Democrat, PD) was a social-democratic and, later, a centre-right political party in Romania. In January 2008, it merged with the Liberal Democratic Party, a splinter group of the National Liberal Party, to form the Democratic Liberal Party.

Democratic Party

Partidul Democrat
PresidentPetre Roman (1993–2000)
Traian Băsescu (2000–2004)
Emil Boc (2004–2007)
Founded1993
Dissolved15 December 2007
Preceded byNational Salvation Front
Merged intoDemocratic Liberal Party
IdeologyBefore 2005
Social democracy[1]
Democratic socialism
After 2005
Christian democracy
Liberal conservatism[2]
Political positionBefore 2005
Centre-left to left-wing
After 2005
Centre-right
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (1996-2005)
European People's Party (2005–2007)
International affiliationSocialist International (1996–2005)
CoalitionJustice and Truth Alliance (2004–2007)

From 1996 to 2005 the party was a member of the Socialist International. From 2004 to 2007 the PD was the junior member of the governing Justice and Truth Alliance, although according to many Romanian opinion polls it remained the most popular of the two parties. Although he had to formally suspend his leadership of the party when elected president in 2004, the PD was largely associated with Romanian president Traian Băsescu.

HistoryEdit

Conflict broke out between FSN leaders Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman in early 1992, and this led to the separation of the Iliescu wing under the name of Democratic National Salvation Front (FDSN), which later became the Social Democratic Party (PSD).[3]

FSN was defeated by the FDSN in the 1992 legislative election and spent the next four years in opposition. In 1993 the FSN changed its name to the Democratic Party (PD). In the 1996 legislative election, the PD ran jointly with the now-defunct Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR), under the Social Democratic Union (USD) banner. After having ranked third, they joined a governing coalition with the Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) and the ethnic Hungarian party Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR).[4] From 2000 to 2004 PD has been again in opposition.

In advance of the 2004 elections the PD joined forces with the National Liberal Party (PNL) to create the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), whose main purpose was to fight the all-dominating PSD. The DA managed to win around 32% of the votes in both Chambers, not enough for a majority and about 6% less than the PSD. Together with its Liberal allies, the UDMR and the Conservative Party (PC), the PD was part of the governing coalition until April 2007.

During a congress in 2005, PD members voted in favour of joining the European People's Party (EPP) and abandoning the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the Socialist International (SI). In the same year Petre Roman left the party and together with his followers formed the Democratic Force (FD).

From mid-2005, the PD's relations with the PNL became strained due to an ongoing open conflict between Băsescu and Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who was also the chairman of the PNL. After his presidential victory in 2004, Băsescu appointed Tăriceanu as prime minister. Although he wanted to, he could not constitutionally dismiss him; at least, it took him a while. On 1 April 2007, Tăriceanu dismissed the ministers of PD and formed a minority government.[5]

On 15 December 2007 the PD was merged with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) to form the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL).

Ideology and policiesEdit

The political doctrine of the Democratic Party shifted from social democracy to centrism and greater conservatism since 2004, combined with economic liberalism and reformism. The party supported a consolidation of the free market and is supportive of Romania's flat tax rate of 16%. The party also supported reforming the Romanian Constitution in order to bring about a decentralisation in administration and give greater power to the eight development regions.

In terms of European politics, the Democratic Party:

  • Supports EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
  • Supports EU membership for Turkey, as long as it satisfies membership criteria
  • Supports the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the EU
  • Supports the Treaty of Lisbon
  • Believes that the European Parliament should have greater power
  • Opposes a reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
  • Supports a common EU migration policy
  • Supports a common EU defence and security policy
  • Supports a partnership between the US and the EU, where the EU is an "equal and critical" partner.

Notable membersEdit

In 2007, out of 54 members of the PD group in Chamber of Deputies, 14 were not elected on PD electoral list:

  • 7 came from Greater Romania Party (William Gabriel Brânzǎ, Bogdan Catargiu, Alexandru Ciocâlteu, Dan Grigore, Dănuţ Liga, Nati Meir, Dumitru Puzdrea)
  • 4 came from Social Democratic Party (Constantin Amarie, Obuf Cătălin Ovidiu Buhǎianu, Gheorghe Sârb, Mugurel Liviu Sârbu,)
  • 3 came from Conservative Party (Dumitru Becşenescu, Graţiela Denisa Iordache, Constantin Tudor)

Electoral historyEdit

Legislative electionsEdit

Election Votes Percentage Chamber Senate Position Government
1992 1,139,033 10.38%
(as FSN)
43 / 341
18 / 143
 3rd 
(as FSN)

Opposition
1996 1,617,384 13.16%
(as USD)1
43 / 343
22 / 143
 3rd  (as USD)1 Coalition
2000 825,437 7.58%
31 / 345
13 / 140
 3rd  Opposition
2004 3,250,663 31.77%
(as DA)
48 / 332
21 / 137
 2nd 
(as DA)
Coalition

Notes:

1 USD stands for 'Uniunea Social Democrată' which was a political alliance that competed in the 1996 Romanian general election along with the Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR).

Presidential electionsEdit

Election Candidate First round Second round
Votes Percentage Position Votes Percentage Position
1996 Petre Roman 2,598,545
20.5%
 3rd 
2000 Petre Roman 334,852
3.0%
 6th 
2004 Traian Băsescu1 3,545,236
33.9%
 2nd  5,126,794
51.2%
 1st 

Notes:

1 Traian Băsescu was the common centre-right candidate that was supported by the PD in 2004 as part of the Justice and Truth Alliance (D.A.) alongside the now enlarged National Liberal Party (PNL).

European electionsEdit

Election Votes Percentage MEPs Position Political group
2007 1,476,105 28.8%
13 / 35
 1st  European People's Party (EPP)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ {[cite web|url=http://www.parties-and-elections.de/romania.html%7Carchiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20041130083940/http://www.parties-and-elections.de:80/romania.html%7Curl-status=dead%7Carchivedate=30 November 2004|date=2004|title=Romania|website=Parties and Elections in Europe|last=Nordsieck|first=Wolfram}}
  2. ^ {[cite web|url=http://www.parties-and-elections.de/romania.html%7Carchiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20060430101020/http://www.parties-and-elections.de:80/romania.html%7Curl-status=dead%7Carchivedate=30 April 2006|date=2004|title=Romania|website=Parties and Elections in Europe|last=Nordsieck|first=Wolfram}}
  3. ^ Roper, p.70
  4. ^ Roper, p.79
  5. ^ "Romania's prime minister names new Cabinet of minority government", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), April 2, 2007.

BibliographyEdit

  • Ioan, Scurtu ş.a., "Enciclopedia partidelor politice din România 1859-2003", Editura Meronia, Bucureşti, 2003.
  • Florin-Vasile, Şomlea, "Partidele populare din ţările Uniunii Europene", Editura Cartimpex, Cluj-Napoca, 2007.