Elections in Romania

Coat of arms of Romania
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Romania elects on a national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people (after a change from four-year terms after the 2004 election). The Romanian Parliament (Parlamentul României) has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (Camera Deputaţilor) has currently 412 members (after the next legislative elections 330 members),[1] elected for a four-year term by mixed member proportional representation (at the next elections by party-list proportional representation on closed lists). The Senate (Senatul) has currently 176 members (after the next legislative elections 136 members),[1] elected for a four-year term by mixed member proportional representation (at the next elections by party-list proportional representation on closed lists).

Romania has a multi-party system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

In 2007, for the first time, Romanians elected their representatives to the European Parliament. The date for these elections was 25 November. See also European Parliament election, 2007.

Electoral system


The President is elected in a two-round system for a five-year term. If one candidate obtains a majority of 50%+1 of all registered voters in the first round, he or she is declared the winner. If none of the candidates achieve this, then a run-off is held between the two contenders with the top scores in the first round. The candidate who obtains any majority of votes in the run-off is declared the winner.

The term of the president is five years. Between 1992 and 2004 the term was of four years, but was increased following the 2003 Constitutional referendum. One person can serve a maximum of two terms, that may be consecutive.

In order to be able to run for the Office of President a candidate must fulfill the following conditions: be at least 35 years of age (at least on the day of the election), and not have held the office for two terms since 1992, when the 1991 Constitution took effect.[2]


The former electoral colleges of the constituencies for the Chamber of Deputies
The former electoral colleges of the constituencies for the Senate

The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate are elected in constituencies, by universal, equal, direct, secret, and freely expressed suffrage, on the basis of a list system and independent candidatures, according to the principle of closed party list proportional representation. The option for an identical election system of the two Chambers of Parliament confers them the same legitimacy, as both of them are the expression of the will of the same electoral body.

The two Chambers have different numbers of members: the Chamber of Deputies is composed of 330 Deputies, and the Senate of 136 Senators. This differentiation is possible owing to the legal provision of a representation norm differing from one Chamber to the other and due to the seats allotted to the national minorities (a seat in the Chamber of Deputies for each minority) and to the Romanians living abroad (4 seats in the Chamber and 2 in the Senate). Thus, for the election of the Chamber of Deputies the representation norm is of one Deputy to 73,000 inhabitants,[3] and for the election of the Senate, of one Senator to 168,000 inhabitants.[3]

The number of Deputies and Senators to be elected in each constituency is determined on the basis of the representation norm, by relating the number of inhabitants in each constituency to the representation norm. There are 43 constituencies: 1 for each county and the Municipality of Bucharest, and 1 for the Romanians living abroad.[3] In a constituency, the number of Deputies cannot be less than four, and that of Senators, less than two. The number of inhabitants taken into account is that existing on 1 January of the previous year,[3] published in the Statistical Yearbook of Romania. If, at least five months before the election date, a general census has taken place, the number of inhabitants taken into account is that resulting from the census.

The electoral threshold is for parties or candidates running individually 5% on national level or 20% in at least 4 constituencies, and 8-10% for coalitions or electoral alliances.[3]

The Constitution of Romania and the Election Law grant to legally constituted organizations of citizens belonging to national minorities, in case these could not obtain at the election at least one Deputy or Senator mandate, the right to a Deputy mandate, if they have obtained throughout the country a number of votes equal to at least 5% out of the average number of votes validly expressed throughout the country for the election of one Deputy.

The mandates assigned, under the conditions of the Election Law, to organizations of citizens belonging to national minorities are added to the Deputy mandates resulted from the representation norm.

European Parliament

To elect the 32 MEPs (35 MEPs between 2007 and 2009, 33 between 2009 and 2014), Romania is considered a single constituency. The system used is closed party list proportional representation, with a 5% threshold of the votes.

Local elections

To elect the mayors the first past the post is used. The candidate who wins most of the votes is declared elected.

For the office of Presidents of the County Councils, between 2008 and 2012, the first pass the post system was used. Until 2008 and again since 2016,[4] the County Council Presidents have been indirectly elected by each County Council.

To elect the Local and County Councils, the closed party list proportional representation, with a 5% threshold of the votes at the constituency level (city, commune or county).

Voting procedures

Irrespective of the type of election, the vote is done by using paper and manual counting. The voter is required to prove his/hers identity using the Identity card (or the previous version, the Identity bulletin), or, for special reasons, the military ID or the passport. After (s)he signs in the permanent, supplemental, or special electoral list, (s)he is handed a voting ballot (buletin de vot) and a stamp that reads VOTAT YYYY TTT (voted); YYYY stands for the year the election is held, and TTT for the type of elections to be held: L for local elections (including partial), PE for European Parliament election, R for referendums (R.V.U. was used in 2007). For the general election, up to now, there was no additional type indicator, as it is granted most importance.

For the local and parliamentary elections, the voter can vote only at the polling station where (s)he has the permanent address (domiciliu), or the temporary residence (flotant) at least three months old. For the local election, the Romanians outside Romania cannot vote. For the parliamentary election they vote the candidates for the 43rd constituency. For the European Parliament and presidential elections the voters can vote at a different pooling station than the local and parliamentary elections, but only if (s)he is not in the home-town the voting day. At the next legislative election the Romanian electors residing abroad will be able to cast their vote via mail.[5]

The voting ballot is printed on newspaper paper, monochrome. All the candidates (or the full candidate list) are listed in a lottery type established order (first the parliamentary parties, than the non-parliamentary parties, and at the end, the independent candidates), each in a clearly designated rectangular that consists of the full party name, the candidate (or full list) and the party logo. Voters express their choice by stamping the rectangle of the party or independent candidate (s)he wishes to vote for. For referendums the same voting procedure is used. Each of the two options (YES – DA and NO – NU) are in a 5×5 cm square, YES on top and NO at the bottom, and the question voted for in the middle of the voting ballot.

Future elections

Election schedule

Election type Date Second round date
Legislative 11 December 2016
European Spring 2019
Presidential November/December 2019 November/December 2019
if needed

Latest elections


 Summary of the 2 November and 16 November 2014 Romanian presidential election results
Candidates First round Runoff
Candidate Sustaining alliance or party Votes % Votes %
Klaus Iohannis Christian Liberal Alliance (PNLPDL) 2,881,406 30.37% 6,288,769 54.43%
Victor Ponta PSDUNPRPC Alliance[a] 3,836,093 40.44% 5,264,383 45.56%
Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu Independent[b] 508,572 5.36%
Elena Udrea PMPPNȚCD Alliance 493,376 5.20%
Monica Macovei Independent 421,648 4.44%
Dan Diaconescu People's Party – Dan Diaconescu 382,526 4.03%
Corneliu Vadim Tudor Greater Romania Party 349,416 3.68%
Hunor Kelemen Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania 329,727 3.47%
Teodor Meleșcanu Independent 104,131 1.09%
Zsolt Szilágyi Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania 53,146 0.56%
Gheorghe Funar Independent 45,405 0.47%
William Brînză Romanian Ecologist Party 43,194 0.45%
Constantin Rotaru Socialist Alternative Party 28,805 0.30%
Mirel Mircea Amariței PRODEMO Party 7,895 0.08%
Total valid votes 9,485,340 100.00% 11,553,152 100.00%
Invalid/blank votes 237,761 2.44% 166,111 1.41%
Turnout 9,723,232 53.17% 11,719,344 64.10%
Registered voters 18,284,066[c] 18,280,994[c]
  1. ^ Alternatively it is known as Social Democratic Union (USD). Legally this alliance could not use this name, as it belonged to an alliance between Democratic Party and Romanian Social Democratic Party.
  2. ^ The legal requirements for the registration of the Liberal Reformist Party were not fulfilled in due time for this election. As a result, Tăriceanu ran as an independent.
  3. ^ According to the Central Electoral Bureau.[6][7]
Source: Biroul Electoral Central; Biroul Electoral Central; Biroul Electoral Central

European Parliament

Elections were marked by the splitting of the Social Liberal Union (USL) two months earlier. The National Liberal Party ran alone, while the former allies (Social Democratic Party, National Union for the Progress of Romania, and Conservative Party) ran as an alliance that they tried to name Social Democratic Union (USD); legal provisions made this impossible. These were the first elections for the People's Movement Party, and the last for the Democratic Liberal Party, and the Civic Force, as later in 2014 they merged into the National Liberal Party.

 Summary of the June 2014 European Parliament election results in Romania
Party No. of
Votes Elected Change
in seats
% of seats % of votes
National Party EU Party EP Group
Social Democratic Union
(Uniunea Social Democrată)
PES S&D 42 2,093,237 16 Increase 5 50% 37.60%
National Liberal Party
(Partidul Naţional Liberal)
ALDE ALDE Group 42 835,531 6 Increase 1 15.00%
Democratic Liberal Party[a]
(Partidul Democrat Liberal)
EPP EPP Group 42 680,853 5 Decrease 5 12.23%
Independent candidate: Mircea Diaconu ALDE 1 379,582 1 Increase 1 6.81%
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
(Uniunea Democrată a Maghiarilor din România)
EPP EPP Group 41 350,689 2 Decrease 1 6.29%
People's Movement Party
(Partidul Mișcarea Populară)[b]
EPP Group 41 345,973 2 Increase 2 6.21%
People's Party – Dan Diaconescu
(Partidul Poporului – Dan Diaconescu)
No MEPs 204,310 3.67%
Greater Romania Party
(Partidul România Mare)
NI 150,484 Decrease 3 2.70%
Civic Force
(Forța Civică)
No MEPs 145,181 2.60%
Ecologist Party of Romania
(Partidul Ecologist Român)
No MEPs 64,232 1.15%
Total: 18,221,061 expected voters (turnout 5,911,794 – 32.44%) 4,899,383 32 Decrease 1 100 % 100 %
Source: Summary of results


  1. ^ Elena Băsescu re-joined PD-L after the exit-poll results where published in 2009.
  2. ^ Defectors from Democratic Liberal Party.


The Social Liberal Union (USL) won the general election with over 60% of the most seats in both houses of Parliament.

This election generated a Parliament with 117 seats more than in the pre-election Chamber of Deputies and Senate.

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Social Liberal Union4,457,52660.10122+45
Right Romania Alliance1,239,31816.7124–27
People's Party – Dan Diaconescu1,086,82214.6521New
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania388,5285.2490
Greater Romania Party109,1421.4700
Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania58,7650.790New
Ecologist Party of Romania58,3350.7900
People's Party11,6810.1600
Socialist Alliance Party2,1710.0300
Popular and Social Protection Party2,1000.0300
Workers' Social Democratic Party1,3800.0200
National Democratic Christian Party1320.0000
Invalid/blank votes276,948
Registered voters/turnout18,423,06641.76
Source: BEC
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Social Liberal Union4,344,28858.63273+94
Right Romania Alliance1,223,18916.5156–59
People's Party – Dan Diaconescu1,036,73013.9947New
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania380,6565.1418–4
Greater Romania Party92,3821.2500
Ecologist Party of Romania58,1780.7900
Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania47,9550.650New
Democratic Forum of Germans39,1750.5310
Party of the Roma22,1240.3010
Association of Macedonians of Romania12,2120.1610
Union of Armenians of Romania10,7610.1510
Bulgarian Union of Banat–Romania10,1550.1410
Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania10,0190.1410
League of Albanians of Romania10,0100.1410
Hellenic Union of Romania9,8630.1310
People's Party9,3190.1300
Democratic Union of Turkish-Muslim Tatars of Romania9,2910.1310
Democratic Union of Slovaks and Czechs in Romania8,6770.1210
Community of the Lippovan Russians8,3280.1110
Union of Serbs of Romania8,2070.1110
Union of Poles of Romania8,0230.1110
Association of Italians of Romania7,9430.1110
Union of the Ukrainians of Romania7,3530.1010
Democratic Turkish Union of Romania7,3240.1010
Union of Croatians of Romania6,2810.0810
Cultural Union of Ruthenians of Romania5,2650.0710
Socialist Alliance Party2,3310.0300
Popular and Social Protection Party9290.0100
Workers' Social Democratic Party2310.0000
National Democratic Christian Party380.0000
Independent candidates12,3890.1700
Invalid/blank votes283,653
Registered voters/turnout18,423,06641.76
Source: BEC


 Summary of the 5 and 19 June 2016 Romanian local election results
Party Mayor of Bucharest (PMB) Mayors (P) Local Councils
seats (CL)
County Councils
seats (CJ)
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Social Democratic Party[a]
(Partidul Social Democrat - PSD)
246,553 42.97% 1 3,330,213 38.98% 1,708 3,161,046 37.70% 16,969 3,270,909 39.60% 638
National Liberal Party[b]
(Partidul Național Liberal - PNL)
64,186 11.18% - 2,686,099 31.50% 1,081 2,478,549 29.60% 13,198 2,529,986 30.64% 504
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats[a]
(Alianța Liberalilor și Democraților - ALDE)
17,455 3.04% - 488,145 5.72% 64 545,767 6.52% 2,504 521,845 6.32% 80
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
(Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România - UDMR)
- - - 315,236 3.69% 195 390,321 4.66% 2,284 411,823 4.98% 95
People's Movement Party
(Partidul Mișcarea Populară - PMP)
37,098 6.46% - 304,924 3.57% 18 360,035 4.30% 1,315 368,985 4.46% 41
National Union for the Progress of Romania[a]
(Uniunea Națională pentru Progresul României - UNPR)
- - - 213,233 2.50% 26 245,633 2.93% 1,203 220,467 2.67% 14
Save Bucharest Union
(Uniunea Salvaţi Bucureştiul - USB)
175,119 30.52% - 96,789 1.13% - 121,099 1.44% 39 143,544 1.73% 15
Romanian Social Party
(Partidul Social Românesc - PSRO)
- - - 100,303 1.17% 4 102,839 1.22% 318 99,587 1.20% 7
Ecologist Party of Romania
(Partidul Ecologist Român - PER)
- - - 63246 1.17% 4 102,839 1.22% 318 99,587 1.20% 7
United Romania Party
(Partidul România Unită - PRU)
8,356 1.45% - 51,200 0.60% 2 60,494 0.17% 169 66,131 0.80% -
10,639 1.85% - 486,826 5.71% 53 258,538 3.08% 316 52,800 0.63% 3
Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
(Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din România - FDGR)
- - - 40,348 0.47% 5 40,599 0.48% 84 42,652 0.51% 10
Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania
(Erdélyi Magyar Néppárt/Partidul Popular Maghiar din Transilvania - PPMT)
- - - 21,171 0.24% - 35,019 0.41% 207 38,215 0.46% 6
Coalition for Baia Mare
(Coaliția pentru Baia Mare)
- - - 32,111 0.37% 1 20,229 0.24% 11 26,217 0.31% 5
Hungarian Civic Party
(Magyar Polgári Párt/Partidul Civic Maghiar - PCM)
- - - 19,355 0.22% 13 18,993 0.22% 158 16,824 0.20% 6
Party for Argeș and Muscel
(Partidul pentru Argeș and Muscel)
- - - 14,625 0.17% - 15,049 0.17% 67 14,137 0.17% 2
other competitors 14,369 2.48% - 213,522 2.28% 15 368,927 4.63% 1,015 275,054 3.24% -
Total: 573,775 100 1 8,477,346 100 3,186 8,310,153 100 40,067 8,197,662 100 1,434
  1. ^ PSD, ALDE and UNPR ran independently or in various electoral coalitions with each other (PSD-ALDE or PSD-UNPR).
  2. ^ PNL ran mostly by itself, with the exception of Tătărăștii de Jos, where it ran in a coalition with the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party.
Sources: "Situatia mandatelor repartizate pe partide". Biroul Electoral Central.  "Situatia voturilor obtinute de competitori pe partide". Biroul Electoral Central. 


The Constitution of Romania defines that a referendum has to be called to:[8]

Moreover, the Constitution defines that a referendum can be called on matters of national interest by the President of Romania after consultation with Parliament (article 90).

There were 6 referendums in post-communist Romania:

There was also 1 referendum in Socialist Republic of Romania, 3 referendums in Kingdom of Romania and 2 referendums in The Romanian United Principalities.

See also


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