ROMÂNIA
Seat of government: Bucureşti.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: A Camera Deputaţilor and Senat are elected by party-list proportional representation; the two chambers meet together (as Parlamentul) to approve ministers, including a prime minister; but the government is headed by a directly-elected president who nominates the prime minister.
Chief governing parties: Partidul Naţional Liberal (presidency); Partidul Social Democrat, Alianţa Liberalilor şi Democraţilor (parliament).
Heads of government: Klaus Johannis, PNL, president; Sorin Grindeanu, PSD, prime minister.
Parliamentary parties: Partidul Social Democrat; Partidul Naţional Liberal; Uniunea Salvaţi România; Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség; Alianţa Liberalilor şi Democraţilor; Partidul Mişcarea Populară.
Recent history: Experienced one of the rockiest transitions to democracy, including the execution of Сталинist ruler Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife in 1989. In 2004, PNL and Partidul Democrat (the major constituent of the later Partidul Democrat-Liberal, now in the PNL) won power together as Dreptate şi Adevăr, forming a government with RMDSz; parliament was divided between DşA and Uniunea Naţională of PSD and Partidul Umanist din România (the later Partidul Conservator), giving greater weight to the presidency, won the same year by Traian Băsescu (2004-14) of PD. PUR was also brought into the government, withdrawing in 2006. Prime minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu (2004-8) of PNL announced but then withdrew his resignation in 2005; in 2007 he reformed the government as a parliamentary minority without PD, relying on the outside support of PSD. Parliament suspended Băsescu in 2007, pending a referendum to remove him from office permanently, which failed; Nicolae Văcăroiu acted as president during the suspension. A parliamentary election in 2008 produced a narrow popular plurality for PSD over PD-L, but a narrow parliamentary plurality for PD-L, with PNL a distant third; Emil Boc (2008-12) of PD-L became prime minister. A coalition between PD-L and PSD held until late 2009, when Boc reformed his government with RMDSz and Uniunea Naţională pentru Progresul României. Băsescu officially won the second round of a 2009 presidential election, but quite narrowly, and the result was contested by opponent Mircea Geoană of PSD. A 2012 legislative election was won by the PSD coalition (Alianţa de Centru Stânga), and the PSD’s Victor Ponta became prime minister (2012-5). Ponta finished first in a 2014 presidential election, but lost to Johannis, representing the center-right coalition Alianţa România Dreaptă, in a runoff. Ponta resigned amid two scandals, replaced by a technocratic cabinet under Dacian Cioloş (2015-7). In 2016, a parliamentary election ended with a large plurality for the PSD, and a near-majority of seats.
FH: 2-2, free. Econ: 7.06 (50), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2017 March 23.
 

O.T. FORD