The Romanians have elected a new parliament.
The fourth and last electoral battle in the past two years, after the European and presidential elections in 2019 and the local elections in September this year, the parliamentary elections in Romania were held on Sunday against the background of the coronavirus pandemic and of the disappointment and hope of the voters who went to the polls. At national level, the voter turnout was the lowest in three decades, about 32%. In the Diaspora, voting ended with the closing of the last polling stations on the West Coast in the US and in Canada. Unlike Romanians at home, who voted only on Sunday, Romanians abroad had an extra day to go to polls, so they could vote on both Saturday and Sunday. The electoral process abroad lasted 59 hours, depending on the time zone differences. Around 265 thousand Romanians living abroad cast their vote, most of them in Italy, Moldova, Spain, Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany and France.
The results show that the parliamentary elections of December 6 were won by the Social Democratic Party with around 30%. The Social Democrats, currently in the opposition, got most seats in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Following, with around 25% is the National Liberal Party, in power. The USR-PLUS Alliance, who had expanded their electoral pool in the last three years, won around 15% of the votes. The big surprise of these elections came from the Alliance for Romanians’ Union (AUR) that got around 9% of the votes and ranks 4th in the voters’ preferences, followed by the Democratic Union by Hungarians in Romania (UDMR).
The Romanian parliament will have 465 members: 136 senators and 329 deputies. After Sunday’s vote the leaders of the main parties commented on the preliminary results, but without much enthusiasm. Both PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu and the head of PNL, current PM Ludovic Orban, claimed victory, which does not allow any side to form a government on its own.
Marcel Ciolacu: ”The country needs a capable government, that has solutions, and I thank Romanians who went to the polls, because they overcome the fear for their own life and understood that the Orban government must go home.”
In his turn, Ludovic Orban said, Track: (track) „I am confident in the National Liberal party’s capacity to form a parliamentary majority with the Euro-Atlantic democratic forces, that respect citizens and want Romania to develop, so that we can form a government as soon as possible.”
The co-president of the USR-PLUS Alliance, Dacian Ciolos, emphasised the fact that the Romanians did not give any party the exclusive mandate to form the government which the alliance he represents wants to be part of: ”In the next few years Romania needs modernisation and extensive reforms. We must build on a solid and clean foundation of honesty and professionalism, and this is the mandate with which USR-PLUS enters Parliament and negotiates its Government membership.”
Kelemen Hunor has promised that his party, UDMR, will try to ensure the balance in Parliament while George Simion said that AUR, the party he leads, will not enter any government coalition. (Translated by Elena Enache)