Cohabitation – Romania

This is a series of posts that records the cases of cohabitation in countries with semi-presidential constitutions. Cohabitation is defined as the situation where the president and prime minister are from different parties and where the president’s party is not represented in the cabinet. Presidents classed as non-party cannot generate any periods of cohabitation.

Here is my list of cohabitations in Romania:

Apr 2007- Dec 2008
President – Traian Băsescu (PD/PD-L); PM – Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu (PNL); Coalition – PNL, UDMR

May 2012-
President – Traian Băsescu (PD/PD-L); PM – Victor Ponta (PSD); Coalition – PSD, PNL

The situation in Romania is unusual. The president’s party was in the governing coalition after the 2004 election. However, it left the government in April 2007 at the time when President Băsescu was being impeached by parliament with support from members of the PNL. Thus, cohabitation began part way through a legislature and without an election occurring.

Exactly the same scenario occurred in May 2012. This time the ruling coalition, which included the president’s party, was defeated in a confidence motion. The opposition formed a government without the president’s party, thus beginning another period of cohabitation without an election having taken place.

Romania and São Tomé & Príncipe are the only cases where cohabitation has begun outside an election (presidential or legislative).

Party abbreviations:

PD-L (Democratic Liberal Party)
PNL (National Liberal Party)
PSD (Social Democratic Party)
UDMR (Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania)

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