Romania – Legislative election

In Romania the legislative election was held on Sunday. The vote was for both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Here are the official results:

The Chamber of Deputies

  • The Social Liberal Union – 58.63 percent (273 seats)
  • The Right Romania Alliance (ARD) – 16.5 percent (56 seats)
  • The People’s Party-Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD) – 13.99 percent (47 seats)
  • Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) – 5.13 percent (18 seats)

The Senate

  • The Social Liberal Union – 60.1 percent (122 seats)
  • The Right Romania Alliance (ARD) – 16.7 percent (24 seats)
  • The People’s Party-Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD) – 14.65 percent (21 seats)
  • Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) – 5.23 percent (9 seats)

Agerpress reports that 18 minority lists will also win one seat each. Turnout was low at 41.76 percent. Indeed, two local/regional referendums were ruled invalid because of low turnout.

So, the incumbent government has been returned with a huge majority. Indeed, the victory is large enough for constitutional amendments to be proposed by the majority. Any such amendments will still have to be approved in a referendum. However, the government’s majority is so large that it may be able to change the referendum rules to make it easier to pass the amendments that the government wants.

For the time being, there is still a period of cohabitation. Before the election, the USL was worried that they would win the election but President Băsescu would try to appoint a maverick USL figure as PM in the hope of either splitting the party or at least reducing the authority of the current PM and party leader, Victor Ponta. However, the scale of the victory is likely to make this very difficult. For President Băsescu, the fear is that he will face another impeachment vote, which is likely to be passed. This time the turnout in the referendum may be high enough to dismiss him. The USL has also talked about revising the constitution more generally to weaken the powers of the president.

So, the election is over but the consequences are still likely to be felt in the coming months.

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