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Romanian legislative election, 2008

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Romanian legislative election, 2008

Romanian legislative election, 2008

30 November 2008 [1]

All 137 seats in the Senate
All 334 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
Turnout 39.20%
  First party Second party
Leader Theodor Stolojan Mircea Geoană
Party Democratic Liberal Social Democratic
Leader since 2007 (PM Candidate)[2] 2005
Leader's seat not running S 5-17
Last election 29 S / 67 D 45+10 S / 105+19 D
Seats won 51 S / 115 D 49 S / 114 D
Seat change Increase 22 S / Increase 48 D Decrease 6 S / Decrease 10 D
Popular vote 2,228,860 D 2,279,449 D
Percentage 32.36% D 33.09% D

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu Béla Markó
Party National Liberal Hungarians in Romania
Leader since 2004 1993
Leader's seat CD 4-25 S 5-65
Last election 24 S / 60 D 10 S / 22 D
Seats won 28 S / 65 D 9 S / 22 D
Seat change Increase 4 S / Increase 5 D Decrease 1 S / Steady 0 D
Popular vote 1,279,063 D 440,449 D
Percentage 18.57% D 6.39% D

Prime Minister before election

Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu

Prime Minister-designate

Emil Boc

Legislative elections were held in Romania on 30 November 2008.[3] The Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) won most seats in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, although the alliance headed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) won a fractionally higher vote share.

Electoral System

President Traian Băsescu had wanted to introduce a single-winner two-round electoral system before this election, but a 2007 referendum on the proposal failed on insufficient turnout. A new electoral system was introduced as a compromise. Thus, this was the first suffrage in which the electoral system was changed from party-list proportional representation to a mixed member proportional representation system, and the first one to feature sub-county constituencies, called electoral colleges (colegii electorale). A candidate wins in any electoral college in which they obtain more than 50% of the vote. Seats where no candidate wins an outright majority are then allocated using the D'Hondt method. If necessary, the number of seats for each chamber is raised, by giving supplementary seats. An electoral threshold was applied of 5% for each chamber; or winning at least six colleges for the Chamber of Deputies and three colleges for the Senate by more than 50%. There was an additional adjustment for the Chamber of Deputies around the national minorities candidates.[4]


The main contenders in the election were the centre-left alliance made up of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Conservative Party (PC); the liberal-conservative Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L); and the liberal National Liberal Party (PNL).

Other significant contenders were the ethnic Hungarian party Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the right-wing nationalist Greater Romania Party (PRM), both of whom were represented in the previous Parliament.

Opinion polling

Polling Firm Date Source PD-L PSD+PC PSD PNL PNG UDMR PRM PC PNȚCD PIN PCM Undecided
IMAS 26/06/2008 [1] 40% N/A 26% 18% 5% 5% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
INSOMAR 22-30/07/2008 [2] 38% N/A 26% 16% 3% 4% 3% 2% 2% 2% 1% N/A
ATLE 25-05/08-09/2008 [3] 30.2% N/A 33.1% 16% 3.2% 4.8% 3.4% 3.1% 1.1% 2% N/A N/A
Metro-Media 1-16/09/2008 [4] 37% N/A 28% 17% 3% 5% 5% 3% 1% 3% N/A N/A
INSOMAR 12-17/09/2008 [5] 39% N/A 25% 20% 3% 4% 4% 1% N/A N/A 1% N/A
CCSB 22-25/09/2008 [6] 34% 36% N/A 20% 2% 5% 3% N/A 1% N/A N/A N/A
CURS 10-23/10/2008 [7] 32% 31% N/A 18% 5% 5% 5% N/A 1% 1% N/A N/A
CCSB 25-27/10/2008 [8] 34% 37% N/A 18% 2% 6% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
INSOMAR 30-03/10-11/2008 [9] 37% 32% N/A 17% 3% 6% 5% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
CCSB 11/11/2008 [10] 34.5% 37.7% N/A 14.4% 2.3% 6.6% 4.0% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
BCS 10-14/11/2008 [11] 34.4% 31.8% N/A 19.9% 1.9% 5.1% 3.6% N/A N/A N/A N/A 25.5%
BCS 17-21/11/2008 [12] 32.6% 31.2% N/A 21.4% 2.9% 6.1% 4.1% N/A N/A N/A N/A 29,5%
INSOMAR 21-23/11/2008 [13] 32% 35% N/A 21% 3% 5% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
CSOP 19-23/11/2008 [14] 34% 31% N/A 21% 3% 7% 3% N/A N/A N/A N/A 27%
BCS 23-26/11/2008 [15] 31.1% 32% N/A 21.3% 3.2% 6.3% 4.3% N/A N/A N/A N/A 26%

The first exit-polls, published by INSOMAR[5] after the polls were closed, predicted the results for the Chamber of Deputies as:

PSD+PC - 36.2% PD-L - 30.3% PNL - 20.4% UDMR - 6.7%

And for the Senate:

PSD+PC - 35.9% PD-L - 31.1% PNL - 19.9% UDMR - 6.7%


According to the official final results, the centre-left Alliance PSD+PC won 33.1% in the Chamber of Deputies, just ahead of the Democratic Liberal Party on 32.4%, with the National Liberal Party on 18.6% and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania on 6.2%. The alliance led by Social Democratic Party won 34.2% in the Senate, just ahead of the Democratic Liberal Party on 33.6%, with the National Liberal Party on 18.7% and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania on 6.4%.[6] Compared to the 2004 election, the Social Democratic Party-led alliance fell back a few percent in the national vote share. The Democratic Liberal Party and National Liberal Party had competed in the last election together as the Justice and Truth Alliance, but had split in April 2007. The Democratic Liberal Party made significant gains in 2008 to become the largest party in both houses, while the National Liberal Party made smaller gains. Support for the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania was largely unchanged. The obtained 13% of the national vote for the Chamber in 2004, but failed to make the 5% threshold for representation this year. Another nationalist party, the , again failed to cross the 5% threshold for representation.

Chamber of Deputies

Coat of arms of Romania
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The results for the Chamber of Deputies for Constituencies no. 1 to no. 42
The results for the Chamber of Deputies for Constituency no. 43


The results for the Senate for Constituencies no. 1 to no. 42
The results for the Senate for Constituency no. 43


The law limits the right to run in any by-election for either of the houses of Parliament to those candidates that are members of the parties with parliamentary groups. That is that for the 2008 - 2012 legislature only the PD-L, PSD+PC, PNL, UDMR, and the representatives of the national minorities can have candidates for by-elections.


Following the nomination of Bogdan Olteanu in the Council of Administration of the National Bank of Romania as Deputy-Governor, in the Bucharest number 1 electoral college will be held the first by-election of this legislature. The election will take place on 17 January 2010. Only two persons were allowed to run: Radu Stroe, representing the National Liberal Party and Honorius Prigoană, representing the Democratic Liberal Party. The Social Democratic Party decided not to propose a candidate and to sustain the PNL candidate. The winner was Radu Stroe.

Daniela Popa resigned from the Chamber of Deputies as she is about to take office as President of the Insurance Supervising Committee (Romanian: Comisia de Supraveghere a Asigurărilor - CSA). She is also stepping down from the office of president of the Conservative Party.[7] The PNL decided not to have its own candidate, but to sustain the PSD+PC candidate, based on the gentlemen's agreement for the Bucharest CD 1 college. PSD proposed PC member and former Romanian Lottery director Liliana Mincă, and PD-L proposed former TV show host Teo Trandafir. The winner was Teo Trandafir.

Following the death of Ioan Timiş in the Chamber of Deputies constituency no. 22, electoral college no. 3 are held partial elections in 28 November 2010. All the parties propose candidates, and the winner is former Minister of Labour, Mariana Câmpeanu, representing PNL.


Starting with 2011 all parties are allowed to propose candidates in partial elections. Up to this date, the law stated that only parties that already have parliamentary representation may propose candidates. The change came after repeated contests to the Constitutional Court of Romania of former Presidential candidate Remus Cernea. Also this is the first year in which the Social Democratic Party, the National Liberal Party, and the Conservative Party have common candidates under the Social Liberal Union.

In January 2011, the representative of the Macedonians in Romania, Liana Dumitrescu, died. As she was a representative of a national minority, her seat had no college. As a result, for the rest of the legislature, there will be a vacant seat in the Chamber of Deputies.

In April 2011 Victor Surdu died, thus vacating a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, constituency no. 29 (Neamț County), college no. 6. The election day was set to be the same for the CD 26-2 college, 21 August 2011. The seat was won by the PD-L candidate, Adrian Rădulescu, secretary of state in the Ministry of Agriculture.

In May 2011, Cătălin Cherecheș won the partial elections for the office of Mayor of Baia Mare, thus vacating a second seat in the Chamber of Deputies, constituency no. 26 (Maramureş County), college no. 2. The election day was set to be the same for the CD 29-6 college, 21 August 2011. The seat was won by the USL candidate, Florin Tătaru.

On 30 August 2011, Zoltán Pálfi died. For this newly vacated seat from the Chamber of Deputies, constituency no. 13 (Cluj County), college no. 9, the Government has to establish a pooling date. As the timeline specified in the law may be influenced by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, there is a possibility for this seat to remain vacant until the 2012 on-time elections.

Coalition building

Second Prime Minister Designate, Emil Boc speaking.

It was expected that a grand coalition of the social democrats (Social Democratic Party) and the liberal conservatives (Democratic Liberal Party) would be formed.

Initially the Prime Minister designate was Theodor Stolojan, the party's official candidate.[8] He was (publicly) designated Prime Minister by the President Traian Băsescu on 11 December 2008, the official decree being issued and printed in the Monitorul Oficial the next day.

On 15 December 2008, four days after his nomination, and one day after the coalition protocol was signed, Theodor Stolojan announced that he resigned from the position of Prime Minister designate (Romanian: a depus mandatul), without giving any political nor personal reason.[9] The same day, President Traian Băsescu signed the decree that nominated the Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, and president of the Democratic Liberal Party Emil Boc.[10] Boc aims to create a government with the Social Democrats and bring Romania out of the economic crisis.[11][12]

Our objective is to give Romania a stable and competent government.

Boc's coalition government was approved by parliament in a 324-115 vote and was sworn in on 22 December 2008.[13][14] Mircea Geoana of the Social Democratic Party became the new head of the Senate, with Roberta Alma Anastase of the Democratic Party as the new President of the Chamber of Deputies.[15]


  1. ^ (Romanian) Antena 3 coverage of the subject
  2. ^ (Romanian) Antena 3 - Stolojan accepted unanimously
  3. ^
  4. ^ (Romanian) Simulation of the algorithm using an imaginary county
  5. ^ Agentia Nationala de Presa AGERPRES
  6. ^ [16]
  7. ^ Jurnalul Naţional
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  • Website of the Central Electoral Office for the parliamentary elections
  • Romanian Leftists Claim Victory in Parliamentary Election, 30 November 2008, Stefan Bos, VoA
  • Romanian election neck-and-neck, 1 December 2008, BBC News
  • Former Communists Claim Romanian Elections, 2 December 2008, Stefan Bos, VoA
  • Tough coalition talks in Romania, 2 December 2008, BBC News
  • Antena 3 coverage of the 21 August partial elections
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