Social Democratic Party (Romania)

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The Social Democratic Party (Template:Lang-ro, PSD) is the major social-democratic<ref name="Nordsieck"/><ref name="Almeida">Template:Cite book</ref> political party in Romania. The largest party in Parliament with 63 seats in the Senate and 158 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, it also has the largest number of mayors, local and county councilors and county presidents thus being the biggest and most influential political force in the country. PSD was formed in 1992, after the post-communist National Salvation Front broke apart. It adopted its present name after a merger with a minor social-democratic party in 2001. Since its formation, it has always been one of the two dominant parties of the country. The Social Democratic Party governed Romania from 1992 to 1996, also from 2000 to 2004 and currently does so since 7 May 2012 alongside allied-parties in the Social Liberal Union. PSD founder Ion Iliescu became President of the Republic, in office from the end of Communism in 1989 to 1996, and again from 2000 to 2004.

The current president of the PSD is Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania, elected on 20 February 2010.

History

On 7 April 1992, the struggle for power inside the National Salvation Front (Template:Lang-ro, FSN) between the more hard-line group led by Ion Iliescu and the more reformist group led by Petre Roman resulted in the Iliescu group withdrawing from FSN and the founding of the Democratic National Salvation Front (Template:Lang-ro, FDSN), which would later become the present-day PSD.

FDSN won the 1992 elections and went on to govern Romania until 1996. On 10 July 1993 it took the name of Party of Social Democracy in Romania (Template:Lang-ro, PDSR) upon merger with the Socialist Democratic Party of Romania (PDSR), the Republican Party and the Cooperative Party.

From 1994 to 1996 the PDSR ruled in coalition with three extremist parties - the right-wing Romanian National Unity Party (PUNR) and Greater Romania Party (PRM), and the left-wing Socialist Party of Labour. PUNR had ministers in the cabinet chaired by Nicolae V?c?roiu from March 1994 to September 1996. PRM was not present at the Cabinet, but was given some posts in the State administration. The PDSR lost the 1996 election, which was won by the multi-party coalition Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR).

In November 2000 the PDSR was back in power, this time in a coalition named the Social Democratic Pole of Romania along with the Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR) and the Romanian Humanist Party (PUR). PSDR merged with PDSR on 16 January 2001, and the resulting party took its present name, PSD.

In November 2004, Adrian N?stase, the PSD candidate, won the first round of the presidential elections but did not have a majority and had to go to a second round of voting, which he lost to Traian B?sescu of the Justice and Truth alliance, who is therefore the current president. In the legislative elections of 2004, the PSD gained the largest share of the vote but because it did not have a majority, all the other major parties formed the Justice and Truth Alliance, which managed to gain a parliamentary majority and is currently in government, consigning the PSD to opposition.

Considered a young reformer, Geoan? was elected president of the party in April 2005 by delegates at a PSD Party Congress held in Bucharest. His victory represented a surprise defeat for former President Ion Iliescu, who was expected to defeat Geoan? handily. Geoan?'s win was attributed by the media to last minute backroom dealing by party leaders opposed to Iliescu as well as to public gaffes made by Iliescu at the Party Congress, including using allegedly old communist terms when referring to his party colleagues.

On 17 April 2008, the Social Democratic Party and the Conservative Party announced they would form a political alliance for the 2008 local elections.<ref>Romania's PSD and PC form alliance (SETimes.com)</ref>

In February 2010, the Congress elected Victor Ponta as president.

On 6 February 2011, the PSD formed the Social Liberal Union political alliance with the Conservative Party and National Liberal Party.

Structure

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Leadership of FSN, FDSN, PDSR and PSD

Presidents:

  • Ion Iliescu 1990-1992; (FSN)
  • Oliviu Gherman 1992-1996; (FDSN/PDSR)
  • Ion Iliescu 1997-2000; (PDSR)
  • Adrian N?stase 2000-2005 (acting to 2001); (PDSR/PSD)
  • Mircea Geoan? 2005-2010; (PSD)
  • Victor Ponta 2010–present; (PSD)

Executive presidents

  • Adrian N?stase 1993-1997;
  • Octav Cozmânc? 2003-2005;
  • Adrian N?stase 2005-2006.
  • Dan Mircea Popescu 2005-2006, when the office was dissolved (nominated Ad interim after the resignation of Adrian N?stase from the office)
  • Liviu Dragnea 2013-present

Controversies

Political opponents have criticised PSD for harbouring former Romanian Communist Party officials, and for allegedly attempting to control the Romanian mass media. A number of its current or former senior members have also been accused of corruption, interfering in the judiciary and using their political positions for personal enrichment.

Alleged text transcripts of PSD meetings surfaced on an anonymous Web site just before the 2004 Romanian presidential election. N?stase and his ministers are shown talking about political involvement in corruption trials of the government's members, or involvement in suppressing "disobedient" media. N?stase stated that the transcripts were fake, but several party members, including former PSD president and former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoan?, have said they are indeed genuine. Geoan? later retracted his statement.

Adrian N?stase temporarily "self-suspended" himself from the position on 16 January 2006 pending investigation of a scandal provoked by his wealth declaration, where he was accused of corruption.

Politicians of the party have occasionally employed "utilitarian anti-Semitism". This means that politicians who may usually not be anti-Semites played off certain anti-Semitic prejudices, in order to serve their political necessities. PSD Senator Dan ?ova, at the time party spokesman, claimed, on 5 March 2012, on the Money Channel that "no Jew suffered on Romanian territory, thanks to marshal Antonescu." Elie Wiesel National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania expressed its deep disagreement and indignation over the statements of the spokesman of the party. Following public outcry, ?ova retracted his statement and issued a public apology. Nevertheless, the chairman of the party, Victor Ponta, announced his removal from the office of party spokesman.

See also

  • Politics of Romania
  • List of political parties in Romania

References

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External links

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