Romanian Politics

16 Jan 2018
Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania

Since the bloody revolution of December 1989, Romania has been a presidential/parliamentary democracy. Of sorts.

The Head of State is the President, elected for a maximum of two five year terms. The current president is the popular Klaus Iohannis (pictured above) an ethnic Saxon and former mayor of Sibiu who in November 2014 caused a major surprise by defeating Victor Ponta in the second round run-off of Romania’s presidential election. The margin of victory - almost ten per cent - was enormous, despite Ponta being Romania’s serving prime minister.

Ponta nevertheless hung on as prime minister until late in 2015, when he was forced to resign after massive street protests against the high levels of corruption in his government. Even Ponta himself has been charged with no fewer than 19 counts of corruption and money laundering. His trial will start soon. To replace Ponta, Iohannis appointed Dacian Ciolos, a non-politically aligned former EU commissioner. He led a highly competent government until elections in December 2016 returned the notoriously corrupt PSD to power, at first with Sorin Grindeanu as prime minister. Grindeanu lasted just six months however, before being replaced by Mihai Tudose, also of the PSD. He too lasted little more than six months, and as we write Romania is without a PM. Mihai Fifor, the defence minister, is serving as interim PM.


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