Social Democratic Party (Romania)

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Social Democratic Party
Partidul Social Democrat
President Liviu Dragnea[1]
Secretary-General Marian Neacşu
Spokesperson Gabriela Firea
Executive President Valeriu Zgonea
Honorary President Ion Iliescu
Leader in the Senate Mihai Fifor
Leader in the Chamber of Deputies Marian Neacşu
Leader in the European Parliament Viorica Dăncilă
Founded 1990 (FSN)
1992 (FDSN)
1993 (PDSR)
16 January 2001 (as PSD)
Merger of PDSR and PSDR
Headquarters Şos. Kiseleff nr. 10 Bucharest
Youth wing Social Democratic Youth
Women's wing OFSD
Membership  (2014) 509,000[2]
Ideology Social democracy[3]
Third way[citation needed]
Political position Centre-left
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
International affiliation Socialist International
Progressive Alliance
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colors Red
59 / 168
Chamber of Deputies
145 / 398
European Parliament
14 / 32
County Council Presidents
22 / 41
County Councilors
452 / 1,393
Politics of Romania
Political parties

The Social Democratic Party (Romanian: Partidul Social Democrat, PSD) is the major social-democratic[3][6] political party in Romania. The largest party in Parliament with initially 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 as the Democratic National Salvation Front, a breakaway group from the post-communist National Salvation Front. In 1993 this merged with three other parties to become the Party of Social Democracy in Romania. The present name was adopted after a merger with the smaller Romanian Social Democratic Party in 2001. Since its formation, it has always been one of the two dominant parties of the country. The party governed Romania from 1992 to 1996, again from 2000 to 2004, and has now been in government since 7 May 2012, initially in alliance with other parties in the Social Liberal Union until February 2014. The founder of the party, 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 Liviu Dragnea, elected as leader after the incumbent Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta stepped down on 12 July 2015, following charges of corruption and also health problems. On 22 April 2016, Liviu Dragnea was found guilty for vote rigging in the 2012 referendum and received a two-year suspended sentence. Despite being found guilty on criminal charges, he has refused to step down as President of the PSD, with the backing of most of the party's leadership.


On 7 April 1992, the struggle for power inside the National Salvation Front (Romanian: Frontul Salvării Naţionale, 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 (Romanian: Frontul Democrat al Salvării Naţionale, 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 (Romanian: Partidul Democraţiei Sociale in România, 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 Văcăroiu 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 Năstase, 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 Băsescu 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.

Mircea Geoană 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 Geoană handily. Geoană's win was attributed by the media primarily to last minute backroom dealing by party leaders opposed to Iliescu, such as Miron Mitrea and various local baroni (lit. "barons", leaders of county-level political machines), such as Marian Oprișan (Vrancea) and Radu Mazăre (Constanța). A gaffe made by Iliescu (in which he referred to a colleague using the old communist term tovarîș) also may also have emboldened his opposition.[7]

On 17 April 2008, the Social Democratic Party and the Conservative Party announced they would form a political alliance for the 2008 local elections.[8]

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

On 6 February 2011, the PSD formed a political alliance known as the Social Liberal Union (USL) with the Conservative Party and National Liberal Party.[9][10] The USL was disbanded on 25 February 2014 with exit of the National Liberal Party which immediately entered opposition.[11]


Leadership of FSN, FDSN, PDSR and PSD


Executive presidents

Notable members

Current members

Former members

Electoral performance

Election Votes  % Chamber Senate Position Government
2004 3,798,607 37.2
132 / 332
57 / 137
1st Opposition
2008 2,352,968 34.16
114 / 334
49 / 137
1st Coalition
2012 4,457,526 60.1 (as USL)
145 / 412
59 / 176
1st (as USL) Electoral alliance with PNL


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.[12]

Alleged text transcripts of PSD meetings surfaced on an anonymous Web site just before the 2004 Romanian presidential election. Năstase and his ministers are shown talking about political involvement in corruption trials of the government's members, or involvement in suppressing "disobedient" media. Năstase stated that the transcripts were fake, but several party members, including former PSD president and former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoană, have said they are indeed genuine. Geoană later retracted his statement.[13]

Adrian Năstase 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.[14]

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.[15] PSD Senator Dan Şova, 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."[16] 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.[17] Following public outcry, Şova 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.[18]

See also


  1. (Romanian) Ștefan Pană, "Liviu Dragnea, ales preşedinte al PSD cu 97% din voturile membrilor de partid" ("Liviu Dragnea, Elected PSD President with 97% of Party Members' Votes"), Mediafax, 12 October 2015; accessed October 12, 2015
  2. "Cati membri au partidele din Romania. Ce partid a pierdut din adepti". Retrieved 18 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "STRUCTURA PARLAMENTULUI ROMÂNIEI 2012-prezent". Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "STRUCTURA PARLAMENTULUI ROMÂNIEI 2012-prezent". Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Dimitri Almeida (27 April 2012). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties: Beyond the Permissive Consensus. CRC Press. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-1-136-34039-0. Retrieved 14 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Ion Iliescu: "Dau cuvintul tovarasului Nastase"". HotNewsRo. Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Romania's PSD and PC form alliance (
  9. "Romanian Oppositions Form Alliance". Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "FOCUS Information Agency". FOCUS Information Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Romania's Liberals to leave ruling coalition, government". The Sofia Globe. Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Ion Caramitru demisioneaza din conducerea PNTCD: Sefii PSD, fosti nomenclaturisti sau copiii lor, sunt tarati de originea comunista. Nu cred in moartea comunismului prin comunisti". HotNewsRo. Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Geoana, stenogramele si reformarea PSD". 9AM. Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Adrian Nastase s-a autosuspendat din conducerea PSD". HotNewsRo. Retrieved 10 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Shafir, Michael (2004), "Memories, Memorials and Membership: Romanian Utilitarian Anti-Semitism and Marshal Antonescu", Romania Since 1989: Politics, Economics, and Society, Lexington Books, p. 71<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Romanian MP stirs outcry with Holocaust comment". European Jewish Press. Retrieved 2012-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "'Elie Wiesel' Institute in Romania criticizes Senator Sova for statements made on a TV channel". Retrieved 07-03-2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Sozi-Chef Ponta enthebt Parteisprecher Sova zeitweilig des Amtes wegen Holocaust-Leugnung" (in German). Retrieved 07-03-2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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