Parliamentary Chamber: Senatul


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  26 November 2000

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the Senate on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 22 August 2000, the ruling coalition government announced that the first round of the presidential and the legislative elections would be held on 26 November 2000.

The elections, the fourth held since the overthrow of the Ceausescu regime in 1989 took place in a context of severe economic hardship for a large proportion of the Romanian population., as a result of high unemployment and inflation as well as low income levels. Since the overthrow of communism, Romania has made little headway in privatising its economy and attracting foreign investment.

To cut costs, the ruling coalition leaders decided that the electoral campaign would be reduced from 60 to 45 days. The campaign failed to generate much public interest and it was held under a new protocol to refrain from personal attacks, signed by all the major parties at the beginning of the campaign. There were no major incidents or tensions, unlike in previous elections.

Some 20,000 candidates and 80 political parties vied for the 485 parliamentary seats. The presidential race was contested by 12 candidates. including former President Ion Iliescu, outgoing Senator Corneliu Vadim Tudor, former Prime Minister Thjeodor Stolojan and outgoing Prime Minister Mugur Isarescu, who stood for the presidency as an independent candidate.

After polling day, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the body monitoring the elections, issued a statement declaring the 2000 elections free and fair.

The results of the presidential election showed that the former ex-communist President, Ion Iliescu, had to face Mr Tudor, a right-wing extremist known for anti-Semitic and anti-Hungarian remarks, in the run-off. Mr Tudor did particularly well among the young, the poor and the less educated. During the campaign, he had promised half a million new jobs by reviving factories.

In the parliamentary elections, Mr Iliescu's Social Democracy Party of Romania (PDSR) led with nearly 37 per cent of the votes, while Mr Tudor's Party of Greater Romania came second with almost 20 per cent (in the 1996 elections, this party had won a mere 4.5 per cent of the votes). The Democratic Convention, the four-party group dominated by conservative President Emil Constantinescu's Christian Democrats, failed to obtain the minimum threshold of support to qualify for parliamentary representation. In the second round of the presidential elections held on 10 December 2000, the final results showed that former President Ion Iliescu had won 66.88 per cent of the votes, thereby defeating Mr Tudor, who had polled 33.17 per cent.

On 28 December 2000, a joint session of the two houses of Parliament voted in the new cabinet headed by Mr. Adrian Nastase, by a vote of 314 to 145. The new ministers were sworn in by President Ion Iliescu shortly thereafter.

Round no 1 (26 November 2000): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 17 699 727
Voters 11 559 458 (65 %)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 653 834
Valid votes 10 905 624

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Social Democracy Pole of Romania (PDSR) 4 040 212 37.05
"Romania Mare" Party (Party of Greater Romania) 2 288 483 20.98
Democratic Party 825 437 7.57
National Liberal Party 814 381 7.47
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) 751 310 6.89

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Social Democracy Pole of Romania (PDSR) 65
"Romania Mare" Party (Party of Greater Romania) 37
Democratic Party 13
National Liberal Party 13
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) 12

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 129
Women: 11
Percent of women: 7.86

Distribution of seats according to age:  
31 to 40 years 5
41 to 50 years 44
51 to 60 years 60
61 to 70 years 23
Over 70 years 8

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Engineers 43
Teachers 31
Legal professions 25
Economists 14
Medical professions 12
Journalists/writers/publishers 3
Architects 2
Sociologists 2
Others 8

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Copyright 2000 Inter-Parliamentary Union