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Senatul (Senate)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlamentul României / Parliament of Romania
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Senatul / Senate
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Camera Deputatilor / Chamber of Deputies
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 9 December 2012
Purpose of elections The Social Liberal Union, co-led by socialist Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Senate President Crin Antonescu, won the elections, taking a two-thirds majority in both chambers. The election generated a record 118 "overhang" seats (see note). The Right Romania Alliance, close to President Traian Basescu, came in a distant second. The People's Party - Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD), formed by a media tycoon in 2010 Dan Diaconescu, took 47 and 21 seats respectively.

During the election campaign, major contenders pledged to work for Romania's integration in the Schengen area and the eurozone. Prime Minister Ponta opposed austerity measures introduced by President Basescu, and promised more jobs, investment and fewer taxes. The PP-DD promised to provide 20,000-euro subsidies to entrepreneurs starting a new business.

The 2012 elections followed a period of political turmoil. In July, Parliament voted to suspend President Basescu from office, after the Social Liberal Union accused him of improperly blocking government policies. The subsequent referendum on the President's impeachment was invalidated by the Constitutional Court due to low voter turnout.

On 21 December, Parliament approved Mr. Ponta's new government, which comprised the four parties that make up the Social Liberal Union.

Note on overhang seats:
Only candidates who win more than 50 per cent of the votes in single-member constituencies are automatically elected. Meanwhile, all parties surpassing the 5-per-cent threshold receive seats in proportion of their share of the votes. These seats are distributed firstly at the county level and then at the national level. If a party is entitled to more seats than the number of seats remaining in the same county, "overhang" seats are created for this purpose (Article 47 (15) of the Electoral law).

Under the current electoral system, additional "overhang seats" will be generated if one party wins a lot of single-member constituency seats in the same county. In 2012, many Social Liberal Union candidates won constituency seats with more than 50 per cent of the votes, thus generating a record 79 overhang seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 39 in the Senate. The previous legislature elected in 2008 had only one overhang seat in the Chamber of Deputies.

Note on the distribution of seats:
- The Social Liberal Union (USL) comprised the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Conservative Party (PC) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR).
- The Right Romania Alliance (ARD) comprised the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L), the National Peasant Christian-Democratic Party (PNT-CD) and the Civic Force (FC).
Date of previous elections: 30 November 2008

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: Not applicable

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: November - December 2016

Number of seats at stake: 176 (full renewal)*
*Including 39 overhang seats.

Number of candidates: 760

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: 45

Number of parties winning seats: 9 (including four parties in the USL and three in the ARD)

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 4

Names of parties in government: The Social Democratic Party (PSD), the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Conservative Party (PC) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 19 December 2012

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Crin Antonescu (National Liberal Party)
Voter turnout
Round no 19 December 2012
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
7'694'180 (41.76%)

Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Social Liberal Union (USL) 122
Right Romania Alliance (ARD) 24
People's Party - Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD) 21
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) 9
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Senate (09.01.2013, 01.01.2015)

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