Parliamentary Chamber: Senatul


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  20 May 1990

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the new Parliament provided for in the Electoral Law of March 1990.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The former 369-member Grand National Assembly elected for five years in March 1985 was dissolved in the wake of the December 1989 revolution which overthrew the régime of President of the Republic Nicolae Ceausescu. Following Mr. Ceausescu’s downfall, power was assumed by a 145-member National Salvation Front (NSF), which ruled by decree. In February 1990 the NSF agreed to share power with other groups and, pending general elections, a 253-member Provisional National Unity Council (PNUC) was established.

The 1990 elections – originally scheduled for late April – were thus the first multiparty ones in over 50 years. Altogether some 70 parties and 7,000 candidates reportedly contested the bicameral Parliament’s 506 seats. Opposing the NSF were groups formed or revived after the revolution, especially the National Liberal Party (NLP), the Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party (CDNPP), the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania and the Romanian Ecological Movement. During the somewhat bitter electoral campaign, the leftist NSF called for a democratic political system entailing a break with the communist ideology. It also proposed a comprehensive social programme and, contrary to parties such as the NLP and CDNPP, cautious rather than swift moves toward a market economy and reform of the agricultural sector.

Polling day proceedings were observed by foreign teams. According to final results, the NSF achieved an overwhelming victory, capturing 263 Deputies’ seats and 92 in the Senate. The scale of victory triggered allegations of voting irregularities by the fragmented opposition.

Also on 20 May, Mr. Ion Iliescu, leader of the NSF, won the simultaneous presidential race. He was sworn in one month later. On 28 June, a new Council of Ministers, led by Prime Minister Petre Roman, was announced.

Round no 1 (20 May 1990): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 17,200,722
Valid votes 13,956,180

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
National Salvation Front (NSF) 9,353,006 67.02
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania 1,004,353 7.20
National Liberal Party 985,094 7.06
Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party 348,687 2.50
Romanian Ecological Movement 341,478 2.45
Romanian Unity Alliance (AUR) 300,473 2.15
Others and independents 1,623,089 11.62

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
National Salvation Front (NSF) 92
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania 12
National Liberal Party 9
Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party 1
Romanian Ecological Movement 1
Romanian Unity Alliance (AUR) 2
Others and independents 2

  12 of Romania’s minorities were to be represented in the new legislature, three of which won a seat in the polling. The remaining nine were allocated one seat each in the Assembly of Deputies, in accordance with the Electoral Law.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 118
Women: 1

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Copyright © 1990 Inter-Parliamentary Union