ROMANIA
Parliamentary Chamber: Senatul

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1996

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Chamber:
  Senatul


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  3 November 1996


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:

  The parliamentary elections were held simultaneously with those for President of the Republic. The main challengers to the incumbent, Mr. Ion Iliescu, in the latter race were Mr. Emil Constantinescu of the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) alliance and former Prime Minister Petre Roman of the Social Democratic Union (USD). During a lively campaign, they criticised the Iliescu administration for its slowness in moving on economic and political reforms, promising faster and more thorough action in these fields. In addition, they blamed the Government for the general drop in living standards and accused it of corruption within its ranks. The outgoing President - in power since the fall of the communist regime in December 1989 and confirmed by election in 1990 and 1992 - countered by calling for reform accompanied by social stability, which his programme targeted.

Polling day results spelled the end of the uninterrupted rule by the communists and their successors as the centre-right CDR came out on top in Parliament with 122 Deputies and 53 Senate seats, in both cases beating the Social Democracy Party of Romania (PDSR), the outgoing governing party known as the National Democratic Salvation Front (NDSF) until July 1993. The PDSR was followed by the USD and Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR).

In the runoff for the presidency of 17 November, Mr. Constantinescu , a former university professor, topped Mr. Iliescu, thus reversing the outcome of the 1992 race which he lost. On 12 December, Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea and the members of the new coalition Cabinet were sworn in. The governing partners are the CRD, the SDU and the UDMR.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (3 November 1996): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 17,218,654
Voters 13,088,388 (76%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 800,717
Valid votes 12,287,671

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) 3,772,084 30.7
Social Democracy Party of Romania (PDSR) 2,836,011 23.08
Social Democratic Union (USD) 1,617,384 13.16
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) 837,760 6.82
"Romania Mare" Party (PMR) 558,026 4.54
Romanian National Unity Party (PUNR) 518,962 4.22

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) 53 +19
Social Democracy Party of Romania (PDSR) 41 -8
Social Democratic Union (USD) 23 +23
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) 11 -1
"Romania Mare" Party (PMR) 8 +3
Romanian National Unity Party (PUNR) 7 -7

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 141
Women: 2


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Copyright 1996 Inter-Parliamentary Union