Social Democratic Party (Romania)

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Social Democratic Party
Partidul Social Democrat
Abbreviation PSD
President Liviu Dragnea[1]
Secretary-General Marian Neacșu (ro)
Executive President Niculae Bădălău (ro)
Honorary President Ion Iliescu
Leader in the Senate Mihai Fifor
Leader in the Chamber of Deputies Eugen Nicolicea (ro)
Leader in the European Parliament Viorica Dăncilă
Founded 17 January 1990 (PSDR)
6 February 1990 (FSN)
1992 (FDSN)
1993 (PDSR)
16 June 2001 (as PSD)
Merger of PDSR
Preceded by PDSR
Headquarters Șos. Kiseleff nr. 10 Bucharest
Youth wing TSD
Women's wing OFSD
Membership (2014) 509,000[2]
Ideology Social democracy[3]
Social conservatism[4]
Political position Fiscal:
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
International affiliation Progressive Alliance
Socialist International
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colors Red
Chamber of Deputies
154 / 329
67 / 136
European Parliament
14 / 32
1,708 / 3,186
County Councilors
638 / 1,434
Local Council Councilors
16,969 / 40,067

The Social Democratic Party (Romanian: Partidul Social Democrat, PSD) is the major social-democratic[3][8] 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 traces its origins to the Democratic National Salvation Front, a breakaway group established in 1992 from the post-communist National Salvation Front. In 1993 this merged with three other parties to become the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR). The present name was adopted after a merger with the smaller Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR) in 2001. Since its formation, it has always been one of the two dominant parties of the country. The PDSR governed Romania from 1992 to 1996, while the PSDR was a junior coalition partner between 1996 and 2000. The merged PSD was the senior party in the coalitions governing from 2000 to 2004, and from March 2014 to November 2015, as well as one of the main coalition partners between December 2008 and October 2009 (with the Democratic Liberal Party) and again between May 2012 and March 2014 (as part of the Social Liberal Union). The party left government after Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned in November 2015, only to return as the senior governing party in January 2017, after a major victory in the legislative elections. 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 former Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta stepped down on 12 July 2015, following charges of corruption later dropped.


On 7 April 1992, the struggle for power inside the National Salvation Front (Romanian: Frontul Salvării Naționale, 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 Naționale, 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 Democrației Sociale in România, PDSR) upon merger with the Socialist Democratic Party of Romania, the Republican Party and the Cooperative Party.

From 1994 to 1996 the PDSR ruled in coalition with 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 went into opposition after the 1996 election, which was won by the right-wing coalition Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR).

After 4 years of governmental turmoil and economic downfall, poorly managed by the crumbling CDR, saw PDSR making a fulminant comeback, winning the November 2000 elections, 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 June 2001, and the resulting party took its present name, PSD.

In November 2004, Adrian Năstase, the PSD candidate and incumbent Prime Minister, 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 narrowly lost to Traian Băsescu of the opposition Justice and Truth alliance, who became Romania's 4th president. In the legislative elections of 2004, the PSD gained the largest share of the vote but because it did not have a majority, the other parties that managed to enter parliament, UDMR and PUR, abandoned their respective pre-electoral agreements with PSD and joined the Justice and Truth Alliance, mainly at the pressure of the recently elected president.

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.

On 17 April 2008, the Social Democratic Party and the Conservative Party announced they would form a political alliance for the 2008 local elections.[9]

In February 2010, the Congress elected Victor Ponta as president, after Mircea Geoana lost the presidential elections in December 2009.

On 5 February 2011, the PSD formed a political alliance known as the Social Liberal Union (USL) with the Conservative Party and National Liberal Party.[10][11] The USL was disbanded on 25 February 2014 with exit of the National Liberal Party which immediately entered opposition.[12]



The president of the party conducts the general activity of the party, the activity of the National Executive Committee and the National Permanent Bureau and responds to the Congress on the general work of the Social Democratic Party. The president is elected by secret vote by the Congress for a four-year mandate and represents the party in the Romanian society, in relations with the central and local public authorities, as well as with other parties or organizations in the country or abroad.

Honorary President

PSD Honorary President is nominated by Congress for the four-year mandate of the party's recognized personalities. The Honorary President of the PSD participates with the right to vote in the work of the national governing bodies.

Secretary General

The Secretary-General manages the functional services at the central level and the relationship with the county and Bucharest organizations. It coordinates the Executive Secretariat of the PSD with 7 to 9 executive secretaries. Executive secretaries shall be appointed by the National Executive Committee, on a proposal from the Chair, after consulting the Secretary-General.

Permanent National Bureau

The Permanent National Bureau is the operative body for analyzing and deciding the party. It has the following composition: PSD President, PSD Honorary President, PSD Secretary General, PSD Deputy Chairpersons. At the National Permanent Bureau, the chairman of the National Council, the leaders of the parliamentary groups, the presidents of women and youth organizations, the treasurer, the director of the Social Democratic Institute, the representative of the county administrative council presidents, the mayors of municipalities and the representative of the National League of Mayors and PSD Councilors participate. The National Permanent Bureau meets weekly, usually Monday.

The Permanent National Bureau shall have the following duties:

  • To organize and direct the entire current activity of the Party, according to the decisions adopted as appropriate by the Congress, the National Council and the National Executive Committee;
  • Drafts draft decisions that it submits to the debate and adoption of the National Executive Committee;
  • Orientates the work of parliamentary groups;
  • Establishes and coordinates working committees on doctrine, electoral programs and strategies;
  • Establishes and co-ordinates political analysis groups of the economic, social, domestic and international situation;
  • Manages the party's patrimony.

The National Executive Committee

Coordinates the entire activity of the party between the meetings of the National Council. The PSD National Executive Committee analyzes, debates and decides on the fundamental issues of the Party's work on: the program, the electoral strategy, the political and electoral alliances, the governing program, the structure and the nominal composition of the Government, the validation of the party's preliminary election for the nomination of candidates for senators, MEPs, MEPs and elected local, merging by absorption or merging with other parties; PSD collaboration agreements with trade unions and employers' confederations; the strategy of selecting, preparing, training and promoting the party's human resources, organizing and conducting internal party choices, coordinating the activities of the Youth Organization and the Women's Organization. The adopted decisions are validated by the National Council. The National Executive Committee consists of PSD President, PSD Honorary President, PSD Secretary General, PSD Vice Presidents, President of the National Council, Presidents of County Organizations, Sectors and the Bucharest Municipality Organization, the President of the Women's Organization and the President of the Youth Organization.

National Council

Adrian Năstase during a meeting of the National Council

The National Council is the governing body of the party in the interval between two congresses. It consists of a maximum of 751 members elected from the candidates nominated by the County and Bucharest Conferences, or proposed by the Congress. The National Council elects and revokes by secret vote the President of the National Council and the treasurer, validates the composition of the National Executive Committee and The Permanent National Bureau; decides to conclude political alliances as well as merge by merging or absorbing with other political parties or political parties; to hear the activity reports submitted by members of the Permanent National Bureau, by the Chairman of the Commission for Arbitration and Moral Integrity, by the President of the National Commission for Financial Control and Treasurer and decides accordingly on the basis of the mandate given by the Congress, according to the provisions of the Statute; is responsible for organizing presidential, parliamentary, euro-parliamentary and local electoral campaigns; analyzes the work of parliamentary groups, women's and youth organizations, the National League of Mayors and PSD Councilors; validates the decisions of the National Executive Committee on the Governance Program and confirms the proposals of members of the Government; resolve the appeals lodged against the decisions of the councils of the county organizations or of the Bucharest municipality; resolves the divergences between the Councils of the County Organizations, respectively the Bucharest Municipality Organization and the National Executive Committee in connection with the nomination of the candidates for the legislative elections, if they persist; approves the party's annual revenue and expenditure budget, decides on its execution. The PSD National Council meets annually and whenever needed. Deputies, senators and MEPs who are not members of the National Council participate in its meetings without the right to vote. The National Council may decide, on a proposal from the Permanent National Bureau, to organize forums, leagues, associations, clubs and other such bodies for the promotion of strategies in the PSD Political Program, in the Romanian society and in partnership with the trade unions. The party-union relationship as well as the concrete ways of collaboration will be established by the National Permanent Bureau. Within the PSD there are: the National Workers' Forum; National Farmers Forum; National Ecologists' Forum; The National Forum of Scientists, Culture and Art and the Pensioners' League. In order to develop PSD programs and strategies in the field of party life, consultative councils can be set up on: political analysis, image and relations with the media; organization and human resources. The Consultative Council for the Problems of National Minorities of the PSD carries out activities to identify the specific problems faced by national minorities in Romania and develops appropriate solutions and proposals for their resolution.


The supreme governing party of the Social Democratic Party is the Congress, which is convened every four years or in extraordinary cases. The PSD Congress is made up of elected delegates by secret ballot by the County Conferences and the Bucharest Municipality and has the following attributions: adopting or modifying the PSD Statute and the Political Program of the Party; sets out the party's guidelines, strategy and tactics for the period between two congresses; elects the party chairman, the vice-presidents, the general secretary, the other members of the National Council, the National Commission for Arbitration and Moral Integrity and the National Commission for Financial Control; appoints the PSD candidate to the position of President of Romania and the Prime Minister in the event of winning the elections; resolves possible appeals against decisions of other PSD central bodies.

Leadership of FSN, FDSN, PDSR and PSD


Executive presidents

Notable members

Current members

Former members

Electoral performance

Legislative elections

Election Votes  % Chamber Senate Position Resulting government
1990 9,353,006 67.02
263 / 395
91 / 119
1st (as FSN) FSN
1992 3,102,201 28.29
117 / 341
49 / 143
1996 2,836,011 23.08
91 / 343
41 / 143
2000 4,040,212 37.09
155 / 345
65 / 140
1st (as PDSR) PDSR minority government (with UDMR support)
2004 3,798,607 37.2
132 / 332
57 / 137
1st (as PSD+PUR) DA-PUR-UDMR (until April 2007)
supporting a minority PNL-UDMR government
2008 2,352,968 34.16
114 / 334
49 / 137
1st (as PSD+PC) PDL-PSD (until December 2009)
PDL-UNPR-UDMR (until May 2012)
USL (until December 2012)
2012 4,457,526 60.1 (as USL)
145 / 412
59 / 176
1st (as USL) USL (until March 2014)
PSD-UNPR-UDMR-PC (until December 2014)
PSD-UNPR-ALDE (until November 2015)
Ind. (Cioloș Cabinet)
2016 3,221,786 45.68
154 / 329
67 / 136

Presidential elections

Election Candidate First round Second round
Votes % Position Votes % Position
1990 Ion Iliescu 12,232,498
1992 Ion Iliescu 5,633,465
 1st  7,393,429
1996 Ion Iliescu 4,081,093
 1st  5,914,579
2000 Ion Iliescu 4,076,273
 1st  6,696,623
2004 Adrian Năstase 4,278,864
 1st  4,881,520
2009 Mircea Geoană 3,027,838
 2nd  5,205,760
2014 Victor Ponta 3,836,093
 1st  5,264,383

European elections

Election Votes  % Seats
2007 1,184,018 23.1
10 / 35
2009 1,504,218 31.1
11 / 33
2014 2,093,237 37.6
16 / 32


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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16] PSD Senator Dan Șova, 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."[17] 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.[18] Following public outcry, Șova 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.[19]

See also


  1. ^ (in Romanian) Ștefan Pană, "Liviu Dragnea, ales președinte 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. 
  3. ^ a b Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "STRUCTURA PARLAMENTULUI ROMÂNIEI 2012-prezent". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "STRUCTURA PARLAMENTULUI ROMÂNIEI 2012-prezent". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Romania's PSD and PC form alliance (
  10. ^ "Romanian Oppositions Form Alliance". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "FOCUS Information Agency". FOCUS Information Agency. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Romania's Liberals to leave ruling coalition, government". The Sofia Globe. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ "Geoana, stenogramele si reformarea PSD". 9AM. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Adrian Nastase s-a autosuspendat din conducerea PSD". HotNewsRo. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  16. ^ 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 
  17. ^ "Romanian MP stirs outcry with Holocaust comment". European Jewish Press. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  18. ^ "'Elie Wiesel' Institute in Romania criticizes Senator Sova for statements made on a TV channel". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  19. ^ "Sozi-Chef Ponta enthebt Parteisprecher Sova zeitweilig des Amtes wegen Holocaust-Leugnung" (in German). Retrieved 2012-03-07. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Transcripts of PSD meetings
  • "Geoană admitted PSD stenograms were genuine", in Ziua

Coordinates: 44°27′40.46″N 26°4′52.85″E / 44.4612389°N 26.0813472°E / 44.4612389; 26.0813472

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