Democratic Liberal Party

Published 12th November, 2012

The Democratic Liberal Party or PDL took its current form in 2007. Prior to that it can trace its history back to the National Salvation Front (FSN) of 1990, then the Democratic Party (DP) which emerged from the FSN in 2003 and then in 2007 the PD merged with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) to form the present day party.

The party describes itself as Centre-right and believes in Liberal Conservatism, Christian democracy and Pro-Europeanism.

As the National Salvation Front it was the party that emerged from the fall of the Iron Curtain and the downfall of President Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1989. In 1990 the FSN won the general election but soon split and the DP emerged from the remains of the old party. As the party moved away from its social democratic roots it became more centre right.

The party won 43 seats in the 341 seat Chamber of deputies in 1992 and in 1996 it contested the elections as part of the Social Democratic Union (USD) alliance with the Romanian Social Democratic Party; the PD won 43 seats as a result. At this point they joined the coalition government headed by the centre-right Christian Democratic National peasants’ Party (PNT-CD). The coalition was not a great success, relationships were strained and in 2000 the party went along on its own and won 31 seats in the 345 seat Chamber of Deputies.

Up to this point the party had been led by former Prime Minister Petre Roman, but in 2001 Roman was ousted in an extraordinary party convention and was replaced by Traian Băsescu. In the same year the party declared that it was now in favour of a market economy but not a market society, a move which drove Petre Roman and a number of others out of the party.

In 2004 the party did much better and gained 48 seats in a 332 seat parliament although in an alliance with the National Liberal Party (PNL) under the title Justice and Truth. In the presidential election Traian Băsescu won with 51.2% of the vote.

By 2005 relations with the PNL were not good and the DP started to move away and in 2007 carried out the merger with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD). The new party proved to be a success against an unpopular government and in 2008 it came top with 115 seats in the 334 seat parliament. Traian Băsescu was also re-elected as president with 50.33% of the vote in 2009.

Meanwhile Emil Bloc had managed to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats. It worked for a while, but the government fell to a confidence vote in 2009. Bloc was the only person able to construct a new government which lasted until February 2012 when he and the Cabinet resigned following street protests against the government’s austerity measures. In 2012 President Traian Băsescu was also impeached by parliament, but in a subsequent referendum there was not enough support for the new Social Democratic led government of Victor Ponta. Subsequently fresh elections were called for December 2012.

The Democratic Liberal Party is a member of Centrist Democrat International. It is also a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) with 11 of 33 national members in the European Parliament.

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