National Liberal Party

Published 12th November, 2012

The National Liberal Party or PNL was founded in 1875 but was forced to suspend its operations in 1947 when the Communists came to power. It reformed in January 1990. The party describes itself as Centre-right and believes in Liberalism and Conservative Liberalism.

After it reformed in 1990 the PNL stood in the first free elections in the country and won 29 of the 395 Chamber of Deputies seats. Soon after the election there were internal difficulties and a breakaway group went off to form the Liberal Union.

By 1992 the National Liberal Party had become a founding member of the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) which was set up to try and defeat the ruling National Salvation Front. They were not successful, winning 82 of the 341 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

The PNL subsequently left the CDR and in 1995 they merged with the New Liberal Party and a faction of the Civic Alliance Party which gave them 12 Deputies in parliament.

By 1996 the National Liberal party had rejoined the CDR for the general election and the coalition was successful in winning 122 seats in the 343 seat lower house. As a result the PNL became part of the governing coalition.

In 1998 the party merged with the Civic Alliance Party (PAC) and in 2000 they decided to stand alone, winning 30 seats and briefly joining the government.

In 2001 another merger took place, this time with the Alliance for Romania (ApR) and in 2004 they joined forces with the Democratic Party to form the Justice and Truth Alliance. They won 64 seats and entered into government with the Liberal Party, Democratic Party and Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania.

In 2007 the National Liberal Party formed a minority government with the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania and in 2008 they won 65 seats but were forced into opposition.

The next few years proved traumatic for the country and the National Liberal Party finally joined the new government led by Victor Ponta’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) along with the Conservative Party (PC) prior to the 2012 general election.

The National Liberal Party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. In the European Parliament where it has 5 of 33 national seats it is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

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