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Romanian Parliamentary Elections 1990–2012

Stability and Stir

Cosmin Gabriel Marian

This is a book about parliamentary elections in Romania in the two decades that followed the collapse of the one-party rule. It charts how the electoral rules developed, it looks at how people voted, and takes stock of the long term effects of the electoral system. Despite commotion and experimentation in the electoral rules and stir in the political arena, the Romanian election outcomes over the past two decades are surprisingly monotonous. Twenty years after they entered the first electoral cycle in 1990, the Romanian political parties and partisan groups were about in the same condition: quarters united against themselves.
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Turnout in Romania: something about the electoral formula, the people and the society


Turnout in Romania: something about the electoral formula, the people and the society

By the end of the first decade of the twenty first century, Romania could look back at its longest continuous period of free-run political elections compared to any other political epoch and see that showing to the ballot box presented virtually no interest for almost two-thirds of the electorate. By this landmark, the country witnessed seven general election events: 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Some were more contested than others. Between the first and the last of these events, national turnout spanned from an almost ninety-percent-plebiscite-like figure in 1990 to less than half in 2008 and 2012, and covering the whole array that experts might expect to find in a democratic society (Franklin, 1996; Dalton, 1998).

In Romania, all people are eligible to vote if they are at least eighteen years of age, and not excluded by some individual court decision (1991 Constitution of Romania, Article 34, and 2003 Constitution of Romania, Article 36). There is no specific voting registration procedure yet there is an implicit assignment to a specific voting district and section based on residence. Previous to the 2008 electoral reforms, people who were not in their locality of residence on voting day, could still vote in special voting sections. High levels of voter turnout in the first two Romanian parliamentary elections fall in line with other East-European countries that were transitioning from communism in early 1990s (Millard,...

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