A significant moment for Romanians
new elected President of Romania

For the past couple of weeks in Romania, there has been a real “political” Brownian movement within the spheres of actions of all its involved actors, either political leaders or citizens. As 2014’s Presidential elections took place and were held in two rounds, on November 2 and 16.

As predicted, the first rounds of elections practically created the perfect context for the presidential playground for the two most important candidates – Victor Ponta and Klaus Iohannis.

This first tour ousted candidates such as Elena Udrea, lawyer, former Minister of Tourism, chief assistant of former President Traian Basescu, or Monica Macovei. The later is former Minister of Justice,  creator of the National Agency of Anticorruption, currently representing Romania in the EU’s Parliament, part of the Liberal Party, promoting more involvement in the educational sector of the country and better management of Romania’s resources, especially in regard to its dependency to the Russian gas support. Among others, although not passing in the second round of the elections, significant votes were gained as well by Calin Popescu Tariceanu, current president of Senate and major investor in private companies in Romania.[1]

As for the second round of elections, which took place on the 16th of November 2014, the results had a significant impact both on Romania’s domestic dynamics as well as on its perception towards its external image. While most would have bet for the victory of Ponta’s part (given factors such as previous political experience he has, its representative party’s majority in the Parliament, estimations made in accordance to results of the first round of elections, etc.), circumstances proved the opposite. Its counter candidate won the elections with a significant number, 54,5% of the total votes, according to Romanian latest news.[2] As the New York Times stated: ”Mr. Iohannis, 55, an ethnic German, ran what many considered a lackluster campaign. Yet voters seem to have decided that he was the better option.” [3] In addition: “”Ponta tried to present himself as a progressive leader, but he failed to convince people,” said Cristian Ghinea, director of the Romanian Center for European Policies, a research group.”[4]

Before the second round of elections, multiple series of protests took place in various cities in Romania, people urged to democracy, fair elections but mostly for every citizen’s right to vote. This last demand came mostly in regard to the way the election process was organized for Romanians living in countries such as U.K., France, Spain, etc. The high numbers of voters in diaspora that did not have opportunity to vote, although with the schedule (07:00 – 21:00) and the conditions of the places where they were supposed to do it. The entire fault passed to the diplomatic body, which is responsible for the development of this significant political process.

Everything automatically led to the dimensions taken by the second round of elections. Hundreds of people went out in the streets to demand their political aspirations and their support as well for the Romanians in diaspora, whose rights were literally not respected at all. Social media was massively their second voice, for those who were not able to vote or who encountered difficulties, for those who wanted to spread the proof of corruption, for those showing off a common feeling towards their country, towards their nation. A second parallel political campaign took practically place online, by Facebook or other online sources.

It was all still a disorganization, not hard to guess why, and in some major cities such as Paris or Torino police forces intervened as the schedule given for voters had finished and there were still persons who could not express their Presidential preferences. Nevertheless, the result was apparently the one desired by the majority of those fighting for their vote.

Still, with all the euphoria now existing in most Romanian groups, we still have to remember previous lessons learned in parallel with those of the current experience. The most important aspect, no matter how much political power will have mister Klaus Iohannis, one person is not enough to build or rebuild Romania from its current status. Therefore, it will take time until consensus will be found, given the fact that Victor Ponta (the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party) is still Prime Minister of Romania, with the PSD majority of the Romanian Parliament as well as the number of voters who were against the election of Mister Iohannis.

After 1989 communist revolution, this was the most significant moment when Romanians fought on a common ground for their future. At the end of it all, regardless of how one voted, we all share the same desire to create a better future in Romania.

[1] http://alegeri.decatorevista.ro/ultimele-articole/cei-14-candidati-la-presedintie-dintr-o-privire-backgroundurile-si-traseele-lor-politice/

[2] http://stirileprotv.ro/stiri/alegeri-prezidentiale-2014/rezultate-partiale-alegeri-prezidentiale-2014-biroul-electoral-central-anunta-primele-rezultate-la-ora-02-00.html

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/world/europe/favorite-concedes-presidency-in-romania.html?_r=0

[4] Idem 3