Romania will have its largest number of MPs to date in this parliament, after the general election results came in earlier this week. With 588 Senators and deputies and with a slight space issue for joint meetings, the Parliament is close in size to the German Bundestag, which has 622 MPs, in a country of 82 million people. Romania, with only some 19 million people, now has twice as many MPs as the total number approved in a referendum in 2009, when the idea of having a single Chamber Parliament was put to the people. It is also higher than the current 471 – member Parliament.
The current system in Romania is to blame for the higher number of MPs. The uninominal system allows all those who got over 5 percent of the votes to be re-distributed based on an algorithm applied at party level. This way, some of those from parties with lower votes managed to get seats in the Parliament even though they had lost at local level.
The new Parliament will have to meet for the first time at 20 days after the elections, at most, and it will be convoked by the country’s President Traian Basescu. After that, the consultations to create the Government start, and the president has to invite for negotiations the party which got over 50 percent of the mandates – in this case, the Social Liberal Union, made of three parties – the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Conservative Party (PC).
President Basescu announced the new Parliament will be summoned immediately after the results of the elections will be published in the Official Gazette. The results have to be first validated by the Central Electoral Bureau, which is likely to happen this Friday, according to commentators. It is then the president’s choice when to name a Prime Minister and ask for a vote in the Parliament within ten days.
Victor Ponta, the current Prime Minister, and the USL’s name for the future head of the new Government, said it was irresponsible to delay naming the Prime Minister. He is hoping for the naming and for the new Government to be voted in as soon as possible, to draft the 2013 budget, and to avoid delaying the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation.
USL won 395 seats in the new Parliament – 67.1 percent, and will be able to pass laws without the help of other parties. The Right Romania Alliance (ARD) has 80 seats – 13.6 percent of the votes, and the People’s Party Dan Diaconescu, 67 MPs – or 11.3 percent. The Magyar Union has 27 MPs – 4.6 percent, while the minority parties have 18 seats.