Romania presidential elections 2019: Who is Mircea Diaconu, the actor who wants to be the first independent president?
Romanians go to the polls on Sunday (November 10) to vote their president for the next five years. While incumbent president Klaus Iohannis is the clear favorite, three candidates have the chance to join him in the second round. Romania-Insider.com has compiled brief profiles of the four people with the highest chances of becoming Romania's next president.
Mircea Diaconu, 69, runs as an independent in this year’s presidential elections, but he also has the support of two smaller parties, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and PRO Romania. An opinion poll conducted by IMAS for Europa FM shows him second in the intended vote, ahead of Dancila and Barna, but USR internal polls show him only fourth. Diaconu himself stated that his chances of getting to the second round are “very low” but he believes he can beat president Klaus Iohannis in the second round.
He can offer a surprise in the first round if he manages to “steal” enough of PSD’s voters and former voters who don’t support Viorica Dancila’s candidacy. The PSD mayor of Bacau, for example, has recently announced that he supports Diaconu for president.
Mircea Diaconu was born in Vladesti, Arges county. He graduated from the Theater and Cinematography Institute in Bucharest, in 1971, and, on the same year, he had his first role in a movie, in Dan Pita’s Stone Wedding (Nunta de piatra). His most memorable roles in movies were in a trilogy about the adventures of three brothers from Transylvania in America (The Prophet, the Gold and the Transylvanians and its sequels), and in Nae Caranfil’s Asfalt Tango and Filantropica. He also worked as a theater actor at the Bulandra Theatre and then Nottara Theatre in Bucharest, where he was also a manager.
Mircea Diaconu was, along with Ana Blandiana, Emil Constantinescu, Petre Mihai Băcanu and others, a founding member of the Civic Alliance, in November 1990. Between 1996 and 2000, he was a member of the National Audiovisual Council (CNA). In November 2008, he became a senator with the support of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and served as culture minister between May and June 2012. In March 2014, he resigned from PNL and ran for the European Parliament as an independent. He was elected with 6.81% of the votes, the fourth-biggest score. He was a vice president of the Commission for Culture and Education.
In September 2019, he started his campaign for presidency with the motto “One Man”. His message is one with nationalistic accents. “We must, more than ever, stop the phenomenon of dissolution of the nation, numerically and, especially, spiritually,” Diaconu says. He wants to give back Romanians hope and confidence in themselves and their future.
He presents himself as an independent. “A president is not from the left, he is not from the right, he is non-partisan and represents all Romanians. As president, you are not allowed to divide the world into moral and immoral. You are not allowed to lock yourself in a box and not talk to anyone, on the contrary, you need to have the door open and relate to everyone, be everyone’s, unite, not divide,” is one of the messages on his campaign website.
(Opening photo source: Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea; Gallery: Mircea Diaconu Facebook page)