- Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL) – 51 senators
- Social-Democrat Party & Conservator Party (PSD+PC) – 49 senators
- National Liberal Party (PNL) – 28 senators
- Democratic Union of Hungarians from Romania (UDMR) – 9 senators
Chamber of Deputies
- Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL) – 115 deputies
- Social-Democrat Party & Conservator Party (PSD+PC) – 114 deputies
- National Liberal Party (PNL) – 65 deputies
- Democratic Union of Hungarians from Romania (UDMR) – 22 deputies
For the first time in Romania, after 1990, only four major political parties have managed to score enough votes to surpass the 5% treshold that allows them to enter the Parliament, leaving outside a couple of the other smaller, but traditionally present in the Parliament in the previous years, political parties. For the first time, the Romanian population has consolidated the fragmented political arena into four major political forces that actually matter.
A quick look at the numbers tells us that there is no political party or electoral alliance that won a majority in any of the two chambers of the Romanian Parliament. What this means is that in order to ensure a proper governance, two or more of these parties need to form an alliance. While the orientation of the four parties is quite clear (PSD+PC left orientation; PD-L, PNL right orientation; UDMR populist orientation) and in itself suggests a logical alliance, the game is by far not that simple.
In fact, all parties have initiated negotiations among themselves on different fronts. PSD+PC is already negotiating with both PD-L and PNL. In the same time, PD-L is already negotiating with both PNL and PSD+PC, although they declared that they would prefer the logical right oriented alliance to be formed, also having the historical collaboration from the 2004 elections. Back then, the PD-L & PNL alliance won the elections, but broke up because of leadership conflicts after only a year. Ironically, the legal entity that the alliance was in 2004 is not yet dissolved, so it could be used as a vehicle for governance with a minimal effort.
If a right oriented political alliance is formed, the implications on the Romanian economical and business environment are pretty clear. A more liberal government will most likely push for the economic development of the country and the better liberalization of the business environment, sacrificing somehow the population in the short term, but improving its chances for a higher quality of life in the long term.
If a mixed right and left oriented political alliance is formed, the implications on the Romanian direction of development are unclear, to say the least. The alliance, most probably forced by rather personal or leadership affinities than by country needs, will have conflicting ideologies and governance programs that could result in an unclear development path for Romania, if any at all.
There’s also the option of a minority governance of one of the two parties that won most of the places in the Parliament (PD-L most probably, since it’s supported by the President, who is not a fan of any of the Prime Minister options that the other parties are offering), but this governance would be a weak one. Always at the whim of the opposing parties, who could form an opposition majority, the minority governance would most probably be unable to implement any policy that contradicts in a way or another (ideological or personal) the priorities of the opposing parties.
There’s also the option of a national unity governance, where all parties in the Parliament govern together, negotiating among themselves the key positions in the Parliament (head of Senate and head of Chamber of Deputies) and the Ministries. However, based on the affinity (or rather the lack of it) among the four Parliamentary parties, this option is a rather improbable one.
In the end, whichever the result of negotiations are, the impact on the Romanian economic and business environment will probably be a major one that we should be highly aware of and highly attuned at. Personally, I hope that the right oriented parties will reach an agreement and form a governing alliance, because at the moment it looks to be the most logical and most beneficial for Romania at this moment. However, in order to do this, they will need to be able to hold on to the alliance for the entire four years duration of their mandates and not break up in one or two years as they did previously.
(originally published at: blog.ceubusiness.ro)