Romania is a social Republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Romania is the largest of the Balkan countries and is going to join the European Union (EU) in January 2007.
The President is the head of the state and is elected by a popular vote for a five-year term. President is the commander- in-chief of the armed forces and is responsible for safeguarding the constitution. According to the constitution of Romania, President acts as mediator among the various power centers within the state. Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the consent of the parliament (generally the leader of the majority party) to serve a four-year term. Prime Minister is the head of the government and enjoys the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is appointed by the Prime Minister.
The legislature in Romania is bicameral. The Parliament consists of: Senate (the upper house) having 137 seats and the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) having 332 seats. The members of both the houses are elected by direct, popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms. The executive branch of government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. Prime Minister does not have the power to dissolve the Parliament directly, but President can do so after consultation with the political parties represented in the Parliamnet.The people of Romania have considerable political rights.
Judiciary is not completely independent in Romania. It is highly influenced by the executive institutions. The main source of the law in Romania is the constitution of 1991(revised in 2003). The legal system is based on the French civil code (Napoleonic Code). The judicial language used in the country is Romanian, having an interpreter is possible.
Romania is weakly ruled by law. Foreign nationals cannot expect an impartial trial from the country’s judicial system. Corruption remains a serious problem in the country, especially in the government and the corporate sector. Though anti-corruption laws have been passed by the government, but no genuine progress has been made.
Major political parties
Romania has a multi-party system, where parties generally work with each other to form coalition governments. The major political parties in the country are:
- PSD (Social Democratic Party) – follows social-democratic ideology,
- PNL (National Liberal Party) – advocates liberalism, both economic and social,
- PD (Democratic Party) – follows centre-right ideology,
- PC (Conservative Party) – advocates family values and nationalism without chauvinism,
- PRM (Greater Romania Party) – a right-wing strong nationalist party.
Major political leaders
President: Traian BASESCU (since December 2004) - PD
Prime Minister: Calin Popescu-TARICEANU (since December 2004) – PNL, heading a coalition government with PD
Next political election dates
Presidential: November-December 2009
Senate: November 2008
Chamber of Deputies: November 2008