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The History of Romania Presidency

The History of Romania Presidency

The presidency in Romania has undergone several changes throughout its history, especially since the country’s transition to a democratic republic after the fall of communism in 1989. Here’s a detailed overview of the history of the Romanian presidency:

Pre-Communist Era (1859 until 1947)

  • Romania emerged as a modern nation-state in the mid-19th century when Moldavia and Wallachia united in 1859 under the rule of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza.
  • In 1881, Carol I became the first King of Romania, and the country gained full independence from the Ottoman Empire.
  • The monarchy was constitutional, with a parliament and a prime minister.
  • Successive kings ruled Romania until 1938 when King Carol II dissolved parliament and ruled by decree, leading to authoritarianism.

World War II and Communist Takeover (1940 until 1947)

  • Romania was occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II.
  • After the war, Romania came under Soviet influence, and in 1947, King Michael I was forced to abdicate, leading to the establishment of a communist government under Petru Groza.

Communist Era (1947 until 1989)

  • During this period, Romania was under the authoritarian rule of the Romanian Communist Party, led by figures like Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and Nicolae Ceaușescu.
  • There was no presidential office during this time, as power was concentrated in the hands of the General Secretary of the Communist Party (e.g., Nicolae Ceaușescu) and the Politburo.

Revolution and Transition to Democracy (1989 until 1991)

  • The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 led to the overthrow of Ceaușescu’s regime.
  • Ion Iliescu, a former Communist Party member who distanced himself from Ceaușescu, became the provisional president.
  • In 1990, Iliescu was elected as Romania’s first post-communist president in democratic elections.

Post-Communist Democracy (1991 until Present)

  • Romania adopted a new constitution in 1991, officially becoming a semi-presidential republic.
  • Presidents in Romania have limited executive powers, with the prime minister being the head of government.
  • Subsequent presidents include Emil Constantinescu (1996 until 2000), Ion Iliescu (2000 until 2004), Traian Băsescu (2004 until 2014), Klaus Iohannis (2014 until present).

Klaus Iohannis (2014 until Present)

  • Klaus Iohannis is a member of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the first ethnic German president in Romania’s history.
  • He has been re-elected for a second term in 2019 and is known for his pro-European and pro-reform stance.

For the most up-to-date information on Romania’s presidency, you may need to consult current news sources or official government websites.

The history of Romania’s revolution and transition to democracy is a crucial chapter in the country’s modern history. The Romanian Revolution of 1989 marked the end of decades of communist rule and set the stage for the establishment of a democratic republic. Here’s a detailed overview of this period:


  • Romania had been under communist rule since the end of World War II, with Nicolae Ceaușescu serving as the country’s dictator from 1965.
  • Ceaușescu’s regime was characterized by extreme repression, censorship, economic hardship, and a cult of personality.

The Romanian Revolution of 1989

  • The Romanian Revolution began in the city of Timișoara in December 1989 when protests against the government’s eviction of a Hungarian priest escalated into anti-regime demonstrations.
  • The revolution quickly spread to other cities, including Bucharest, and gained momentum as citizens from various backgrounds joined in.

Key Events During the Revolution

  • Bucharest Uprising: In December 1989, large-scale protests erupted in Bucharest. On December 22, Ceaușescu attempted to quell the uprising with a speech in Bucharest’s Revolution Square. However, his speech was met with jeers and further protests.
  • Ceaușescu’s Flight and Capture: On December 22, 1989, Ceaușescu and his wife, Elena, attempted to flee Bucharest by helicopter but were eventually captured by the military.
  • Trial and Execution: The Ceaușescus were put on trial by a military tribunal on December 25, 1989. They were convicted of crimes against the state and sentenced to death. The following day, they were executed by firing squad.

Post-Revolution Transition

  • A provisional government, the National Salvation Front (FSN), was formed, with Ion Iliescu, a former high-ranking Communist Party member who had distanced himself from Ceaușescu, as its leader. Iliescu became the interim president.
  • The FSN organized free elections in May 1990, in which Ion Iliescu was elected as Romania’s first post-communist president.

Challenges During the Transition

  • The transition from communism to democracy and a market economy was challenging. Romania faced economic hardship, hyperinflation, and political instability in the early 1990s.
  • There were concerns about the role of former communists in the new government, leading to political polarization.
  • Efforts were made to establish democratic institutions, including drafting a new constitution in 1991.

International Integration

  • Romania sought to strengthen its ties with the West and pursued NATO membership. In 2004, Romania became a full member of NATO.
  • The country also worked toward European Union (EU) accession, eventually becoming an EU member in 2007. This marked a significant step in Romania’s political and economic integration with Western Europe.

Subsequent Presidents:

Following Ion Iliescu, Romania saw the presidencies of Emil Constantinescu, Traian Băsescu, and Klaus Iohannis, each contributing to the country’s democratic development and European integration.

This period in Romania’s history represented a profound transformation from an authoritarian communist regime to a democratic republic integrated into Western political and economic institutions. It was marked by challenges, but it also demonstrated the resilience and determination of the Romanian people to embrace democracy and freedom.

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