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ROMANIA
Camera Deputatilor (Chamber of Deputies)

This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Oversight and Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlamentul României / Parliament of Romania
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Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Camera Deputatilor / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senatul / Senate
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1891 - 1950
1954 -
LEADERSHIP
President Florin Iordache (M) 
Notes 22 June 2016 -
Secretary General Cristian Adrian Panciu (M) 
Notes Appointed on 20 Dec. 2012.
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 412 / 401
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 55 (13.72%)
Mode of designation directly elected 315
other 97
Notes Other: 79 overhang seats and 18 members representing ethnic minorities.

In accordance with Law no. 208 of 20 July 2015, the number of members will decrease from 315 to 312. All members are directly elected. Four will be elected from abroad.
If a legally established national minority does not win any seats in either chamber of Parliament, the citizens' organization representing that national minority is entitled to one seat in the Chamber of Deputies (under certain conditions). There are 19 legally established national minorities; the Czech and Slovak minorities are represented by one person. A maximum of 18 seats can therefore be allocated to national minorities.
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 9 December 2012
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Camera Deputatilor
Palatul Parlamentului
Str. Izvor 2-4, Sector 5
050563 BUCHAREST
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (40 21) 414 18 75
Fax (40 21) 414 21 49
E-mail dropi@cdep.ro
Website
http://www.cdep.ro

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlamentul României / Parliament of Romania
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Camera Deputatilor / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senatul / Senate
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 15 July 1992
Last updated on 20 July 2015 (Law no. 208/2015)
Mode of designation directly elected 315
other 97
Constituencies - 41 constituencies at county level (one constituency per county) for 279 seats
- 1 constituency in Bucharest for 29 seats
- 1 constituency abroad for four seats
There is one Deputy for every 73,000 inhabitants.
Voting system Proportional: List Proportional Representation (List PR)
Political parties contesting the election on their own must be above the following thresholds to win parliamentary representation: 5 per cent of the total number of valid votes cast at national level or 20 per cent of the total number of valid votes cast in at least four constituencies.
The corresponding thresholds for political alliances are: 8 per cent for alliances of two parties, 9 per cent for alliances of three parties, and 10 per cent for alliances of four parties or more.

Reserved seats for national minorities:
A national minority is entitled to one seat in the Chamber of Deputies if the following conditions are met:
- The minority has not won any seats in either chamber of Parliament,
- The citizens' organization representing that minority has a seat on the Council of National Minorities,
- The citizens' organization as a whole has obtained at least 5% of the average number of valid votes cast for an elected Deputy.

Within 30 days after the date of the election, the organizations wanting to qualify for a reserved seat must submit to the Central Election Bureau a document that lists at least 15% of those who have declared themselves as belonging to that minority.

There is no upper limit on the number of seats reserved for minority organizations. However, since there are 19 legally established national minorities, and the Czech and Slovak minorities are represented by one person, there is an effective maximum of 18 national minorities represented under the reserved seats.

Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by unsuccessful candidates who have been declared as substitutes on the corresponding party list. By-elections can be held in exceptional situations.

Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - Age: 18 years
- Romanian citizenship
- Disqualifications: mentally deficient or alienated persons laid under interdiction and those disenfranchised pursuant to a final court decision
CANDIDATES
Eligibility Qualified electors
- Age: 23 years
- Romanian citizenship
- Residence in Romania
Incompatibilities - Public officers (except members of the Government)
- Prefects, sub-prefects, heads of public services and other governmental authorities in a territorial administrative unit (but only in constituencies where one is exercising any of those functions)
- Judges of the Constitutional Court
- Advocates of the people
- Magistrates
- Members of the armed forces on active duty
- Policemen
- Other categories of civil servants established by organic law, who may not join political parties
Candidacy requirements - Candidatures proposed on a list that may only be submitted by legally constituted parties and other political bodies
- Support by at least 0.5% of the voters from a constituency in the case of independent candidates
- Nominations must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to polling day

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlamentul României / Parliament of Romania
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Camera Deputatilor / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senatul / Senate
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 9 December 2012
Timing and scope of renewal The Social Liberal Union, co-led by socialist Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Senate President Crin Antonescu, won the elections, taking a two-thirds majority in both chambers. The election generated a record 118 "overhang" seats (see note). The Right Romania Alliance, close to President Traian Basescu, came in a distant second. The People's Party - Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD), formed by a media tycoon in 2010 Dan Diaconescu, took 47 and 21 seats respectively.

During the election campaign, major contenders pledged to work for Romania's integration in the Schengen area and the eurozone. Prime Minister Ponta opposed austerity measures introduced by President Basescu, and promised more jobs, investment and fewer taxes. The PP-DD promised to provide 20,000-euro subsidies to entrepreneurs starting a new business.

The 2012 elections followed a period of political turmoil. In July, Parliament voted to suspend President Basescu from office, after the Social Liberal Union accused him of improperly blocking government policies. The subsequent referendum on the President's impeachment was invalidated by the Constitutional Court due to low voter turnout.

On 21 December, Parliament approved Mr. Ponta's new government, which comprised the four parties that make up the Social Liberal Union.


Note on overhang seats:
Only candidates who win more than 50 per cent of the votes in single-member constituencies are automatically elected. Meanwhile, all parties surpassing the 5-per-cent threshold receive seats in proportion of their share of the votes. These seats are distributed firstly at the county level and then at the national level. If a party is entitled to more seats than the number of seats remaining in the same county, "overhang" seats are created for this purpose (Article 47 (15) of the Electoral law).

Under the current electoral system, additional "overhang seats" will be generated if one party wins a lot of single-member constituency seats in the same county. In 2012, many Social Liberal Union candidates won constituency seats with more than 50 per cent of the votes, thus generating a record 79 overhang seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 39 in the Senate. The previous legislature elected in 2008 had only one overhang seat in the Chamber of Deputies.
Date of previous elections: 30 November 2008

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: Not applicable

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: November - December 2016

Number of seats at stake: 412 (full renewal)*
*Including 79 overhang seats.

Number of candidates: 1,691

Percentage of women candidates: Not available.

Number of parties contesting the election: 45

Number of parties winning seats: 9 (including four parties in the USL and three in the ARD)

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 4

Names of parties in government: The Social Democratic Party (PSD), the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Conservative Party (PC) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 19 December 2012

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Valeriu Stefan Zgonea (Social Democratic Party)
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 19 December 2012
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
18'423'066
7'694'180 (41.76%)

7'409'626
Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Social Liberal Union (USL)
Right Romania Alliance (ARD)
People's Party - Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD)
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR)
Members representing ethnic minorities
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Social Liberal Union (USL) 273
Right Romania Alliance (ARD) 56
People's Party - Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD) 47
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) 18
Members representing ethnic minorities 18
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
357

55

13.35%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Sources:
Parliament (01.01.2014, 01.01.2015)
http://www.becparlamentare2012.ro/rezultate.html
http://www.cdep.ro/pls/parlam/structura.de?leg=2012&cam=2&par=F&idl=2

Note on the distribution of seats:
- The Social Liberal Union (USL) comprised the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Conservative Party (PC) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR).
- The Right Romania Alliance (ARD) comprised the Democratic-Liberal Party (PD-L), the National Peasant Christian-Democratic Party (PNT-CD) and the Civic Force (FC).

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlamentul României / Parliament of Romania
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Camera Deputatilor / Chamber of Deputies
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senatul / Senate
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title President of the Chamber of Deputies
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, removal, death, dissolution of the Chamber
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Chamber
- election is held at the beginning of the legislature
- after Members' mandates are validated
Eligibility - any Member of the Chamber may be a candidate; each parliamentary group proposes a candidate
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- absolute majority is required in the first round, relative majority in the second round
- if no candidate obtains the required majority of votes in the first round, a second round is held and the candidate obtaining the relative majority of votes is elected
- if there is a succession of votes, no new candidate is admitted
Procedures / results - the oldest Member presides over the Chamber during the voting
- a committee including a representative from all the parliamentary groups supervises the voting
- the oldest Member announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks third in the hierarchy of State
- represents the Chamber with the public authorities
- represents the Chamber in international bodies
- may be called upon as acting Head of State, after the President of the Senate
- both Presidents preside the joined sittings at the Chambers by turns
- in the absence of the President, the Vice-Presidents can assume his/her role and functions by turns
Board - the standing Bureau consists of 13 Members: one Chairman, four Vice-Chairmen, four secretaries and four questors; it is presided by the President of the Chamber
- the term of the Members' mandate is one year, except that of the President
- meets twice a week at the convocation of the President or of at least 4 of its Members

Material facilities - monthly allowance
- official car
- secretariat
- a group of councillors
- body guards

FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- refers texts to a committee for study
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Chamber
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
Special powers - is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates from the rostrum
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting
- proposes bills or amendments
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure

This page was last updated on 25 November 2016
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