|Leader in the Senate||Lóránd Turos|
|Leader in the Chamber of Deputies||Botond Csoma|
|Founded||25 December 1989|
|Headquarters|| Bucharest (presidency)|
Cluj-Napoca (presidency and executive presidency)
|National affiliation||National Coalition for Romania (CNR) (2021–present)|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (EPP)|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International (CDI)|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party (EPP)|
9 / 136
|Chamber of Deputies|
20 / 330
2 / 33
199 / 3,176
4 / 41
92 / 1,340
|Local Council Councilors|
2,360 / 39,900
3 / 21[a]
a. ^ + a deputy prime minister
The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR; Hungarian : Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség, RMDSZ; Romanian : Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România, UDMR) is a political party in Romania which aims to represent the significant Hungarian minority of Romania. It has been described as having close ties with Hungary’s socially-conservative ruling Fidesz party.
Officially considering itself a federation of minority interests rather than a party,from the 1990 general elections onwards the DAHR has had parliamentary representation in the Romanian Senate and Chamber of Deputies. From 1996 onwards the DAHR has been a junior coalition partner in several governments.
The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and Centrist Democrat International (CDI).
The UDMR was founded on 25 December 1989, immediately after the fall of the Communist dictatorship in the Romanian Revolution of 1989 to represent in public the interests of the Hungarian community of Romania. Its first president was writer Géza Domokos during the early 1990s.
The UDMR obtained consistent results during the 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and the 2012 elections, gaining representation in both houses of the Parliament, yet until 1996 the UDMR acted in opposition. From 1996 onwards, the party governed in a coalition with the Romanian Democratic Convention (Romanian : Conveția Democrată Română) (CDR)—a wide centre-right alliance that won the elections that year—and obtained some positions in the government of Victor Ciorbea.
Four years later, the opposition party, the Social Democratic Party of Romania (PSD) won the 2000 elections. Although the UDMR did not join the new government as a coalition partner, it did sign a series of annual contracts with the PSD in which the PSD pledged to implement certain legal rights for the Hungarian minority community in return for UDMR's support in parliament.
In the 2004 elections, the UDMR made an alliance to back Adrian Năstase of the Social Democratic Party, who was the favourite to win the presidential elections, but the surprise victory of Traian Băsescu rocked the Romanian political spectrum. After negotiations, the UDMR, together with the Romanian Humanist Party (later to become the Conservative Party), defected from the PSD alliance and pledged to form a coalition with the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA). The UDMR obtained positions in the government.
After the 2008 legislative elections UDMR entered in opposition. In 2009, after the adoption of a motion of no confidence against the Emil Boc's left and right grand coalition government, the UDMR became part of the new Emil Boc Cabinet, and continued after Emil Boc's resignation as junior coalition partner of the Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu Cabinet together with the PDL and UNPR. In 2012 the Romanian Parliament voted a motion of no confidence against the Ungureanu Cabinet. After the formation of the Social Liberal Union (USL) government led by Victor Ponta, the UDMR entered the opposition.
After the 2012 elections the same parties continued to form a government under the leadership of Victor Ponta. In 2014 the liberal part of the party coalition left the government, while the UDMR, PC, and UNPR joined the new government. The UDMR left the government in December 2014, shortly after the landslide victory of Klaus Iohannis as President of Romania. Subsequently, the UDMR provided mostly confidence and supply agreements to other ruling majorities before becoming part of a grand coalition after December, 2020.
UDMR is not a legally registered political party, but takes part in elections under art. 4(2) of the Law 68/1992 which assimilates organizations representing national minorities to political parties from an electoral point of view. UDMR is an "alliance" of the ethnic Hungarian community in Romania, which incorporates several platforms of different ideologies, social, scientific, cultural or professional groups as associated organizations, youth and women organisations. The UDMR represents the Magyar (ethnic Hungarian) community of Romania (1,237,746 citizens, according to the 2011 census). Hungarians represent 18.9% of the total population of Transylvania;in Szeklerland (Harghita, Covasna and part of Mureș counties) they form the majority. The overwhelming majority (99%) of the Hungarian population of Romania lives in Transylvanian counties (Arad, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Bihor, Brașov, Alba, Harghita, Hunedoara, Cluj, Covasna, Caraș-Severin, Maramureș, Mureș, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Sălaj, Timiș). In national elections, the Alliance consistently obtains around 6% of the votes, which roughly corresponds to the percentage of ethnic Hungarian voters (6,5%).
The organization's president is Hunor Kelemen, elected at a party congress in 2011. Béla Markó, a writer, had held the position from 1993. He in turn was preceded by founding president Géza Domokos, in office from 1990 to 1993.
The UDMR is structured into 22 territorial organizations, covering all regions of Transylvania, the capital Bucharest, several counties outside Transylvania, as well as platforms representing different political ideologies (Christian Democratic, Socialist, Liberal, National Liberal). It has several associated partners and groups representing the civil society, or the social, scientific, artistic or professional domains. As decision-making bodies, the UDMR operates the Congress, the Council of Representatives, the Permanent Council and the Presidency. The executive presidency is the executive body of the alliance. The consulting bodies of the alliance are: the Consulting Council of Regional Presidents, the Consulting Council of Platforms and the National Council of Self-governments. The bodies credited with controlling are the Regulation Control Committee, the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee. In addition, the President regularly convenes other consultative bodies such as the Economic Council and the Foreign Council.
As an ethnic minority organization representing the Hungarians of Romania, the UDMR, above all, concerns itself with Hungarian minority rights, including cultural and territorial autonomy.
The most important objectives of the UDMR are the preservation and development of the Hungarian community in Transylvania, the achievement of the different types of autonomy: cultural autonomy for the smaller and most vulnerable communities and the territorial autonomy and self-determination for those living in large majority area. The use of the mother tongue in all segments of private and public life, the education in mother tongue, the administration of all establishments in the area of minority education and culture are the most important elements of the daily struggle of the UDMR.
The alliance has undertaken the task of representing the interests of the Hungarian community of Romania in Romanian and European politics as well. Ever since its establishment, the formation supported the necessity of a united political life, one single voice, that expresses the goals of the Hungarian minority in Romania. This is based on the principle that, as a minority, the Transylvanian Hungarian community should politically be represented by a single, united organization that would offer a framework for varied ideologies and not by various political parties. The UDMR seeks to establish equal to equal relations with Romanian and European political actors expecting their support in pursuing the goals of the Hungarian community. The UDMR is convinced the Hungarian community in Romania is the only entity entitled to make decisions concerning the Hungarian community in Romania.
The UDMR focuses on cooperation and dialogue with the majority. Participating in the governing coalition is important as the alliance can greatly contribute through governmental means to the improvement of the life of the Hungarian community in Romania. The presence and role in the Romanian government of the UDMR protects the status and future of ethnic minorities in Romania and safeguards their evolution. The presence of the UDMR in the Romanian government is not limited to benefits in the field of Romanian politics: the fact bears an important message for states in the vicinity of Hungary, where ethical issues have lately appeared to be increasingly problematic. Since 1999 the UDMR has been a member of the European People's Party (EPP), and since 1991 it is member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN).
Various specific goals, gradually detailed during the years, include:
The UDMR leaders have claimed on several occasions that they believe local autonomy (decentralization) to be the most appropriate and efficient form of self-government. However, the UDMR has also stated that it wishes to achieve this goal only through a dialogue and consensus with the Romanian majority, and based on proven Western European models.
The UDMR has been criticized on several occasions for its lack of specific doctrine. The main argument for preserving the current structure is that if it split up into smaller fractions of different ideological orientations, it would be impossible for the Hungarian community to obtain more seats in the Parliament (one single seat is allocated to each minority group by default) due to the electoral threshold of 5%.
Several voices from within the UDMR and the Hungarian community have criticized it for being too moderate, and making too many compromises in political treaties with other Romanian parties. The Hungarian Civic Alliance, formed by Hungarians against the UDMR, and the Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania (PPMT) formed by former members of the UDMR aimed to form separate, more radical, political entities. However, during the 2004 and 2008 elections, the UDMR has proved to still have the support of the overwhelming majority of Hungarians. Disputes with this fraction-group led to the departure of László Tőkés (who was in support of the PPMT) from the position of honorary president. In 2009 Tőkés joined, as frontrunner, the Hungarian Unity list for the European Parliamentary elections in Romania, but as elected Member of the European Parliament, he became an independent politician and resigned from his UDMR membership.
In 2022, the UDMR proposed an amendment to the Romanian Child Protection Law that would ban the discussion of homosexuality and gender identity in public spaces. The bill passed in the Senate of Romania in April 2022 and was approved by the Romanian Human Rights Commission but requires approval by Romania's lower house of Parliament.
29 / 395
12 / 119
|Opposition to FSN government (1990–1991)|
|Opposition to FSN-PNL-MER-PDAR government (1991–1992)|
27 / 341
12 / 143
|Opposition to PDSR-PUNR-PRM government (1992–1996)|
25 / 343
11 / 143
|CDR-USD-UDMR government (1996–2000)|
27 / 345
12 / 140
|Supporting PDSR minority government (2000–2004)|
22 / 332
10 / 137
|DA-PUR-UDMR government (2004–2007)|
|PNL-UDMR minority government (2007–2008)|
22 / 334
9 / 137
|Opposition to PDL-PSD government (2008–2009)|
|PDL-UNPR-UDMR government (2009–2012)|
|Opposition to USL government (2012)|
18 / 412
9 / 176
|Opposition to USL government (2012–2014)|
|PSD-UNPR-UDMR-PC government (2014)|
|Opposition to PSD-UNPR-ALDE government (2014–2015)|
|Supporting the technocratic Cioloș Cabinet (2015–2017)|
21 / 329
9 / 136
|Supporting PSD-ALDE government (2017–2019)|
|Opposition to PSD minority government (2019)|
|Supporting PNL minority government (2019–2020)|
|Opposition to PNL minority government (2020)|
21 / 330
9 / 136
|PNL-USR PLUS-UDMR government (2020–2021)|
|PNL-UDMR minority government (2021)|
|CNR government (2021–present)|
|Election||County Councilors (CJ)||Mayors||Local Councilors (CL)||Popular vote||%||Position|
89 / 1,393
184 / 3,179
2,195 / 40,297
88 / 1,338
202 / 3,121
2,248 / 39,121
95 / 1,434
195 / 3,186
2,284 / 40,067
92 / 1,340
199 / 3,176
2,360 / 39,900
|Election||County Presidents (PCJ)||Position|
4 / 41
6 / 41
4 / 41
5 / 41
4 / 41
2 / 41
5 / 41
4 / 41
|Election||Candidate||First round||Second round|
|1996||György Frunda||761,411||not qualified|
|2000||György Frunda||696,989||not qualified|
|2004||Béla Markó||533,446||not qualified|
|2009||Hunor Kelemen||372,761||not qualified|
|2014||Hunor Kelemen||329,727||not qualified|
|2019||Hunor Kelemen||357,014||not qualified|
|Election||Votes||Percentage||MEPs||Position||EU Party||EP Group|
2 / 35
3 / 33
2 / 32
2 / 32
Romania's political framework is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic where the Prime Minister is the head of government while the President represents the country internationally, signs some decrees, approves laws promulgated by parliament and nominations as head of state. Romania has a multi-party system, with legislative power vested in the government and the two chambers of Parliament: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. From 1948 until 1989, the Communist rule political structure took place in the framework of a one-party socialist republic governed by the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) as its only legal party.
After the Communist rulership ended and the former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu was executed in the midst of the bloody Romanian Revolution of December 1989, the National Salvation Front (FSN) seized power, led by Ion Iliescu. The FSN transformed itself into a massive political party in short time and overwhelmingly won the general election of May 1990, with Iliescu as president. These first months of 1990 were marked by violent protests and counter-protests, involving most notably the tremendously violent and brutal coal miners of the Jiu Valley which were called by Iliescu himself and the FSN to crush peaceful protesters in the University Square in Bucharest.
The Social Democratic Party is the largest social democratic political party in Romania and also the largest overall political party in the country, except for European Parliament level, where it is the second largest by total number of MEPs, after the National Liberal Party (PNL). It was founded by Ion Iliescu, Romania's first democratically elected president at the 1990 Romanian general election.
The National Liberal Party is the largest centre-right conservative-liberal and liberal-conservative political party in Romania. Re-founded in mid January 1990, shortly after the Revolution of 1989 which culminated in the fall of communism in Romania, it claims the legacy of the major political party of the same name, active between 1875 and 1947 in the Kingdom of Romania. Based on this legacy, it often presents itself as the first formally constituted political party in the country and the oldest party from the family of European liberal parties.
General elections were held in Romania on 28 November 2004, with a second round of the presidential elections on 12 December between Prime Minister Adrian Năstase of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Romania (PSD) and Bucharest Mayor Traian Băsescu of the opposition Justice and Truth Alliance (DA). Băsescu was elected President by a narrow majority of just 51.2%.
The Justice and Truth Alliance was a political alliance comprising two political parties in Romania, namely the centre-right liberal National Liberal Party (PNL) and the initially left-wing Democratic Party (PD), which later switched to center-right ideology.
The Senate is the upper house in the bicameral Parliament of Romania. It has 136 seats, to which members are elected by direct popular vote using party-list proportional representation in 43 electoral districts, to serve four-year terms.
The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house in Romania's bicameral parliament. It has 330 total seats to which deputies are elected by direct popular vote using party-list proportional representation to serve four-year terms. Additionally, the organisation of each national ethnic minority is entitled to a seat in the Chamber.
The Democratic Party was a social democratic and, later on, centre-right political party in Romania. In January 2008, it merged with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), a splinter group of the National Liberal Party (PNL), to form the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL).
Klaus Werner Iohannis is a Romanian politician, physicist and former teacher who has been serving as the president of Romania since 2014. Ideologically a conservative, he became leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL) in 2014, after serving as leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR/DFDR) between 2002 and 2013. Prior entering politics, Iohannis was a physics teacher.
Legislative elections were held in Romania on 30 November 2008. The Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) won three more seats than PSD in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, although the alliance headed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) won more votes and a fractionally higher vote share. The two parties subsequently formed a governing coalition with Emil Boc of the PDL as Prime Minister.
The Székely Land (Szeklerland) is a historic and ethnographic region in Eastern Transylvania, in the center of Romania. The primary goal for the Hungarian political organisations in Romania is to achieve Székely autonomy. The Szeklers make up about half of the Hungarians in Romania and live in an ethnic block. According to official data from Romania's 2011 census, 609,033 persons in Mureș, Harghita, and Covasna counties consider themselves Hungarian. The Székelys (Szeklers), a Hungarian sub-group, are mainly concentrated in these three counties.
The Hungarian Civic Party is a political party of the Hungarian minority in Romania. It was founded in 2001 as the Hungarian Civic Union and was formally registered as a party on March 14, 2008. It positions itself as an alternative to the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR/RMDSZ), the largest party representing Romania's Hungarian minority.
In Romania's 2004 general election, held on 28 November, no party won an outright majority. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) won the largest number of seats but was in opposition because the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR/RMDSZ), the Romanian Humanist Party, and the National Minorities formed a governing coalition. The Conservative Party (PC) withdrew in December 2006, meaning that the government lost the majority. In April 2007, the liberal Prime Minister, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, dismissed the Democratic Party (PD) ministers from the government and formed a minority government with the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR/RMDSZ), thereby marking the end of the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA).
In Romania's 2008 legislative election, held on 30 November, no party won an outright majority. The Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) won the largest number of seats, closely followed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) + Conservative Party (PC) Alliance. It was thought that the third-placed National Liberal Party (PNL) would hold the key for the new government. It asked for the position of Prime Minister in its negotiations with the two parties.
Legislative elections were held in Romania on 9 December 2012. The Social Liberal Union (USL) of Prime Minister Victor Ponta won an absolute majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Despite the severe weather in parts of the country, the turnout was at 42%, slightly higher than the last legislative elections held in 2008 which saw a turnout of 39%.
Legislative elections were held in Romania on 11 December 2016. They were the first held under a new electoral system adopted in 2015, which saw a return to the proportional electoral system last used in the 2004 elections. The new electoral legislation provides a norm of representation for deputies of 73,000 inhabitants and 168,000 inhabitants for senators, which decreased the number of MPs.
The Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania is a political party representing the Hungarian minority in Romania. It was founded in 2011.
Legislative elections were held in Romania on 6 December 2020 to elect the 136 members of the Senate and the 330 constituent members of the Chamber of Deputies.
Mihai Tudose is a Romanian politician, deputy in the Parliament of Romania, a former Minister of Economy in 2017 and a former Prime Minister of Romania in 2018. On 16 January, 2018 he resigned from his position as Prime Minister after his own Social Democratic Party (PSD) retracted its political support for his government. He subsequently switched from PSD to Victor Ponta's party PRO Romania in 2019.