Great National Assembly

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Great National Assembly

Marea Adunare Națională
Communist Romania (1948-1989)
Coat of arms of Romania (1965-1989).svg
Preceded by Romanian: Reprezentanța Națională1 (Adunarea Deputaților2)
Succeeded by Parliament of Romania (Chamber of Deputies and the Senate)
open single party list
Meeting place
Palatul Camerei Deputatilor1.jpg
Palatul Adunării Deputaților

1the name under which the Parliament of Romania was defined by the 1866 and 1923 Constitutions;
2after World War II the Constitution of 1923 was reestablished; due to the communist occupation of the country the Senate was suspended;


The Great National Assembly (Romanian : Marea Adunare Națională; MAN) was the legislature of the Socialist Republic of Romania (known as the Romanian People's Republic before 1965). After the overthrow of Communism in Romania in December 1989, the National Assembly was dissolved by decree of the National Salvation Front and eventually replaced by the bicameral parliament, made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

The Great National Assembly was elected every four years and each individual member represented 60,000 citizens. The system was created to imitate the Soviet model.


The MAN had the power to, among other things, amend the constitution and appoint and depose the Supreme Commander of the Romanian People's Army. The resolutions required a simple majority to be passed through. [1]

The Assembly convened twice a year for ordinary sessions and for extraordinary sessions as many times as required by the State Council or by at least one third of the members of the Assembly. It elected its own chairmen and four deputies to preside each session. [1] On paper, it was the highest level of state power in Romania, and all other state organs were subordinate to it. In practice, like all other Communist legislatures, it did little more than give legal sanction to decisions already made by the Romanian Communist Party (PCR).

Formally, the MAN gained in power over time. The 1948 Constitution (article 39) granted it just eight powers; [2] the 1952 Constitution (article 24), 10; [3] the 1965 Constitution (article 43), 24. [1]

Voters were presented with a single slate of candidates from an alliance dominated by the PCR—known as the People's Democratic Front from 1947 to 1968, the Socialist Unity Front from 1968 to 1980, and the Front of Socialist Unity and Democracy from 1980 to 1989. Since no one could run for office without Front approval, the Front—and through it, the PCR—effectively predetermined the composition of the Assembly. [4]

When the Assembly was not in session, some of its powers were exercised by the State Council (which the Constitution defined as the MAN in permanent session), such as setting guidelines for the law and supervising the local councils. It could also issue governmental regulations in lieu of law. If such regulation was not approved by the MAN at its next session, it was considered revoked. However, under the principles of democratic centralism, such approval was merely a formality. Combined with the MAN's infrequent sessions, this meant that State Council decisions de facto had the force of law. In emergencies, the State Council assumed the MAN's powers to control the budget and economic plan, appoint and dismiss ministers and justices of the Supreme Court, mobilize the armed forces and declare war.

1980 elections

According to the official results of the March 9, 1980, election, which elected 369 deputies, 99.99% of the registered voters cast their votes. Of them, 98.52% approved the Front list, 1.48% voted against and just 44 votes were declared invalid. [1]

192 seats of the Assembly were occupied by women and 47 seats belonged to national minorities (mainly Hungarians and Germans). [1]

Presidents of the Great National Assembly

The "lower house" numbering continues from the numbering of presidents of the old Assembly of Deputies (1862–1948).

Great National Assembly presidents
No.NamePortraitBorn–diedTook officeLeft officeParty
411 Gheorghe Apostol Gheorghe Apostol.jpg 1913–20107 April 194811 June 1948 PMR
422 Constantin Agiu Constantin Agiu.jpg 1891–196111 June 194827 December 1948 PMR
433 Constantin Pârvulescu Constantin Pirvulescu.jpg 1895–199227 December 19485 July 1949 PMR
444 Dumitru Petrescu Dumitru Petrescu.jpg 1906–19695 July 194928 December 1949 PMR
455 Alexandru Drǎghici Alexandru Draghici.jpg 1913–199328 December 194926 January 1950 PMR
(44)(4) Dumitru Petrescu Dumitru Petrescu.jpg 1906–196926 January 195029 May 1950 PMR
466 Constantin Doncea Constantin Doncea.jpg 1904–197329 May 19506 September 1950 PMR
(41)(1) Gheorghe Apostol Gheorghe Apostol.jpg 1913–20106 September 19505 April 1951 PMR
477 Ion Vincze Ion Vinte.jpg 1910–19965 April 195126 March 1952 PMR
(41)(1) Gheorghe Apostol Gheorghe Apostol.jpg 1913–201026 March 19526 June 1952 PMR
488 Gheorghe Stoica Gheorghe Stoica.jpg 1900–19762 June 195230 November 1952 PMR
(43)(3) Constantin Pârvulescu Constantin Pirvulescu.jpg 1895–199223 January 19535 March 1961 PMR
499 Ştefan Voitec Stefan Voitec1.jpg 1900–198420 March 196128 March 1974 PMR/PCR
5010 Miron Constantinescu Miron Constantinescu.jpg 1917–197428 March 197418 July 1974 PCR
5111 Nicolae Giosan No image.svg 1921–199026 July 197412 December 1989 PCR

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Richard Staar, Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe (4th revised edition, 1984), Hoover Institution, Stanford University. pg. 193-194
  2. 1948 Constitution of Romania
  3. 1952 Constitution of Romania
  4. Sergiu Verona. "Government and Politics". PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.