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Bucharest
March 7, 2021
POLITICS

Five out of the presidential candidates run for the second time

Nine out of the 14 candidates in the November presidential election are at their first attempt to get the top office of the state; the remaining five have already had this experience, informs an Agerpres feature.
The candidates in this seventh round of presidential elections after 1989 in Romania are: incumbent prime minister Victor Ponta; former prime minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu; the mayor of Sibiu (central Romania city) Klaus Iohannis; former ministers Elena Udrea, Monica Macovei and Kelemen Hunor; former state secretary Mirel Mircea Amaritei; former Foreign Intelligence Service head Teodor Melescanu; former MPs William Brinza, Gheorghe Funar and Zsolt Szilagyi; former MEP Corneliu Vadim Tudor; journalist Dan Diaconescu; and the chairman of the Socialist Alliance Party Constantin Rotaru.
It is the first attempt to become president for Ponta, supported by the alliance of the Social Democrat Party, Conservative Party and National Union for Romania’s Progress; Iohannis from the Christian Liberal Alliance of the National Liberal Party and the Democrat Liberal Party; independent Popescu-Tariceanu; Udrea (People’s Movement Party)’ Diaconescu (People’s Party Dan Diaconescu, PPDD); independent Macovei; Brinza (Romanian Ecologist Party), Amaritei (Prodemo) and Szilagyi (Hungarian Popular Party of Transylvania).
This is the fifth presidential candidacy for Corneliu Vadim Tudor of the Greater Romania Party; the third for independent Gheorghe Funar; and the second for independent Teodor Melescanu, Kelemen (Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania) and Constantin Rotaru.
Corneliu Vadim Tudor first ran for president in 1996; he got 4.72 percent (597,508) of the valid votes, which placed him fifth among the 16 candidates. He got 28.34 percent in the first round in 2000, and advanced to the second round of December 10 behind Social Democrat Ion Iliescu, who went on winning with 66.83 percent against Tudor’s 33.17 percent. In 2004, he came out third with 12.57 percent, and in November 2009 fourth with 5.56 percent of the valid votes.
Funar already ran for president in 1992 and 1996 from the Romanians’ National Unity Party. He got 1,294,388 votes (10.88 percent) and ended third in 1992, and 407,828 votes (3.22 percent) in 1996, when he ended sixth.
Melescanu’s first presidential race was in 2000, from the Alliance for Romania. He ended seventh with 214,642 votes (1.91 percent).
Kelemen and Rotaru candidated for the first time in 2009; they were placed fifth with 3.83 percent, and respectively ninth with 0.44 percent.
Two women candidates, Udrea and Macovei, are the premiere of these elections. Independent Gratiela Elena Barla was the first woman who ever ran for President of Romania in 2000.
The largest number of presidential candidates ran in 1996, when there were 16 of them; the smaller number – just three candidates – was seen in 1990.
Ten of this year’s candidates represent parties or alliances, while four are independent.
Six out of the 14 candidates graduated from faculties of law: Ponta, Udrea, Melescanu, Macovei, Branza and Amaritei. Iohannis has a degree in Physics; Vadim Tudor in Philosophy; Popescu-Tariceanu in Hydrotechnics; Diaconescu in Mechanical engineering; Rotaru and Funar in Economy; Szilagy has two degrees, one in Constructions, obtained in Romania, and one in Political science at the Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest

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