National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR), the political party led by Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, now has 55 MPs, after winning just 15 seats in Parliament in the 2012 elections. Most of the MPs that joined the party in the last three years came from PPDD, a party with which UNPR has in fact recently merged.
In the 2012 elections UNPR won only 15 MP seats: 10 in the Lower Chamber and 5 in the Senate.
Gabriel Oprea’s party then started to attract new MPs, tripling its number of MPs in three years’ time, currently having a total of 55 MPs. Most of the newcomers, over 20, are from PPDD, which is no longer active. In fact, UNPR merged with PPDD on Sunday. Both PNL and PDL lost MPs to UNPR, the latter managing to attract a significant number of independent MPs too.
In the Lower Chamber, UNPR had 10 MPs after the 2012 elections: Laurenţiu Chirvăsuţă, Gheorghe Emacu, Marian Enache, Constantin Mazilu, Eugen Nicolicea, Dorin Petrea, Iulian Popescu, Ion Răducanu, Valeriu Steriu and Ion Tăbugan. Five other MPs joined the group but have left in the meantime. Those five are Razvan Tanase, who went from PPDD to UNPR then became independent; Florin Secara, who was a PDL, PMP and UNPR MP in the first three years of his tenure and then joined PNL; Razvan Condurateanu, former PPDD member, now independent; Gheorghe Netoiu and Monica Iacob Ridzi, who were sentenced to jail.
In the Senate the group initially consisted of 5 members: Gabriel Oprea, Şerban Mihăilescu, Ion Toma, Octavian Bumbu and Damian Drăghici. The latter has in the meantime resigned from Parliament, becoming an MEP. Senator Mihai Neagu, another MP transferred by UNPR from PPDD’s group, returned to being an independent Senator after spending 10 months in Gabriel Oprea’s party. Another 11 Senators joined UNPR, the latter’s group in the Senate thus totalling 15 MPs.
Former PPDD Senator Floriana Jipa is among the MPs who joined UNPR in the last three years. She was the one that anointed Dan Sova with holy oil before the plenum vote on the prosecutors’ request to have him arrested. Another Senator that joined PPDD is Ciprian Rogojan, former member of the Sistem band, who entered politics through PDL and ended up being seen as close to Elena Udrea. After his PDL stint he followed the former minister within PMP, and then ended up joining the party led by Gabriel Oprea. UNPR has also managed to attract two former ministers: Radu Stroe, former PNL Vice President and Interior Minister, and Valerian Vreme, former Communications Minister in the PDL Government.
Moreover, 14 of the 40 MPs that joined UNPR were previously active in at least two other parties before joining UNPR, a Mediafax analysis shows.
UNPR is the party that stood to benefit the most from political migration, while PPDD suffered the most, ending up dissolved. PNL had problems too, seeing 52 of their MPs leave while only 16 others jointed the party. To these one has to add the 56 MPs that joined PNL as a result of its merger with PDL. PSD saw 26 of its MPs leave too, while only 11 joined the party since the 2012 elections.