Romania: Iohannis remains president

Klaus Iohannis is the outgoing and incoming President of Romania. The conservative incumbent, who is close to the liberal-conservative ruling PNL party, secured 63.2 percent of the vote. How will the party's increased power affect the country?

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Evenimentul Zilei (RO) /

Another year of stagnation

Instead of making changes the ruling party is concentrating on dividing the country, Evenimentul Zilei comments angrily:

“Klaus Iohannis didn't talk about his plans for the country during the election campaign. He focused solely on the war with the PSD. ... Even now, Iohannis still hasn't said what he plans to do for the country over the next five years of his term in office. Instead he warned us that the war with the PSD wasn't over yet. It will go on for another year - until the parliamentary elections in December 2020. This means that the PNL and Iohannis will do nothing for better governance, or for a radical change in the country's administration. The Romanians will go on living as before. But they will be at war with the PSD. And when there is war, everyday life won't change for the better.” (PL) /

A true political revolution

Romania is undergoing profound changes, observes

“After his success in the European elections, his taking over power in the country and a potential warming of relations with Brussels and the support of President Klaus Iohannis, can Orban also be confident that he will win next year's elections? ... As caretaker prime minister he can't carry out any fundamental reforms, but he will be held accountable for the results of the government. ... One thing is certain. A man whose personal problems with the law have influenced the dynamics of Romanian politics in recent years has disappeared behind bars. And the party that until recently formed the government is in a difficult situation and has little prospect of returning to power any time soon. Romanian politics is experiencing a real revolution this year.”

Libertatea (RO) /

Conservatives have always disappointed up to now

This re-election faces Iohannis and his liberal-conservative PNL party with an important task, writes Libertatea:

“Nine times as many people outside the country voted in this election than in the 2016 parliamentary election. But their enthusiasm may be disappointed if those whom they have put in charge are not able to deliver on all their promises. There's an old saying in politics that goes: election campaigns are the poetry, governing is the prose. This won't be the first time the Conservatives are in power in Romania. ... But up to now they have never been able to consolidate their voter potential and lead the country over several legislative periods, among other things because they adopted a hostile stance towards criticism, facts and obligations.” (RO) /

Will the president behave like a king now?

The election winner must not let this success go to his head, warns

“Iohannis will feel overly legitimated and believe the people have given him a mandate to lead the country as he pleases. The danger of messianism is real when a president is re-elected with so much trust, no matter what the motives for this were. The risks of such monarchic behaviour must be seriously considered, especially as Iohannis will now have full power - over government and parliament. For after the clear victory of its candidate the [liberal-conservative] PNL will be able to consolidate its fragile majority in parliament. There will be enough parliamentarians from the [opposition] PSD who will now switch to the winning camp.”