- Bicameral parliament
- Chamber name: Chamber of Deputies (Camera Deputatilor)
- Members (lower house): 334
- Term: 4 years
- Constituencies: 315 single-member constituencies; there is one Deputy for every 70,000 inhabitants.
- Voting system:
- 1990-1991: Multi member system. 395 seats were elected in 41 constituencies. No electoral threshold. Remaining seats were distributed on the basis of the unused votes in a national tier.
- 1992-1999: 325 seats elected in 42 constituencies. The number of seats depending on the size of the population. A 3 per cent electoral threshold on the national level was adopted. For alliances the threshold augments by 1 per cent with every additional party. The Hare formula is used at the district level, remaining seats are distributed on the basis of the unused vote with D’Hondt in a national tier.
- 2000-2004: 327 seats are elected in 42 constituencies. A 5 per cent legal threshold is implemented augmenting by 3 per cent if two parties form an alliance. For each additional member of an alliance 1 per cent is added to the legal threshold up to a maximum electoral threshold of 10 per cent. The legal threshold is lowered to 3 per cent of the national vote increasing by 1% by every additional party in party coalitions up to a maximum of 8 per cent. 18 seats are distributed among representatives of ethnic minorities. Legally constituted organizations of citizens belonging to a national minority (except the Hungarians), which in the elections have not obtained at least one Deputy, have the right to a seat if they have obtained throughout the country at least 5 per cent of the average number of validly expressed votes.
- Presently (2010): mixed member proportional MMP. Each voter votes for a candidate. Majority system: Candidates who obtain over 50 per cent of the votes are elected. Proportional system: Votes for unelected candidates are tallied nationally. The remaining seats are distributed among political parties in proportion of their share of the vote. If parties win more electorate seats than their share of seats determined by the party vote then they can keep the extra seats, called "overhang seats". The threshold to win parliamentary representation is 5 per cent for political parties contesting on their own. Parties which did not surpass the threshold may still obtain parliamentary representation if they win at least six constituencies in the elections to the Chamber of Deputies or three in the elections to the Senate. The threshold for political alliance varies from eight to ten per cent depending on the number of parties comprised in the alliance: 8 per cent for political alliances of two parties, 9 per cent for alliances of three parties, and 10 per cent for alliances of four parties or more. Reserved seats for ethnic minorities: The organisations of citizens belonging to a national minority, which are legally established and do not win parliamentary representation in either chamber, are entitled to one seat each in the Chamber of Deputies on the condition that the organization obtains at least 10 per cent of the average number of valid votes casted for an elected Deputy. There is no upper limit on the number of seats reserved for minority organizations.
- Voter requirements: 18 years of age; Romanian citizenship.
- Voting is not compulsory.
Election results 2008, main parties. NUTS 2.
On 30 November 2008 Romania organized its first parliamentary elections after its accession to the European Union. It was also the first time when parliamentary and presidential elections were not held simultaneously and the proportional representation on party lists system was replaced by a single-member-majority system. Five political parties gained parliamentary representation: the Social Democrats (PSD), the Conservatives (PC), the Democrat-Liberals (PD-L), the Liberals (PNL) and the Democratic Union of Magyars (UDMR). In addition, 18 seats were distributed among ethnic minorities parties. Because of the electoral changes, it was the first time that the ranking of parties in terms of their votes differed from their ranking in terms of seats. The Democrat-Liberals, who came second in terms of vote share (32.4 % and 115 seats), won more seats than the coalition winning the most votes (the Social Democrats and the Conservatives: 33.1 percent and 114 seats).
On 22 December 2008 the new PD-L–PSD grand coalition government was invested, headed by Prime Minister Emil Boc (PD-L).
Parliament of Romania, website: Chamber of Deputies
Inter-Parliamentary Union, PARLINE database on national parliaments
Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA): country descriptions.
Downs, W. M. 2009. The 2008 parliamentary election in Romania. Electoral Studies, Vol. 28(3), 510-513.
Stan, L. & Zaharia, R. 2009. Romania. European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 48(7-8), 1087-1099.