The Democratic Party (Romanian: Partidul Democrat, PD) was a centre-right party of Romania. In January 2008, it merged with the Liberal Democratic Party to form the Democratic Liberal Party. From 2004 to 2007 it was the smaller party of the governing Justice and Truth Alliance, although according to many Romanian opinion polls it remains the most popular of the two parties. Although he had to formally suspend his leadership of the party when elected president in 2004, the PD is largely associated with Romanian president Traian Băsescu, who was previously leader of the party as well as being a founding member. The PD executive leadership has already stated publicly that it would support Băsescu's candidacy for Romania's next presidential elections. The party has also worked to ensure that its positions in the parliament reflect Băsescu's priorities.
PD traces its roots in the National Salvation Front (FSN), one of the first political parties to emerge after the Romanian Revolution of 1989 which ended the Communist regime. Conflicts broke out between FSN leaders Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman in early 1992, and this led to the separation of the Iliescu wing under the name of Democratic National Salvation Front (FDSN), which later became the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
FSN was defeated in the 1992 legislative election (won by FDSN by a landslide) and spent the next four years in opposition. In 1993 they changed name to Partidul Democrat. In the 1996 legislative election, PD ran jointly with the now-defunct Romanian Social Democratic Party (PSDR), under the name Uniunea Social-Democrată (USD). After having ranked third, they joined a governing coalition with the Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) and the ethnic Hungarian party UDMR. From 2000 to 2004 PD has been again in opposition.
In advance of the 2004 elections the party joined forces with the National Liberal Party (PNL) to create the Justice and Truth political alliance ("Dreptate şi Adevăr"), whose main purpose was to fight the all-dominating social-democrats PSD. The alliance managed to win around 32% of the votes in both Chambers, not enough for a majority and about 6% less than PSD, but still better than initially expected.
Since December 2004, the leader of PD has been Cluj-Napoca mayor and former Member of Parliament Emil Boc. During the Congress of 2005, the Democratic Party members voted in favor of joining the European People's Party (EPP), thus leaving the Party of European Socialists (PES).
From mid-2005, the PD's relations with the PNL also became strained due to an ongoing open conflict between Băsescu and Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who is also chairman of the PNL. After his presidential victory in 2004, Băsescu appointed Tăriceanu as prime minister.
The political doctrine of the Democratic Party has shifted from social democracy to centrism and greater conservatism since 2004, combined with economic liberalism and reformism. The party supports a consolidation of the free market and is supportive of Romania's flat tax rate of 16%. The party also supports reforming the Romanian Constitution in order to bring about a decentralisation in administration and give greater power to the eight development regions.
In terms of European politics, the Democratic Party:
Currently, out of 54 members of the PD group in Chamber of Deputies, 14 were not elected on PD electoral list:
Ioan, Scurtu ş.a., "Enciclopedia partidelor politice din România 1859-2003", Editura Meronia, Bucureşti, 2003.
Florin-Vasile, Şomlea, "Partidele populare din ţările Uniunii Europene", Editura Cartimpex, Cluj-Napoca, 2007.