Romania: Iohannis won as Ponta has managed to annoy people

What Mr. Klaus Iohannis’s victory in the presidential election means for Romania, in your opinion?

Sergiu Miscoiu, Executive Director, Department of International Relations and American Studies, Babes-Bolyai University

The victory of Klaus Iohannis is, before all, an act of collective rebellion against what is perceived to be the party-state system of the Social-Democrats. Victor. Ponta has also made a few major strategic mistakes. A major mistake was ostracizing the diaspora. The main result of that was not necessarily the diaspora vote, but the solidarity with it in Romania.

The international image of the new President is that of an unexperienced, but also competent, honnest and hard working mayor. His belonging to the German minority and to the Protestant Church are also seen as acts of reconciliation with the Past for a country with more than 80% of ethnic Romanian Orthodox.

Cohabitation with Ponta will be a test for both the President and the PM. The era of conflicts should be ended and instead we should have inter-institutional cooperation. Thus, Iohannis is expected not to follow the incentives of those of his National-Liberal Party prompting him to force the resignation of Ponta or a change of majority through a non-confidence vote in a Parliament dominated by the Social-Democrats and their allies. As 2015 and 2016 will be difficult, maybe Iohannis has the interest to keep his party in opposition and to defeat an eroded Soc-Dems in the November 2016 parliamentary elections.

Cristian Ghinea, Director, Romanian Center for European Policies

It means avoinding a democratization crises which was possible with Victor Ponta’s party grabbing the entire power in the state.

It also means an extraordinary mobilization of the urban middle class, this is the highest turnout (62%) since 1996.

Victor Ponta managed to annoy people that bad.

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