Record low turnout brings extremist party into Romania’s Parliament

The Alliance for the Unity of Romanians (AUR), a new extremist party with ultra-nationalist rhetoric, produced a major surprise in Romania’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, December 6.

The partial results of the votes centralized indicate that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is in the lead with around 30 percent of the votes, followed by the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL) with 27.07 percent and USR-PLUS with 15.10 percent, according to G4Media.ro. Surprisingly, AUR is in fourth place with 8.67 percent of the counted votes. The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ) also made it into parliament with 6 percent of the vote.

The extremist party known as AUR is anti-Hungarian, anti-Western, and anti-masks and is lead by George Simion, Claudiu Târziu and Dan Tanasă. It was established on December 1, 2019, during the Great Union Day of Romania in the city of Alba Iulia, an important symbol of the union of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom over more than 100 years ago in 1918.

However, these results are not fully representative, as they mainly reflect the votes counted in rural areas and smaller towns, where there were fewer voters and the counting was quicker. The bulk of the votes in bigger cities wasn’t included in these figures. Neither were the votes from the diaspora, so the final numbers could differ by several percentage points, according to romania-insider.com.

“The Alliance for the Unity of Romanians supports Article 1, item 1, in the Romanian Constitution: “Romania is a national, sovereign, independent, unitary and indivisible state.” This article is often violated and subjected to attacks by current political forces aiming to renounce the sovereignty of Romania through forms of internal or external federalization. We wish to oppose any form of extremism and irredentism existing on the current political scene,” they say on their official website.

They also focus on Article 3, item 4, in the current Constitution, which specifies: ”No foreign populations may be settled or colonized on the territory of the Romanian state.”

They believe that the current Constitution of Romania needs to be revised, with the exception of these and other essential provisions. According to the party’s website, AUR’s ultimate goal is to achieve the unification of all Romanians “wherever they are located.”

The doctrine of AUR is based on four pillars: faith, liberty, family, and motherland.

AUR supports the traditional family and states: “Primordially, naturally, religiously, morally, and bioethically, the family is made of one man and one woman. Particularly, the family now needs to be defended against left-wing political correctness, against Neo-Marxist ideological attacks, which try to destroy it under the pretext of modernization by invoking the false flag of ‘human rights’ of Western extraction.”

According to romania-insider.com, it is possible that the party’s fast rise is a result of the recent disputes between the authorities and the Romanian Orthodox Church. The partial results show that AUR scored very well in rural areas and especially in the northeastern region of Romania, where the Church and traditions still have a significant influence.

At the same time, AUR’s result is also largely due to the very low turnout rate, as under a third of the Romanians registered to vote went to the polls, an unprecedented situation in the national elections.

Dan Tanasă, one of the founders of the party, has initiated hundreds of lawsuits against Hungarian and Szekler symbols, resulting in Szekler settlements having to remove flags and Hungarian inscriptions from state-owned institutions. His affiliation with Romanian nationalist parties and a network of right-wing associations is obvious; we just have to consider last year’s unfortunate event on June 6 when a group of nationalists broke into a WWI-era Austro-Hungarian graveyard in the Úz Valley and forcefully inaugurated concrete crosses placed illegally in the cemetery. The whole story behind the shameful event can be read here.

Featured photo: romania-insider.com








Author: Blanka Székely