Presidents Of Romania

Klaus Iohannis, the incumbent president of Romania. Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis /

Romania has a semi-presidential system of government. The office of President of Romania was created in 1974 when the Romanian constitution was changed via amendments to upgrade the position of President of the State Council.  Since 2004, following the modification of the structure, the president is directly elected by the people in a two-round system. The president may serve two five years terms and cannot be a member of a political party during time as president. 

Presidents of Romania

Ion Iliescu

Ion Iliescu was the acting head of state following the Romanian Revolution and in 1990 became the first democratically elected president of the country. Following the introduction of the Constitution of Romania which instituted term limits for presidents, Iliescu won another election. Following the end of his first four-year term, Iliescu lost reelection and spent the next four years in the Senate. In 2000 he ran for president again and won, serving as president for his second term until 2004. 

Emil Constantinescu

Emil Constantinescu was elected president in 1996 after his defeat of Ion Iliescu in the election, helping to redeem his presidential loss from four years earlier. Unfortunately, for Constantinescu, he only served one term as president of Romania as his time in office was mired in the slow implementation of the privatization and modernization of Romanian. 

Traian Băsescu

Traian Băsescu was the first president to serve under the updated five-year constitution. During his first term as president, Băsescu fought political corruption, helped to resolve a hostage crisis in Iraq and tackled homelessness following horrible floods in early 2005. He publicly condemned the former Communist regime of the country and tried to align Romania closer to the EU, America, and Serbia. He was also responsible for helping Romania join the European Union (EU) in 2007.  In 2012 he was accused of overstepping his power as president through illegal phone tapping and using intelligence services against his enemies.

Klaus Iohannis

Klaus Iohannis is the incumbent president of Romania. He won the 2014 election in a surprise victory over his rival. Iohannis ran his campaign on a platform of relaxed fiscal policy, independence for the judiciary and anti-corruption. He has held many consultation sessions with parliamentary parties to discuss and try and come to political agreements on various issues.

Duties of the President

The president of Romania has many different duties that he or she must perform. They are responsible for handling the internal affairs, foreign affairs and defense issues facing the country. They also grant individual pardons, confer decorations or titles of honor, make appointments to public offices and make promotions to any superior military rank.

Presidents Of Romania Since 1989

Presidents of Romania Since 1989Term(s) in Office
Ion Iliescu
1989-1996; 2000-2004
Emil Constantinescu
Traian Băsescu
Klaus Iohannis (Incumbent)2014-Present

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