The Social Democrats ride a wave of populism sweeping Europe and the United States to an impressive electoral victory in Romania

Romania prepares to elect a new government from Al Jazeera English

Romania’s former ruling party, the Social Democrats, claimed an impressive electoral victory in the recent general election, returning the party to power after it was forced out a year prior due to scandal and public outrage. With approximately 45% of the available vote, the Social Democrats with their legislative ally ALDE (winning 5.6%) will assume power over government in the European Union’s second poorest state.

Running on a populist message that has reshaped politics in the United Kingdom and the United States, the Romanian Social Democrats has won a metaphorical blank check from the electorate, prompting analysts to worry that the Social Democrats will pursue policies of electoral convenience rather than fiscal prudence. “The big question mark is whether Romania will take the same path seen in other countries in the region, when a party that wins a majority feels it can do whatever it wants,” Cristian Pirvulescu, Dean of Bucharest’s Political Science University, commented to Bloomberg. Issues of government corruption drove a large part of the electorate, with the Save Romania Union garnering 9.1% of the vote. The Social Democrats have promised to make Romania “an island of stability” in the region. In addition, the Social Democrat-led government will seek to enact tax cuts and eliminate bureaucratic red tape in order to sustain GDP growth which reportedly reached 6% in the second quarter of the year.

[Bloomberg – Romania’s Ex-Ruling Party Sweeps Election to Reclaim Power]