Klaus Iohannis

Klaus Werner Iohannis (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈkla.us joˈhanis], German: [ˈklaʊ̯s joˈhanɪs]; also spelled Johannis; born 13 June 1959) is the current President of Romania. He became leader of the National Liberal Party in 2014, after having served as leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania from 2001 to 2013. Iohannis was a physics teacher and a school inspector before entering full-time politics.

Iohannis was first elected mayor of the city of Sibiu in 2000, representing the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. Although the German population of the once predominantly German-speaking city of Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt, Transylvanian Saxon dialect: Härmeschtat) had declined to a tiny minority, Iohannis won a surprise victory and was re-elected by landslides in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Iohannis is credited with turning his city into one of Romania's most popular tourist destinations, and the city was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2007. In February 2013, Iohannis became a member of the National Liberal Party, accepting an invitation from Liberal leader Crin Antonescu, and was immediately elected the party's First Vice President, becoming the party's President the following year.

In October 2009, four of the five political groups in the Parliament, excluding the Democratic Liberal Party of then-President Traian Băsescu, proposed him as a candidate for the office of Prime Minister of Romania; however, Băsescu refused to nominate him despite the Parliament's adoption of a declaration supporting his candidacy.[3] He was again the candidate for Prime Minister of the National Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party in the elections in the same year.[4]

Iohannis is the first Romanian president to come from an ethnic minority.[5] He is a Transylvanian Saxon, part of Romania's German minority which settled in Transylvania in the 12th century. Thus, he is the fourth president of German origin from Eastern Europe in the post-communist period, after Rudolf Schuster (Slovakia) and Ferenc Mádl and Pál Schmitt (Hungary).[6]

Klaus Iohannis
Klaus Iohannis at EPP Summit, March 2015, Brussels (cropped)
5th President of Romania
Assumed office
21 December 2014
Prime MinisterVictor Ponta
Gabriel Oprea (Acting)
Victor Ponta
Sorin Cîmpeanu (Acting)
Dacian Cioloș
Sorin Grindeanu
Mihai Tudose
Mihai Fifor (Acting)
Viorica Dăncilă
Preceded byTraian Băsescu
Leader of the National Liberal Party
In office
28 June 2014 – 18 December 2014
Preceded byCrin Antonescu
Succeeded byAlina Gorghiu
Vasile Blaga
Leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
In office
2002–2013
Preceded byWolfgang Wittstock
Succeeded byPaul-Jürgen Porr
Mayor of Sibiu
In office
30 June 2000 – 2 December 2014
Preceded byDan Condurat
Succeeded byAstrid Fodor[1]
Personal details
Born
Klaus Werner Iohannis

13 June 1959 (age 59)
Sibiu, Romania
Political partyDemocratic Forum of Germans in Romania (1990–2013)
National Liberal Party (2013–2014)
Independent (2014–present; PNL membership suspended while president)[2]
Spouse(s)
Carmen Lăzurcă (m. 1989)
ResidenceCotroceni Palace
Alma materBabeș-Bolyai University
Signature
Klaus Iohannis's signature
WebsiteOfficial website

Personal and professional life

Born in the historic centre of Sibiu to a Transylvanian Saxon family, Klaus Iohannis is the eldest child of Susanne and Gustav Heinz Johannis. He has a younger sister, Krista Johannis (born 1963).[7] His father worked as a technician at an enterprise, while his mother was a nurse.[8] Both his parents as well as his sister emigrated from their native Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt) to Würzburg, Bavaria in Germany in 1992, acquiring citizenship there under the right of return granted by German nationality law,[9][10] as most other Transylvanian Saxons after the fall of the Iron Curtain. However, he chose to live and work in Romania.[11] As of 2014, his parents, sister and a niece live in Würzburg.[12] Iohannis has stated that his family settled in Transylvania in present-day Romania 850 years ago.[13] After graduating from the Faculty of Physics of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca in 1983, Iohannis worked as a high school physics teacher at various schools and colleges in Sibiu, including, from 1989 to 1997, the Samuel von Brukenthal Gymnasium in Sibiu, the oldest German-speaking school in Romania. From 1997 to 1999, he was Deputy General School Inspector of Sibiu County, and from 1999 until his election as mayor in 2000, he was the General School Inspector, head of public schools in the county.

Iohannis is fluent in German and Romanian at a native level and also speaks English. The original spelling of his name (which is German) is Johannis, but the name was registered by a Romanian official as Iohannis on his birth certificate[14] and he has used both spellings interchangeably.[15] In 1989, he married ethnic Romanian Carmen Lăzurcă, an English teacher at the Gheorghe Lazăr National College in Sibiu.[16][17] They have no children.

Iohannis is a member of the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania, the German-speaking Lutheran church in Transylvania.[18]

Political career

He joined the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR) in 1990, and served as a member of its board of education in Transylvania from 1997, and a member of the local party board in Sibiu from 1998. In 2001, he was elected President of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania.

Mayor of Sibiu

Klausjohannis2005
Iohannis as Mayor of Sibiu, May 2005

In 2000, the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania in Sibiu decided to back him as a candidate for mayor. Despite the fact that Sibiu's German minority had shrunken to a mere 1.6%, Iohannis was elected with 69.18% of the votes and has won three re-elections in a row, getting some of the largest electoral scores in the country: 88.7% of the vote in 2004, and 87.4% in 2008. He is the first ethnic German mayor of a Romanian city since Albert Dörr, who served from 1940 to 1945.

The contemporary small but well organised German minority is rather popular in Romania, where they are often viewed as hard-working, precise, and uncompromising. Many Romanians also remember that the country experienced some of its best moments under German kings over a century ago.[10]

Throughout his tenure as mayor, he has worked to restore the town's infrastructure and to tighten the city administration. Iohannis is also widely credited with turning the city into one of Romania's most popular tourist destinations thanks to the extensive renovation of the old downtown.[19] During his first term, Iohannis worked with a city council that had a social democrat majority. Since 2004, during his second and third terms, his own party, FDGR, had the majority. Since 2008, FDGR has 14 out of 23 councilors, PDL has 4, PSD has 3, and PNL has 2.[20]

Iohannis established contacts with foreign officials and investors. Sibiu was declared the European Capital of Culture of 2007, along with Luxembourg (the bearer of the distinction in 1995).[21] Luxembourg chose to share this honourable status with Sibiu due to the fact that many of the Transylvanian Saxons emigrated in the 12th century to Transylvania from the area where Luxembourg is today.[22] Sibiu, or Hermannstadt in German, was built by the Transylvanian Saxons, was for many centuries the cultural centre of that group, and was a predominantly German-speaking city until the mid 20th century. Many Germans left the city after World War II, and especially in 1990, within months of the fall of the Iron Curtain.

On 7 November 2005 Iohannis was nominated as the "Personality of the Year for a European Romania" (Romanian: Personalitatea anului pentru o Românie europeană) by the Eurolink – House of Europe organization.[23]

Candidacy for the Prime Minister of Romania

On 14 October 2009 the leaders of the opposition parliamentary groups (the National Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, and the group of smaller ethnic minorities), proposed Iohannis as a candidate for Prime Minister of Romania, after the government of Prime Minister Emil Boc fell a day before as a result of a motion of no confidence in the Parliament. Coming from outside the national-level politics of Romania, Iohannis has the image of an independent politician,[24] although his party has consistently allied itself with, and Iohannis has campaigned in the latest European Parliament elections for the National Liberal Party. The National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), and the group of small ethnic minorities in the Parliament subsumed Iohannis as their common candidate for Prime Minister of an interim government.[25] On 14 October Klaus Iohannis confirmed acceptance of his candidacy. However, on 15 October the President Traian Băsescu nominated Lucian Croitoru, a top Romanian economist, as Prime Minister, and charged the latter with forming the country's next government.

After the second round of talks, a day before Croitoru's nomination, Băsescu noted: "Some parties have proposed Klaus Iohannis. I would like you to know that I have not rejected the possibility for him to become Prime Minister in the condition that my options would be directed towards other [national unity government] solutions. But I have rejected such a proposal because it comes from PSD or another party [PNL]", referring to his alleged constraint to consider a proposal of the largest party (PDL), constraint disputed by the other parties.[26][27] The opposition criticized the President for not designating Iohannis. Social Democrat leader Mircea Geoană accused Băsescu of trying to influence the upcoming presidential elections by having them organised by a sympathetic government.[28][29] Crin Antonescu, the leader of the National Liberals, vowed his party would derail other nominations but Iohannis'.[28] After the nomination of Croitoru, Antonescu, a candidate in the presidential election, stated that he would nominate Iohannis as Prime Minister if elected President.[30] Three days later, on 18 October Geoană suggested Antonescu was trying to use Iohannis as an "electoral agent" for Antonescu's bid for president. In response, Antonescu told the press that Iohannis "is not the type of person that would let himself be used".[31] Geoană and PSD leadership has held a second meeting with Iohannis in Bucharest in the evening of 18 October. UDMR, which the previous day announced it would also attend, declared in the morning that all their leaders are not in the city. PNL was present at the meeting by lower level representatives, after Antonescu announced in the morning he is on campaign in Cluj-Napoca.[32] On 21 October the Parliament adopted with 252 votes for (of PSD, PNL, UDMR and minorities groups) and 2 against a declaration requesting the President to nominate Iohannis as Prime Minister.[33][34]

In the National Liberal Party

On 20 February 2013, Klaus Iohannis joined the PNL, announcing this during a press conference with Crin Antonescu. At a PNL extraordinary congress, he was elected First Vice President of the Party. In the meeting of 28 June 2014, he was elected President of the PNL with 95% of the votes.

Candidacy for the President of Romania

Victor Ponta la dezbatere Realitatea TV - 11.11 (1) (15153345483)
Klaus Iohannis and his counter candidate Victor Ponta at a TV debate on Realitatea TV, 11 November 2014

In 2009, Iohannis had stated that he might possibly run for the office of President of Romania, although not in that year.[35] Former Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu had said on 27 October 2009 and again on 23 April 2010 that he would like to see Iohannis become President of Romania.[36]

PNL and PDL started in the summer of 2014 procedures to strengthen the political right. The two parties will eventually merge under the name PNL, but went for elections in an alliance: the Christian Liberal Alliance (Romanian: Alianța Creștin-Liberală). On 11 August the alliance chose Iohannis as its candidate for the presidential election in November[37] and so he was registered as an official presidential candidate. He received 30.37% of the votes in the first round, finishing second and consequently qualifying for the second round. In the second round on 16 November he was elected President of Romania with 54.43% of the cast ballots.

President of Romania

Presidential styles of
Klaus Iohannis
Coat of arms of Romania.svg
Reference stylePreședintele (President)
Spoken stylePreședintele (President)
Alternative styleDomnia Sa/Excelența Sa (His Excellency)
Secretary Tillerson and Romanian President Iohannis Pose for a Photo Before Their Meeting in Washington (34814507170)
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Klaus Iohannis before their bilateral meeting at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on 9 June 2017
EPP Summit, 22 March 2018 (27083894888)
Iohannis with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in March 2018

Iohannis took office on 21 December, when Traian Băsescu's term ended. His presidential campaign focused on fighting corruption and on improving the justice system.[38] Iohannis is also a supporter of a strongly pro-Western foreign policy.[39] Regarding the unification of the Republic of Moldova with Romania, much discussed in the electoral campaign, Iohannis stated that "is something that only Bucharest can offer and only Chișinău can accept", and this "special relationship must be cultivated and enhanced especially by us [Romanian state]".[40][41] Upon taking office, Iohannis suspended his membership in the National Liberal Party; the Romanian constitution does not allow the president to be a member of a political party during his tenure.

A heavily disputed draft law proposed by Nicolae Paun, leader of the Party of the Roma, regarding the amnesty of some misdemeanors and the pardoning of certain penalties was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies at the initiative of Klaus Iohannis and the party he led,[42] after PNL asked the Judiciary Committee 17 times to reject the draft law.[43]

The collaboration with socialist Prime Minister Victor Ponta was praised by both sides at the start of the mandate, but deteriorated thereafter once with foreign visits of the Head of the Executive, without informing the President, but especially with the criminal prosecution of Victor Ponta for 22 alleged corruption charges, prompting Iohannis to demand his resignation from the head of the Government.[44] Relations with Parliament went similarly. Iohannis criticized the Parliament for defending MPs by rejecting the requests of the National Anticorruption Directorate for lifting their immunity, as in the case of PSD senator Dan Șova or Prime Minister Victor Ponta.[45] Regarding the judicial system, Klaus Iohannis pleads for a sustained fight against corruption. Likewise, Iohannis expressed dissatisfaction with attempted amendments to the Penal Code.[46] Since coming into office, President Klaus Iohannis has made a habit to hold consultations with parliamentary parties. The first round of consultations took place on 12 January, the purpose of these discussions being a political agreement that would ensure, by 2017, a minimum threshold of 2% of GDP for the Ministry of Defence, agreement signed by all parties.[47] The second round of consultations focused on the legislative priorities of the parliamentary session: voting in diaspora, financing electoral campaigns and parties and lifting parliamentary immunity. Because the Parliament has not implemented the commitments made on 28 January, Iohannis has organised another series of consultations on the state of electoral laws,[48] but also on rejection of Justice requests for approval of arrest or prosecution of MPs. The topics of other meetings between the president and parties focused on the Big Brother law package and the national defense strategy.[49]

International trips as President

Date Country City Reason
10 February 2015  France Paris Talks with President François Hollande on French–Romanian relations, combating terrorism and Ukraine[50]
25 February 2015  Moldova Chișinău Talks with pro-European parties on bilateral relations and the process of European integration of Moldova[51]
26 February 2015  Germany Berlin Talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the situation in Ukraine, investments, European projects and strengthening the rule of law[52]
12 March 2015  Poland Warsaw Talks with President Bronisław Komorowski on Ukraine, NATO and Moldova[53]
14–17 May 2015  Italy Milan, Rome Meeting with Romanian community in Milan and Pope Francis[54]
21 May 2015  Latvia Riga Eastern Partnership Summit[55]
15–16 June 2015  Croatia Zagreb Meeting with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and President of the Sabor Josip Leko[56]
12–13 July 2015  Spain Madrid Meeting with King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Romanian community representatives[57][58]
23–30 September 2015  United States New York City, Washington, D.C. Represented Romania at the United Nations General Assembly from 26 to 29 September. Met with the United States President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden [59]
6–11 March 2016  Israel Jerusalem Meeting with President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein[60]
23 March 2016  Turkey Ankara Talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on security issues and refugee crisis[61]
7 June 2016  Luxembourg Luxembourg City Reception at Neumünster Abbey in honor of the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg[62]
8–9 July 2016  Poland Warsaw NATO Summit[63]
24–25 January 2017  France Strasbourg Official visit to the Council of Europe, as well as the European Court of Human Rights[64]
19 June 2017  United States Washington D.C. Joint press conference with United States President Donald Trump regarding terrorism in Qatar
27 November 2017  France Paris Joint political declaration signed at Elysee Palace [65]

Political positions

Unification of Romania and Moldova

Regarding the unification of Romania and Moldova, Klaus Iohannis declared during the 2014 presidential campaign that the unification is something that only Bucharest can provide and only Chișinău can accept. "If Moldovan citizens want the unification with Romania, then nobody can stop them", stated Klaus Iohannis.[66] After election, his position mitigated, stressing that, at the moment, Romania should support Moldova to consolidate its pro-European path.[67] President Klaus Iohannis said that a possible unification of Romania and Moldova could be discussed at the moment things are going well and stable in the two countries.[68][69]

Autonomy of Hungarian community

In March 2017, a sub-group of the ethnically Hungarian Székely community in southeastern Transylvania launched a petition demanding autonomy for their region, arguing for political and administrative self-rule, their own elected president and flag, as well as the recognition of Hungarian as an official language next to Romanian.[70] Iohannis, on a visit to the region in July, cautioned against decentralization and the creation of regions based on the ethnic origin of residents.[71] He argued for more and improved cooperation between Romanians and Hungarians "as the only solution for us" instead, stressing local administrative reforms and developing the region.[72]

Ukraine's education law

Iohannis criticized Ukraine's 2017 education law, which makes Ukrainian the only language of education in state schools, and cancelled his visit to Kiev in October 2017.[73][74] Iohannis said that Ukraine's new education law "will drastically limit the access of minorities to education in their native language. We are deeply hurt by this. We have many Romanians in Ukraine."[74]

Anticorruption

President Klaus Iohannis is a supporter of the fight against corruption in Romania. Since coming to power in November 2014, has sent several messages of support to prosecutors investigating sensitive cases against politicians accused of corruption. Making one of its important position was in February 25, 2016 at the annual meeting of the National Anticorruption Directorate: “From year to year the work of the National Anticorruption Directorate has become more effective as the number of cases investigated and complexity, as well as final decisions on confiscation and recovery of property from crime. You are a model of functional institution and created a performance standard. Through the work and achievements, you've earned the appreciation of the Romanian citizens who want to live in a just society, in a country without corruption, the institutions, elect to represent them and those who perform public functions are actually serving the people. The results obtained by you in fighting corruption, appreciated and beyond Romania's borders are a guarantee that the process of strengthening democracy and the rule of law in Romania are on track. I am convinced that we will be increasingly more powerful in applying the constitutional principle that nobody is above the law and to align our established practice in countries with democracies that put the citizen at the center of any policy”, stated Klaus Iohannis.[75]

He has rejected demands for the suspension of the head of Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi.[76][77]

LGBT rights

In terms of LGBT rights and recognition of same-sex unions in Romania, Iohannis is reluctant:[78]

Romanian society is not yet ready for a definite answer. I won't give an answer but as a president I am willing to open up the issue for discussion. We have to accept that any minority has rights and that a majority is strong when they protect the minority.

— Iohannis said in a 2014 debate with bloggers[79]

However, he is pleading for the acceptance of differences and diversity: "nobody should be persecuted because they belong to a different group or they are different".[78]

Regarding the initiative to amend Article 48 of the Constitution (prohibition of gay marriage) started by the Coalition for Family (Romanian: Coaliția pentru Familie), Klaus Iohannis reiterated the concepts of tolerance and accepting one another.[80] "It is wrong to give obedience or walk the path of religious fanaticism and ultimatum solicitations. I do not believe in them and do not support them. I believe in tolerance, trust and openness to other", said Iohannis in a press conference.[81] Thus, Iohannis is the first top official in the country to open the discussion about same-sex marriages.[82] His reaction was praised by international media, including The Washington Post,[83][84] while religious and conservative organizations in Romania have criticized his position on LGBT rights.

Migration

Iohannis has said that migration "has to be controlled" and supported stronger external European borders.[85] Iohannis accepted the migration quota set for his country by the EU, but said he is still opposed to mandatory quotas being set by the Commission.[86]

Criticism

In February 2016, the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) sent a notice of evacuation of the headquarters of two TV stations owned by Dan Voiculescu, sentenced in August 2014 to 10 years imprisonment in a corruption case with 60 million euros worth of prejudice.[87] In this context, Klaus Iohannis stated that ANAF approach in Antena TV Group case is "hasty", "inappropriate" and that "freedom of expression in media can not be suppressed for trivial administrative reasons".[88] His position was met with a wave of criticism from supporters and public figures.[89][90] On the same note, Iohannis stated that union with Moldova is "a less serious approach" in the context of the Transnistrian problem, of differences between Romania and Moldova regarding economic stability and fighting corruption, and can be discussed when things are stable in both countries.[91] The statement sparked indignation among unionists[68] who accused him of demagogy, considering that during the electoral campaign of 2014 he expressed a favorable position on the issue.[92] Also, on March 2018, after 100 years of Union of Bessarabia with Romania, he was absent from a plenary vote regarding the issue.[93]

Honours

National honours

Foreign honours

Books

  • 2014 – Step by step (Romanian: Pas cu pas, German: Schritt für Schritt, ISBN 978-6065887565), autobiographical volume and bestseller in the history of Gaudeamus International Book and Education Fair[101]
  • 2015 – First step (Romanian: Primul pas, German: Erster Schritt, ISBN 978-6065888319), a continuation of the volume "Step by step" of 2014. Talks about his plans as president.[102]
  • 2018 – EU.RO - un dialog deschis despre Europa (English: EU.RO - an open dialog on Europe)

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External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Condurat
Mayor of Sibiu
2000–2014
Succeeded by
Astrid Fodor
Preceded by
Traian Băsescu
President of Romania
2014–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Wolfgang Wittstock
Leader of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania
2002–2013
Succeeded by
Paul-Jürgen Porr
Preceded by
Ludovic Orban
Deputy Leader of the National Liberal Party
2013–2014
Succeeded by
TBD
Preceded by
Crin Antonescu
Leader of the National Liberal Party
2014
Succeeded by
Alina Gorghiu
Order of precedence
First Order of precedence in Romania
as President
Succeeded by
Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
as President of the Senate
2014 Romanian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Romania in 2014. In the first round on 2 November, the top two of the fourteen candidates qualified in a run-off on 16 November. Victor Ponta, Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party won around 40% of the vote, and Klaus Iohannis, mayor of Sibiu and leader of Christian Liberal Alliance, won around 30%. Following large protests on how Ponta's government organized the elections in the diaspora, Klaus Iohannis staged a surprising come-back and won the run-off with 54.5%, or more than a million votes than his contender.

Ponta, serving as Prime Minister of Romania since May 2012, ran his campaign on promoting a national reconciliation message of a "great union" between all Romanians, defending his governance as balanced, with both left-wing and progressive measures, and promising to end the "era" established by the incumbent president, Traian Băsescu. However, his government faced some indirect international criticism, with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland criticizing in October 2014 what she called the "cancer of democratic regression and corruption" in several Central and Southeastern European nations and with politicians who "protect the corrupt office holders from prosecution and bypass parliament as often as it suits them". Iohannis, a Transylvanian Saxon, focused his campaign on judicial independence and fiscal relaxation, and promised to promote "Romania of thoroughness" and a "Romania of things well done," while blaming the country's economic and political problems on the regional governance of the Social Democratic Party, the so-called "barons".The electoral campaign ran between 3 October and 1 November and was overshadowed by several corruption scandals (Microsoftgate, EADS, illegal retrocessions) involving key figures of PSD, but also the candidate Elena Udrea. Outgoing President Traian Băsescu accused Victor Ponta of being an undercover spy, incompatible under the Romanian legislation with a public position, while Klaus Iohannis faced accusations of incompatibility filed by the National Integrity Agency after September 2013. Following very long voting times and large numbers of people who couldn't vote before the closing of polls in diaspora, large protests were staged in multiple cities across Romania and at Romanian embassies before the second round. This was regarded as both incapacity and unwillingness of Ponta's government to organize fair elections, and led to a surprisingly large turnout of over 64% (largest since 1996), and a surprise win for Iohannis in the second round.

2019 Romanian presidential election

Presidential elections will be held in Romania in November or December 2019. President Klaus Iohannis, elected in 2014, is eligible for re-election.

2019 Romanian referendum

A consultative referendum will take place in Romania on 26 May 2019, on the same day as the European Parliament elections, about whether to prohibit amnesties and pardons for corruption offences, as well as whether to prohibit the Government from passing emergency ordinances concerning the judiciary and to extend the right to appeal against them to the Constitutional Court.

Carmen Iohannis

Carmen Iohannis (also spelled Carmen Johannis; née Carmen Georgeta Lăzurcă) (born 2 November 1960) is the wife of President of Romania Klaus Iohannis. She is an English teacher at the Gheorghe Lazăr National College in Sibiu and married Klaus Iohannis in 1989. They have no children. Carmen met her husband when they were both students at the Babeș-Bolyai University. Immediately after graduation, the two were assigned as teachers to Agnita and Sibiu. She was the reason Iohannis chose to stay in Romania when the rest of his family emigrated to Germany in the early 1990s. She is an ethnic Romanian, while her husband is a Transylvanian Saxon.Carmen Iohannis is the descendant of a Romanian Greek-Catholic family from Sântu, a village near Reghin, Mureș County. During the prohibition of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church by the communist authorities, Carmen attended surreptitious services officiated by Archpriest Pompeiu Onofreiu at his home in Șelarilor Street, services which were also attended by Klaus Iohannis.

Christian Liberal Alliance

The Christian Liberal Alliance (Romanian: Alianța Creștin-Liberală, ACL), also known as the PNL-PDL Alliance (Alianța PNL-PDL), was a centre-right electoral alliance in Romania.

The alliance was founded on 28 July 2014 by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) prior to a planned future merger between the two parties in order to field a joint presidential candidate in the 2014 presidential election. In August 2014, the parties selected Klaus Iohannis, PNL party president and mayor of Sibiu, as presidential candidate.In the first round of the 2014 presidential election held on 2 November 2014, ACL candidate Iohannis received 30.4% of the vote, coming in second place behind Victor Ponta, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) candidate and incumbent Prime Minister of Romania. In the runoff election held on 16 November 2014, Iohannis received 54.5% of the vote, becoming the surprise victor of the Romanian presidency. The alliance was disbanded on 17 November 2014 upon the merger of PNL and PDL.

Dacian Cioloș

Dacian Julien Cioloș (Romanian pronunciation: [dat͡ʃiˈan ˈt͡ʃjoloʃ]; born 27 July 1969) is a Romanian agronomist who was Prime Minister of Romania between November 2015 and January 2017. In the Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu cabinet, he was Agriculture Minister from October 2007 to December 2008. In November 2009, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso nominated him to be the next Agriculture Commissioner, a post he assumed in February 2010 and held until his term expired in November 2014. In November 2015, President Klaus Iohannis named him Prime Minister, and Cioloș assumed office after receiving approval from Parliament. He remained until after the 2016 parliamentary election, which was lost by the parties that called for Cioloș to continue his term. Cioloș is the founder and current leader of the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party.

Dumitru Fărcaș

Dumitru Fărcaș (13 May 1938 – 7 August 2018) was a Romanian tárogató player. He played on all major stages in the world and made the tárogató known all over the world.He was born in the Groși village. He grew up in a family of pipe players, and his older brothers played the clarinet. He studied the oboe at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca.He was the leader of the "Mărțișorul" orchestra from 1962, with which he won many national and international awards.

Dumitru was made honorary citizen of the cities Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest, Reșița and Baia Mare, as well as Pyongyang.

In 2008 he was awarded the Doctor honoris causa by the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy.

In 2009 he became the honorary patron of the tarogato/taragot website "11fhMSE.com".

In May 2018, during televised celebrations for his 80th birthday, Dumitru was knighted by Romania's president Klaus Iohannis. He received the National Order of Faithful Servant. As a result, Dumitru was buried with military honours in August 2018.

First Lady of Romania

The First Lady of Romania is an unofficial honorific applied to the wife of the President of Romania, concurrent with his term of office.

Iohannis

Iohannis is both a surname and a given name. Notable people with the name include:

Klaus Iohannis, the fifth president of Romania

Iohannis de Lignano, Italian jurist

Iohannis de Serravalle, Italian Franciscan and humanist

Iohannis Eckii, Latinized name of Johann Maier von Eck

List of presidents of Romania

The president of Romania serves as the head of state of Romania. The office was created by the Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1974 and has developed into its modern form after the Romanian Revolution and the adoption of the 1991 constitution.

The current president of Romania is Klaus Iohannis, who has served since 21 December 2014.

Mircea Dușa

Mircea Dușa (born 1 April 1955 in Toplița) is a Romanian economist and politician, who was the Minister of National Defense from 21 December 2012 to 17 November 2015 in the cabinets of former Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

Monica Iacob Ridzi

Monica Maria Iacob Ridzi (born 30 June 1977 in Petroşani) is a Romanian politician. She was the head of the youth wing of the Democratic Liberal Party, and a representative in the Chamber of Deputies of Romania since 2008. She is a former member of the Boc cabinet, and was a Member of the European Parliament during 2007-2008.

In February 2015, she received a 5-year prison sentence for abuse of office in relation to the 2009 Youth Day. On December 3, 2015, President Klaus Iohannis rejected Ridzi's pardon plea. In December 2017, she was released from prison, after spending nearly three years incarcerated.

Order of the Star of Romania

The Order of the Star of Romania (Romanian: Ordinul Steaua României) is Romania's highest civil Order and second highest State decoration after the defunct Order of Michael the Brave. It is awarded by the President of Romania. It has five ranks, from lowest to the highest: Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, Grand Cross, and Grand Cross with Collar.

President of Romania

The President of Romania is the head of state of Romania. The President is directly elected by a two-round system for a five-year term (since 2004, after the Constitution was modified in 2003). An individual may serve two terms. During his/her term in office, the President may not be a member of any political party.

The office of President was created in 1974, when Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu elevated the presidency of the State Council to a full-fledged executive presidency. It gradually took its current form in stages after the Romanian Revolution, culminating with the adoption of Romania's current constitution in 1991.

The current President of Romania is Klaus Iohannis, since 21 December 2014.

Sevil Shhaideh

Sevil Shhaideh (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈsevil ˈʃajde]; née Geambec (Turkish: Cambek); born 4 December 1964) is a Romanian economist, civil servant and politician. On 21 December 2016, she was proposed by the Social Democrats to be Prime minister of Romania, but was rejected by the president, Klaus Iohannis.

Sorin Cîmpeanu

Sorin Mihai Cîmpeanu (Romanian pronunciation: [soˈrin miˈhaj kɨmˈpe̯anu]) is a Romanian politician, former Minister of Education in Ponta IV cabinet and, between 5 and 17 November 2015, acting Prime Minister of Romania, after President Klaus Iohannis accepted Prime Minister Ponta's resignation. Klaus Iohannis's appointment of Sorin Cîmpeanu was just a stopgap measure until a new candidate for the post was selected.

Third Ponta Cabinet

The Third Ponta Cabinet was the executive of Romania from 5 March to 13 December 2014. It was established after one day before it received the vote of confidence from the country's Parliament. The Third Ponta Cabinet is supported by PSD–UNPR–PC Alliance and an unregistered party (PLR) led by Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu. In December 2014, UDMR voted the egress from the government, invoking the result of the presidential election, inasmuch as Klaus Iohannis, PSD counter candidate, was voted by more than 70% of the electorate in the ethnic Hungarian counties.

Victor Ponta

Victor Viorel Ponta (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈviktor ˈponta]; born 20 September 1972) is a Romanian jurist and politician, who served as Prime Minister of Romania between his appointment by President Traian Băsescu in May 2012 and his resignation in November 2015. A former member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and its leader from 2010 to 2015, he was also joint leader (2012–2014) of the then-governing Social Liberal Union (USL), an alliance with the National Liberal Party (PNL). Ponta has been a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Gorj County since 2004. In the Emil Boc cabinet, he was Minister-Delegate for Relations with Parliament from 2008 to 2009.

Ponta began his time as head of government with a victory for his alliance in local elections, as well as criticism from civil society after several prominent Băsescu-associated figures in government-funded culture and history institutes were removed or resigned from their posts. Eventually, a political crisis broke out with the replacement of the heads of each legislative chamber and an attempt to dismiss Băsescu – an effort that ultimately failed when the subsequent impeachment referendum was invalidated by the Constitutional Court due to low turnout. Meanwhile, Ponta was the subject of controversy due to allegations of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis. Seven months after gaining office, Ponta helped lead the USL to a decisive victory in parliamentary elections, prompting his appointment to a full four-year term as premier. A little over a year later, the USL fell apart and Ponta formed a new cabinet with the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) as coalition partners.

A finalist in the November 2014 presidential election, Ponta lost to PNL candidate Klaus Iohannis. The following month, the UDMR quit government, prompting Ponta to form a fourth cabinet, with the Conservative Party (PC) and the Liberal Reformist Party (PLR) as junior partners. The cabinet was in office for slightly less than a year, resigning in the wake of the Colectiv nightclub fire.

Viorica Dăncilă

Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (Romanian pronunciation: [va.siˈli.ka vi.o'ri.ka dənˈtʃi.lə]; born 16 December 1963) is a Romanian politician, a leader of the Social Democratic Party, and the Prime Minister of Romania since 29 January 2018. She is the first woman in Romanian history to hold the office of Prime Minister. In 2014, she was elected as a member in the European Parliament for a second term from the PSD. Viorica Dăncilă was also the president of the Social Democratic Women's Organization (OFSD) between 2015 and 2018.

Viorica Dăncilă became a member of the Social Democratic Party in 1996, as part of the PSD organization of Teleorman County. Over the years she has held several positions in both PSD and the local administration. Viorica Dăncilă was a local council and a county councilor until 2009, when she was elected MEP for her first term. Also, Viorica Dăncilă occupied several leadership positions in the party, as president of the local organization, vice president of PSD Teleorman and president of OFSD Teleorman.

Before entering politics she was an engineer with Petrom SA and prior to that a teacher at Videle Industrial High School.

Dăncilă's plans for a new cabinet were approved on 26 January 2018.

Klaus Iohannis
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United Principalities of Romania
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