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Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups Supporters of the unification of Romania and the Republic of Moldova marched on Bucharest, October 2012.

Most popular extreme right party is “Great Romania”, founded in 1990 by Vadim Tudor. Current leader is George Funar. Totul Pentru Ţară party (All for the Motherland) considers itself the successor of the Movement of the Legionaries/Iron Guard, the main fascist organization of interwar Romania, and actively uses “legionary” symbols (green shirt), rhetoric (radical nationalism) and gestures (Nazi greeting - “Nazi salute” ).

One of the most active political groups - an organization called “New Right» (Nou ă Dreapta - ND), existing since 2000 that is actively engaged in building international contacts, particularly with representatives of Moldova and Ukraine, also positioning itself as a successor to the “legionnaires”.

As the legacy of the “Iron Guard” proclaims itself the active “Movement of Legionnaires' in Bucharest, having their data centre with a library on the front of which are plotted fascist symbols of the “Iron Guard”.

There is also a right-wing populist party called “New Republic.” In areas heavily populated by the Hungarian minority acts the moderately nationalist Transylvanian Hungarian People's Party.

Romanian radical nationalists are represented at the local level in several regions of Romania. At the municipal level they are also presented in the so-called Székely region by the moderately nationalist Transylvanian Hungarian People's Party, to get a seat in the municipal elections on June 10th 2012. Elections in 2012 were unsuccessful for the Romanian nationalist parties, and to set up in 2011, the Party of the Hungarian nationalists was used - Transylvanian Hungarian People's Party. Thus, the “Great Romania” party in December 2012 in the simultaneous elections to the upper (senate) and lower (Chamber of Deputies) House of the Parliament received 1.24% and 1.47%, and was not able to send any candidate. The result of this defeat was the expulsion of K.Tudora from his own party in July 2013, where he was succeeded by George Funari.

However, the ideas of the Romanian national radicals are used by politicians of the “big” parties. So, the idea of “Great Romania” has been consistently implemented a number of years, followed by the mass distribution of Romanian passports in Moldova and Ukraine (according to 2013 the number of these passports reached 300 000). In early December, it was reported that 462 candidates participating in the parliamentary elections in Romania, signed the “Pact of Bessarabia”, promoting the idea of providing for the early accession of the Republic of Moldova to Romania.

In 2015, the right-wing party "All for the Country" (Totul Pentru Tarǎ) was banned in Romania for using fascist symbols of the Legionnaires' movement during World War II. After that, the main right-wing activity was concentrated in the New Right (Noua Dreaptǎ) party, which openly uses the legacy of the Iron Guard. Although the party is not represented in the Romanian Parliament, it actively holds public events under anti-Gypsy and anti-Semitic slogans, using a hate discourse against ethnic Hungarians, LGBT people and immigrants. For example, in October 2017, at the National Opera in Cluj-Napoca, members of this movement disrupted a concert in which the Islamic call to prayer was recited.

In December 2020, a new far-right party, created only a year before, unexpectedly burst into the political arena of Romania - the Alliance for Romanian Unity (AUR), which received 8.69% of the votes in the elections to the Chamber of Deputies and 8.77% in the elections to the Senate. This obscure ultra-nationalist party proclaims itself to be a supporter of “family, nation, faith and freedom,” but in Romania it is best known for demanding the unification of Romania and Moldova, the abolition of same-sex marriage, anti-Hungarian rhetoric, and hostility towards COVID-19 masks and restrictions. .

George Simion, the AUR's most recognizable figure, has spent the last fifteen years provoking conflicts with neighboring Moldova, holding protests in Romanian-language schools and organizing rallies demanding the unification of Moldova with Romania into a single state. He is currently under a five-year entry ban to Moldova. Simion's co-chair Claudio Tarziou played a leading role in the Coalition for the Family movement, whose activism led to a referendum in 2018 to change the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The proposed change was not passed due to voter turnout being too low. Another party leader, Dan Tanase, was also involved with Simion in provoking ethnic violence between the Romanian and Hungarian communities at the World War I cemetery in June 2019. Diana Ivanovic-Shotsoacă, who is one of the new senators for the AUR, also rose to prominence in October 2020 as a vocal opponent of the mandatory wearing of masks following COVID-19 related restrictions. In addition to holding rallies to demand that pilgrims be allowed to kiss relics, she worked as a lawyer for Archbishop Tomis when he sued the city council of Constanta for preventing pilgrimages during the lockdown.

“The AUR in parliament will legitimize extremist positions in the public sphere,” claims Claudiu Tufis, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Bucharest. “I first heard about them earlier this summer.” He believes that this party has played the card of anti-medicine, anti-vaccination and restrictions on a population that is not truly aware of health issues. “Their idea is to build something for Romania. Nationalistic Romanian style will make Romania better. Such a discourse can attract a large number of people,” the expert says.

Hundreds of thousands of voters supported the AUR in the elections. This is because the Romanian political class needs a reboot. The majority of the population, especially the youth, is disgusted by anything associated with the old political class.

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