Romanian Humanist Party changes name to Conservative Party

Monday, May 9, 2005

The Romanian Humanist Party has voted to change its name to the Conservative Party (Partidul Conservator, or PC). During its congress, a resolution was also passed for the party to join the European People's Party-European Democrats group in the European Parliament.

Dan Voiculescu suggested the change of name, blaming the party's moderate doctrine for its poor election results. Voiculescu said he studied several political doctrines and has found that the Humanist ideology has much in common with the Conservative ideology, including an emphasis on free market economics as a key means of achieving social welfare. Other elements of the Conservative Party's ideology include a reduction in state intervention in the economy and private property, as well as the importance of traditional values such as the family, army and church, and national values and ethics. The party's new slogan is "Make a stand, Romanian!"

The Conservative Party is currently part of the Justice and Truth governing coalition, even though it is generally regarded as the most controversial party in the coalition. This is because its policies and stance on key issues are generally against that of the other coalition parties, especially the National Liberal Party and the Democratic Party. For example, the Humanist Party was the only party in the governing coalition to call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and it has been accused of allying with whatever party is in power, regardless of its ideology.

Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, from the Liberal Party, attended the congress. He said to the Conservatives that they should treat sensitive issues such as the situation in Iraq with more responsibility and diplomacy inside the governing coalition, in order to not give the impression of "dysfunction".

The Humanists' name change is the third change of name by a Romanian party this year. The Christian-Democratic National Peasants' Party has changed its name to the Christian-Democratic People's Party, and the Great Romania Party has changed its name to the Popular Great Romania Party.