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Old Wine in New Bottles: Chronic Political Criminality in New Democracies – A Tale of Supposedly Reformed Communists vs. the Romanian Diaspora

Alexandra M. Uibariu

This paper paves the road towards minimising the persistent apathy that characterises both transitional and established democracies, and creating widening circles of critical, and engaged democratic citizens by drawing upon the experience of the November 2014 Presidential elections for Romania in the UK-based diaspora, under the theoretical scope of state crimes against democracy. The research employed a case study examination of the voting administration by assessing Romanian governments’ compliance with the international guidelines and recommendations regulating electoral processes, as well as citizens’ experience and engagement in political life. Whilst the study revealed historical failures of the elected to uphold the political rights of Romanian citizens, where the balance between the officeholder’s pursuit of individual achievement and democratic notions of collective wellbeing habitually comes to be tipped in favour of the former, the consequences of the elections – some two years later – aid the integration of notions of political criminality, citizen dis-involvement (and disappointment) with European democracy in a theoretical framework which can effectively assist popular re-integration in political life.

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