|President of the Chamber of Deputies|
Assumed office |
21 December 2016
|Preceded by||Florin Iordache (Interim)|
|President of Social Democratic Party|
Assumed office |
12 October 2015
Acting: 22 July 2015 – 12 October 2015
|Preceded by||Rovana Plumb (Acting)|
|Deputy Prime Minister of Romania|
21 December 2012 – 17 December 2014
|Minister of Regional Development and Administration|
21 December 2012 – 15 May 2015
|Prime Minister||Victor Ponta|
|Preceded by||Eduard Hellvig|
|Succeeded by||Sevil Shhaideh|
|Minister of Administration and Interior|
20 January 2009 – 2 February 2009
|Prime Minister||Emil Boc|
|Preceded by||Gabriel Oprea|
|Succeeded by||Dan Nica|
Liviu Nicolae Dragnea|
28 October 1962
Democratic Party (1996–2000)|
Social Democratic Party (2000–present)
|Spouse(s)||Bombonica Dragnea (Divorced 2015)|
Carol I National Defence University|
Ecological University of Bucharest
Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest
Liviu Nicolae Dragnea (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈlivju nikoˈla.e ˈdraɡne̯a]; born 28 October 1962) is a Romanian engineer and politician. The leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and a former member of the Democratic Party (PD), he was Minister of Administration and Interior in Emil Boc's cabinet in January–February 2009. He has represented Teleorman County in the Chamber of Deputies since December 2012, when he became deputy prime minister and Minister of Administration and Regional Development. He resigned from the cabinet in May 2015, following a conviction in a case involving electoral fraud, for which he received a two-year suspended sentence in April 2016. Following the December 2016 parliamentary election, he became President of the Chamber of Deputies. In June 2018, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for incitement to abuse of office, pending appeal.
Dragnea was born in Gratia, Teleorman County, and after completing secondary studies at Unirea Mathematics-Physics High School in Turnu Măgurele in 1981, enrolled at the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest. He graduated from the Transport faculty in 1987. He also studied at the Public Administration School of the Italian Ministry of the Interior (1997), the Faculty of Management and Public Administration at the Ecological University of Bucharest (2003) and the Carol I National Defence University (2004). Dragnea's political career began in 1996, when he was elected a city councilor in Turnu Măgurele. From 1996 to 2000, while Dragnea was a member of the PD, he served as prefect of Teleorman County; he then switched to the PSD, which won the 2000 election. In 2000, he became president of the Teleorman County Council, being re-elected in 2004, 2008 and 2012. He is a member of the PSD's permanent national bureau and of the party's Teleorman County chapter. In 2006, he was elected party vice president for state reform and decentralisation (suspending himself from the position after the failure of that year's presidential impeachment referendum), and he led the PSD's campaign at the 2007 European Parliament election. Following the 2008 parliamentary election, for which he helped run the campaign, he was named coordinator of PSD ministers in the Boc cabinet, charged with maintaining links between ministers and the party leadership.
Beginning in the 2000s, Dragnea was characterised as a "local baron" with a powerful influence within the PSD. For instance, in 2006, he was one of the individuals who forced Adrian Năstase to resign as party head and Chamber of Deputies president. Moreover, his wealth and business dealings have drawn attention: as of late 2008, he had eight landholdings (including in Azuga and Năvodari), an apartment, two residences and a vacation house, a hotel, an inn, and two commercial venues in Turnu Măgurele. Fear of losing control over this Teleorman County "empire" was cited as yet another possible motive for his resignation. He was accused by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) of falsifying documents while attempting to access European Union (EU) funds for building a new border checkpoint with Bulgaria, but charges were later dropped without much explanation. Controversy arose too during his first term as county council president. In 2001, the council privatised a state construction firm at a very low price. Dragnea's personal driver won it at auction, and Dragnea awarded the firm many public contracts for road construction, some of these being considered overvalued. In 2004, he was accused by high-ranking PD members of having bought a hotel for 800 million lei (some $27,000) and reselling it for 40 billion lei (around $1.3 million) to his driver's firm, before regaining the property. Also that year, he was blamed for wasting public money by having the council sponsor a basketball club.
In January 2009, following the resignation of Gabriel Oprea, Dragnea was named Interior Minister. He announced his priorities as being the safety of children in school, the safety of citizens on the street, decentralisation and administrative reform. Twelve days later, he resigned, citing a lack of resources and funds to implement his plans. There was speculation that he was forced out by party president Mircea Geoană and Sector 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie for refusing to name an individual suggested by the latter as a secretary of state at the ministry. Also, his brief tenure was rocked by an armed robbery in Braşov and an arms theft from a depot in Ciorogârla. He remained county council president at the time and continued to be a vehement critic of the PSD—PD-L alliance (which he opposed from the start), referring to Transport Minister Radu Berceanu as a "nitwit" and to Prime Minister Boc as a "whippersnapper". He became secretary general of the PSD in July 2009.
At the December 2012 parliamentary election, Dragnea won a seat for Teleorman County with 71.5% of the vote. Later that month, he resigned his position in the county council, and was named Regional Development Minister as well as one of three deputy premiers to Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Simultaneously, he left the county council leadership. In early 2013, he left the party secretary general position, soon becoming executive president. Following a cabinet reshuffle in December 2014, he lost the deputy premiership but retained the Regional Development portfolio. In May 2015, he was convicted of orchestrating electoral fraud during the 2012 presidential impeachment referendum and given a one-year suspended sentence. As a result, he resigned as Regional Development Minister.
That July, following Ponta's resignation as PSD president, Dragnea ran to replace him on an interim basis, and defeated Rovana Plumb on a 65-18 margin. In October, he was the sole candidate to run for party leader in a ballot open to all party members; 97% voted in his favor. In April 2016, the High Court of Cassation and Justice pronounced a final verdict in the electoral fraud case, doubling Dragnea's initial sentence to two years, suspended.
In the December 2016 parliamentary election, Dragnea retained his own seat in the Chamber while leading the PSD to victory. He was subsequently elected Chamber President. The same month, he and his former wife were indicted for abuse of public office and forgery allegedly committed during his time as Teleorman County Council president. In November 2017, the DNA opened a third case against Dragnea, based on information compiled by the European Anti-Fraud Office. He is alleged to have formed part of a criminal conspiracy, formed in 2001 involving, the fraudulent redirection of EU funds worth €20 million. In March 2018, RISE Project and Folha de São Paulo revealed that Liviu Dragnea would have been investigated in Brazil for money laundering. According to Federal Prosecutor Carlos Wagner Barbosa Guimarães, Dragnea would have used intertwines – "oranges" – to wash money and acquire property on the beach of Cumbuco, 30 kilometers from Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará. In Portuguese, laranja (orange) is the term that designates interlopers, people who are brought forward by corrupt or criminal politicians to hide their involvement in various business. Dragnea said the information on the Brazilian investigation is false.
Dragnea was convicted on 21 June 2018 by the High Court of Cassation and Justice for incitement to abuse of office as chairman of the Teleorman County Council. He has received a prison sentence of 3 years and 6 months.
Dragnea and his wife Bombonica had two children prior to their divorce in 2015. Since May 2016, Dragnea is engaged to Irina Alexandra Tănase, his former secretary, who is 30 years younger than him. Dragnea is an Orthodox Christian, part of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
| Minister of Administration and Interior
| Minister of Regional Development and Administration
|Party political offices|
| Secretary-General of the Social Democratic Party
| President of the Social Democratic Party