Romanian Roma have three representatives in the Parliament
After the general elections held on 9 December 2012, Romania Roma will be represented in the parliament by three ethnic MPs who openly admitted their ethnic origin in the electoral race. The three MPs are Nicolae Paun, Madalin Voicu and Damian Draghici. Out of these three, only Nicolae Paun ran as a representative of the Roma. The other two candidates ran on the lists of the current coalition government, the Liberal Social Union – USL.
Nicolae Paun won his fourth mandate as a representative of Roma in the parliament. Since 2000 and until now, Nicolae Paun had ten legislative initiatives. Out of these ten, only one was approved by the Romanian Parliament that made a pledge to sustain the emancipation of Romanian Roma. He is the president of the Pro Europe Roma Party, who proposed him as a candidate on the last election.
Madalin Voicu is the Roma MP who has been the longest in the Romanian Parliament. He has been a parliamentary since 1996 and has now won his fifth parliamentary mandate. All these mandates were won as a member of the Social Democratic Party, the biggest party in Romania. Madalin Voicu is the son of the famous violinist Ion Voicu. He is a conductor by profession.
Damian Draghici is the most recently elected Roma in the Romanian parliament. He was, in recent months, State Advisor for Roma issues of Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Damian Draghici is known in Romania and abroad as a very talented musician and the only Romanian who ever won a Grammy. In recent years, he led the Bright Light Foundation, an organization that militates for the integration of Romanian Roma.
Nicolae Paun and Madalin Voicu have been saying for years that the Romanian Parliament has much more Roma MPs, but some of them are ashamed to admit their ethnicity. The three recently elected MPS, Paun, Voicu and Draghici, have always admitted that they are Roma.