Romanian right-wing party campaigns with Vlad the Impaler

Romanian right-wing leader George Simion with a Vlad the Impaler lookalike. (X)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Romania’s ultra-nationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians party (AUR) has drafted none other than infamous 15th-century leader Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Dracula) as its mascot for this June’s European Parliament elections, Hungarian news outlet Mandiner reports.

A giant poster on a Bucharest tower block has a huge picture of the Wallachian leader who once put thousands of Turkish prisoners on stakes and later became, according to some scholars, the basis on which the modern Dracula myth was born.

At the time of his rule, the Wallachian prince’s swing policy between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire proved to be moderately successful. He was for a short time imprisoned by King Matthias, resulting in a famous poet at the time, Ianus Pannonius, writing: “Sing a festive song! The tyrant wears his chains at last.”

George Simion, the AUR party leader, seems to appreciate Vlad the Impaler, having a man dressed up as the former ruler introduce the party’s MEPs in Targoviste, the old capital of the Wallachian lowlands, and also featuring Vlad in a 30-minute “play” where Vlad beats up an extra dressed as a Turk and repeated patriotic mantras.

Several analysts expressed doubts about the party’s strategy of featuring Vlad the Impaler during the campaign for the European Parliament elections, as the figure generally has a poor historical image in Europe.

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