Despite conflicts within USL on justice matters, Crin Antonescu takes the first step back, admitting that if he improves his position in the polls, the Social Democrat PM could determine a change in alliance terms.
When asked at the television show “Dupa 20 de ani” (Twenty years later) aired yesterday on ProTV if he sees Victor Ponta as presidential candidate, Antonescu answered “Certainly. I know he does not intend to, seeing as his political career plan is different. But, if you ask me, «Do you think he is a viable candidate?» he could obviously be one of the most powerful candidates”, adding that some of the factors which contribute to this probability, despite his young age, are his leadership of one of the largest parties in the country and his current position as Prime Minister. However, when asked if Ponta was a better candidate than him, the PNL leader replied, “No, I don’t believe so, but that does not mean he is not a powerful candidate”.
On the same topic, Antonescu stated he can “bet you anything there will be no major changes next year” that could impact his chances as USL’s candidate for presidency. When asked to what extent USL’s candidate for presidency would change if, according to Union protocol, Victor Ponta’s poll results would be better than his, Antonescu replied, “If at that time, when we implement this provision of the pact, the political agreement, (…) someone from PSD, the Prime Minister, let’s say, had better results in presidential election polls – not in any other kind of polls, such as level of trust, beauty or sympathy – he could say «all right, I am running for president and the Prime Minister position goes to PNL». But that is very unlikely”.
However, the PNL leader pointed to a complementarity between his political actions and Ponta’s, adding that this has been a part of USL’s logic. “I am not entitled, nor do have any intention or desire to censor the Prime Minister’s actions, but I, as well as him and other political leaders, have an obligation to speak up in important matters, to act publicly in one way or another”, the PNL chairman stated further. Moreover, the Liberal leader commented that talking about the future administration in terms of “winning the bone” has generated a less than optimal economic situation, while some PNL ministers risk being perceived as indecisive. “Talking about bones gets us bones. To leave the government and destroy all chances of a government with 70 percent majority, of stability – which is a major internal advantage – is a fundamental decision externally”, Antonescu said, referring to the fact that PNL would not vote for the Rosia Montana project. The chairman of PNL had already stated Friday that governing is not a “trinket” in PSD’s or PNL’s pockets, which parties or their leaders can easily let go off when something does not suit them; things must be adjusted “as we go”, he added.
Iliescu announces meeting between Ponta and Antonescu
Honorary PSD leader Ion Iliescu also commented on the futility of breaking USL apart, announcing that Crin Antonescu and Victor Ponta had a meeting scheduled yesterday to discuss recent problems within USL. “I hope a consensus is reached within USL; otherwise, it would be foolish. A structure that has proved beneficial and should continue to be reinforced would break”, Iliescu told Gandul. The meeting would be informal, as USL’s official meeting is scheduled today, the cited source notes.