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The Liberal President’s reaction comes after former PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu made new public statements about the party’s leadership, proposing the holding of elections within PNL in 2014 in order for the party to elect its presidential candidate.
PNL President Crin Antonescu stated on Saturday that former premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s public statements “gravely” infringed the party’s Statute, stating however that he does not support the idea of excluding him from the party since the issue has to be clarified during the Congress that will take place at the end of February. “The fact that I am against the exclusion at this time does not mean I do not think that the Statute was gravely infringed, but it’s one of the reasons for which I asked the convening of this Congress, in order to clear these things up and in the hope that by clearing them up we will also avoid exclusions that nobody wants and that are not desirable in any party,” Antonescu stated, being quoted by Mediafax. He said that the conflict with Tariceanu will not be “an endless story” within PNL, accusing the former premier of adopting positions identical to those adopted by “Democrat-Liberal propagandists.” “You are either in collusion with the party’s opponents or you’ve reached such a situation that you no longer realize you’re used by them. I don’t know what’s worse, both are unacceptable,” Antonescu stated, pointing out that the goal of USL’s political opponents is for this conflict to be an endless story. “The one who is trying to put a stop to this is immediately accused of dictatorship, of harming freedom of speech within PNL,” he pointed out. Moreover, the PNL President reproached Tariceanu with “sitting on the sidelines” during the period in which USL had to be strengthened: “Throughout the period that was very difficult from the point of view of the propaganda battle, from the point of view of the battle to prepare and make this coalition (USL – editor’s note) a reality, we needed and the party would have needed the support of a man that has the notoriety and position that Calin Popescu Tariceanu has. We never had it for a second.”
He claims that in the case of the former premier, just as in the case of District 1 Mayor Andrei Chiliman, the decision to remain within PNL belongs to him; however he warns that nobody “should mock the party’s name and the work of thousands and thousands of colleagues.” “Those of us who ended up being the tools of Traian Basescu’s propaganda should decide whether they still want to continue being part of, representing and serving PNL. The decision is theirs, the decision was and can be administrative only in cases of force majeure,” the Liberal pointed out. On the other hand, Antonescu pointed out that the issue of USL’s presidential candidate is not of a present interest and reminded that several congresses “very clearly” decided within the Union who the candidate in the future elections will be. He pointed out that he has “no kind of problem” with primary internal elections being organized within PNL, as Tariceanu claims, however the latter should first think where PNL set out from and what is the position it currently reached. At the same time, the PNL President stated that he will propose the modification of the party’s Statute by introducing a “flexible and mobile” leadership formula that would include persons indirectly mandated by voters, such as the leaders of parliamentary groups, presidents of County Councils and mayors.
Pros and cons
Somewhat more peremptory, PNL Vice President Dan Radu Rusanu stated for ‘Gandul’ that Tariceanu should be excluded for “causing PR damage to PNL.” “There is no logical, fair, normal reason to ask today, one and a half years before the presidential elections campaign of 2014, for new proposals for candidates,” Rusanu pointed out. He reminded that the congresses of PNL, PC and PSD established in 2011 that Crin Antonescu will be USL’s presidential candidate. “At the time no PNL member was against that candidacy. To state now, just several months before the elections, that you should establish the presidential candidate through a new vote, a different person, means you are at least of bad faith, if not a PNL opponent, and you should be treated accordingly,” Rusanu stated. PNL founding president Radu Campeanu stated ‘Antonescu is only better than Basescu’, while better chances to win the presidential elections on behalf of USL would have Calin Popescu Tariceanu, recommended by his experience, equilibrium and impressive app.Another opinion comes from analyst and businessman Cozmin Gusa, (a close collaborator to businessman Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, former social-democrat secretary general, former head of the election campaign for PDL’s Traian Basescu) who claims Tariceanu and Chiliman are hurrying their expelling from the Liberal Party, so that Tariceanu could run for presidency on behalf of the Democrat-Liberals, Realitatea Tv informs.