Elena Udrea elected PMP leader

Cristian Diaconescu was designated the party’s candidate for Presidential elections.

Former Regional Development and Tourism Minister Elena Udrea was elected president of the People’s Movement Party (PMP) on Saturday at the PMP Congress at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, securing 742 votes in her favour, her opponent Daniel Funeriu receiving only 209 votes. A number of 964 votes have been cast for the election of the PMP leader, 951 votes being valid and 13 void.
The other three candidates – Adrian Radulescu, Gelu Visan and Adrian Papahagi – announced their retirement from the race on Saturday. Adrian Radulescu and Gelu Visan pointed out that they back Elena Udrea, while Adrian Papahagi announced he backs Daniel Funeriu. Apart from the party’s president, the delegates to the PMP Congress also elected the party’s eight vice presidents, eight executive secretaries, a general secretary and two deputy general secretaries.
“Thank you for your confidence and I promise you we shall build together the party that Romania needs. I promise you we shall be the top party in Romania in 2016,” Udrea said, quoted by Agerpres, after being elected as PMP leader. In his turn, Daniel Funeriu thanked his voters, saying the votes he secured are a big responsibility for him.
Before the results of the vote were announced, Udrea said, in a speech held at the PMP Congress, that “the party’s romantic phase” has passed, after the party gained status in the European elections which took place on May, 25. “The Congress will have to vote a team able to set up the strongest center-right party capable of winning the 2016 elections and to continue the project initiated by President Traian Basescu,” she said.
Diaconescu, PMP’s presidential candidate
On the other hand, Elena Udrea announced that Cristian Diaconescu will be PMP’s presidential candidate. In this context, Diaconescu thanked for the honor, saying he accepts the proposal with everybody’s support and effort.
However, not everyone was happy with the way things went at the PMP Congress.
Former Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi was among those dissatisfied, stating yesterday on RFI that President Traian Basescu has selected Elena Udrea as his heir, pointing out that the party’s intellectuals were “evacuated and marginalized” at the Congress, just like it happened within PDL, and that on the short term he will sit back and observe. “I experienced a feeling of deja vu, because just like within PDL the intellectuals were, so to say, displayed and then evacuated, a similar phenomenon has taken place within PMP’s evolution too.” Asked whether he suspects backstage scheming took place before the PMP Congress, Baconschi answered: “Everything was as clear as possible, because basically with the exception of one or two positions on the PMP’s leadership roster the team was already set up given the fact that every candidate that Mrs. Elena Udrea favoured ran alone, did not have contenders, so there was no nervousness from this point of view.”
On the other hand, he claims that the announcement of Cristian Diaconescu’s presidential candidacy was surprising because “it did not come about as a result of a debate within the party, least of all as a result of a vote.” “(…) I consider him a respectable man that could correspond to a presidential candidate’s profile. (…) As to what extent Mr. Diaconescu has any chance to make it to the runoff that is a separate discussion.”
Udrea retorted to Baconschi yesterday, saying that there are a lot of intellectuals at PMP’s helm. Udrea also said that Diaconescu is nobody’s rabbit-candidate and that PMP is supporting him. Asked if President Basescu advised the new PMP leadership, Udrea answered that after ten years of receiving pieces of advice from Basescu, she doesn’t need any others.
On the other hand, referring to Diaconescu’s presidential candidacy, PNL Vice President Sorin Frunzaverde claims that at this point it becomes clear that PNL and PDL have nothing in common with Traian Basescu. Likewise, PDL First Vice President Catalin Predoiu expressed his doubts that Diaconescu will remain the Popular Movement’s candidate in the end. “It’s not ruled out that Udrea will eventually run,” Predoiu stated, pointing out that PNL and PDL will not back her potential presidential candidacy. Former presidential advisor Cristian Diaconescu became a member of PMP in May, shortly after President Traian Basescu signed his dismissal. He is also a founding member of the Popular Movement Foundation.
Marian Preda steps down as chairman of People’s Movement Foundation, Diaconescu takes the helm
Marian Preda, chairman of the People’s Movement Foundation (FMP), has stepped down as chairman, invoking “personal reasons”. “I am leaving the office satisfied that in the 14 months I led it, together with the founding members, a technical team, county coordinators, volunteers and more than 9,000 members, with support from the project architect, Mr. President Traian Basescu, I made the People’s Movement Foundation a known and respectable institution, an important vector for the promotion of right-of-centre values, principles and solutions in Romania’s public space. (…) I am not withdrawing to some ivory tower, I am just returning to the observatory of the academia and the civil society. I am convinced that Romania’s change for the better will come from there in the end,” Preda said in a press release. Also yesterday, the FMP members in Bistria-Nasaud decided to retire from the organization en masse, along with their president, arguing that they can do nothing and the political class cannot be changed from within as they had originally thought.
On the same day, Cristian Diaconescu was voted as People’s Movement Foundation chairman.

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