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The former minister announced Tuesday that she will run for president of PDL in the National Convention of March.
“I will run for PDL, rather than against someone, I do it for the future of the party. (…) I hope that we will have a beautiful competition, not a dispute,” Deputy Elena Udrea said, adding that she made the decision after she talked with her party colleagues. “I hope the motion will be the signal awaited by PDL to return to life,” Udrea said.
She mentioned that, these days, she will come with the base motion she will adopt in her candidacy for PDL president and she wants a competition that will not rely on sympathies, but on principles and programmes.
Asked if PDL is ready to have a woman as president, Udrea said that PSD was ready to elect as president a young politician, Victor Ponta, which at that moment looked as an option without chances, but eventually proved successful.
“There were other parties that had women as president, even now we have a party whose president is a woman, I wouldn’t be precisely the first. I think this is also a signal for the female electorate and for the young electorate and perhaps it is time for a woman to enter a real campaign in a big party, and win,” Udrea stated.
She added that she will run for PDL president because she is ready to politically oppose Victor Ponta, Crin Antonescu and Dan Voiculescu.
Her main rival, acting PDL leader Vasile Blaga has nothing against Udrea running for his position and believes there will be one or two more candidacies. “We must rebuild the party and, no matter who will win, the party must stay unite,” Vasile Blaga said on Realitatea TV. He declared himself convinced that the Democrat-Liberals which will attend the March 23 Convetion – over 4,500 members – know exactly the role played by each candidate these last years.
In his turn, the secretary general of PDL, Gheorghe Flutur mentioned that the party needs competition and the validation of a team that will propose ambitious targets for the next elections. “PDL needs competition and the validation of a team that will propose ambitious targets for the next electoral cycle, from the European elections, the presidential ballot of 2014, as well as the local and parliamentary elections of 2016,” the PDL official said for Mediafax.
The leader of PDL senators, Cristian Radulescu believes “that any candidacy is a sign of democracy within the party,” and PDL has always produced a very large number of leaders. Asked whether Elena Udrea has qualities for being the president of PDL, Cristian Radulescu answered that each candidate for the presidency of the party will consider the situation in making the final decision and will see if “the hat is too big.” Cristian Radulescu added that it does not matter if the party is led by a woman or a man, as the important thing is that PDL works well. The vice president of PDL, Raluca Turcan said Tuesday for MEDIAFAX, referring to the candidacy of Elena Udrea for the position of PDL president, that “competition is good, but it depends on who and how will do it” and that the attacks launched by Victor Ponta against Vasile Blaga clearly show that “Blaga is a competitor to be feared.”
Asked to comment the two candidacies for the presidency of PDL, PSD president Victor Ponta ironically said: “I understand that there are two candidates: Mr. Blaga and Ms. Udrea, isn’t it? I believe that Ms. Udrea has always been a Traian Basescu wearing a skirt, and Mr. Blaga no longer exists.”
The speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea wished Elena Udrea luck in the competition inside PDL, but added that he sees Vasile Blaga as “the best card PDL can play,” given his good skills as an organiser. Zgonea added that he has not seen Elena Udrea very active in politics during the last 3 years, but maybe she intensively prepared for the next challenges.
New possible contender
Democrat-Liberal Adrian Papahagi believes that neither Vasile Blaga, nor Elena Udrea have ”the charisma of a leader, values and principles which they do not get past, or an intact reputation” and that he, Cristian Preda, Monica Macovei, Teodor Baconschi, Sever Voinescu, Toader Paleologu have the obligation to initiate a third motion for the leading team of PDL. Papahagi mentioned in a press release issued Tuesday that in PDL “there will be a predictable clash between the two old camps” and that the party cannot be reborn with a leader like Udrea or Blaga. He adds that he did not talk with either one of the aforementioned leaders and the fact that he quotes them does not mean that he speaks on their behalf, or that something has been decided: “This is simply what I think now. It is a test for us and for PDL, which we are not allowed not to take.” Papahagi declares himself convinced that many party colleagues are aware of the strategic urgency of re-founding PDL.