Farewell, but we’ll be together

Less than one year from the moment he said ‘Farewell’ to the democrat-liberals on Facebook, in a dramatic yet hilarious way, President Traian Basescu is telling his former colleagues that they are going to be together again, most probably starting 2016 in a new government. Meeting his former allies in Cluj at the weekend, Traian Basescu told them his plan with the newly set People’s Movement Party (PMP): eventually a reunion with PDL after the elections for European parliament this spring, or in 2016 at latest, when he envisages the returning of the right to governance.
Should one trust such promises just days after the PMP was registered as a party? A party that takes advantage of disoriented democrat-liberals and tempts them to defect?
There are a lot of democrat-liberals who put their trust in Traian Basescu, although the president had told them ‘good luck and farewell’ last year. One of those present to the discussions revealed his hopes lie with Traian Basescu, as he promised them he would get seriously involved in politics after he concludes his mandate as president, and that they will be together again in 2016.
President Basescu is a good planner, he is used to preparing things in due time. On the other hand, sometimes he acts impulsively, especially when things don’t go his way. He planned a new right-wing party, years before. His daughter Ioana Basescu had registered the name People’s Movement long ago. As PDL was growing more and more unpopular due to the economic crisis and governance, Traian Basescu slowly turned to the new opportunity. The PDL national convention in March 2013 provided President Traian Basescu with the pretext to shift his attention from an ailing political formation to a bright new one. As his favourite Elena Udrea lost the elections for party leadership to Vasile Blaga, then the president turned impulsive. Basescu firstly accused PDL of wrongly counting the votes, then he bade farewell, as we said before. Taking advantage of the fact that many PDL members still view him as the electoral driver able to lead the party ahead, Traian Basescu has constantly criticised Blaga, whom he seems to regard as the head of all bad, but maintained a soft voice towards the party. After all, PDL has been providing most politicians to PMP until now…
Even now, after the meeting in Cluj with the People’s Movement Foundation and party members, President Basescu called on PMP not to attack PDL. ‘After all, we all owe something to PDL, it would be immoral to attack it,’ he said.
We are not going to take into consideration the fact that allegedly the president is not supposed to get involved in political parties’ lives, according to the constitution. Not even the resort that makes democrat-liberal politicians leave a 17 per cent party for a PMP ‘born prematurely’ – as Traian Basescu himself said. PMP is not only premature, but is also prematurely old, as observers may notice – most of its members are in fact former PDL members: Elena Udrea, Teodor Baconski, former PDL Prime Minister Emil Boc, former minister Daniel Funeriu, former presidential advisers Cristian Diaconescu and Sebastian Lazaroiu and other known characters from PDL or elsewhere.
These ‘old’ figures cannot be whitened overnight, analysts say, although some may be tricked by the new forefront appearances. PMP claims it is bringing a new approach to politics and new perspectives, however most of its members have already ‘ridden’ political offices. In reality, PMP is the same presidential party claiming a new identity.
On the other hand, the PMP is the revenge the president is taking on the PDL members that played against his will. The convention in March last year was the last straw and now President Basescu wants to prove he can do and undo things. Elena Udrea failed to be elected PDL president, but now most odds show she is to become the first politician in the newly founded party, or even the presidential candidate this autumn. Even her former colleagues in PDL, such as first vice-president Andreea Paul, believe Udrea is to run for president. The PMP is an attempt to re-legitimise Elena Udrea as a first rank politician. It remains to be seen if the president’s wish is achievable. The move of getting former Premier Emil Boc to the People’s Movement Foundation is though meant to give Elena Udrea more credibility and is not a move to ‘reload’ Boc himself.
In his long speech held in Cluj, President Traian Basescu reiterated his political beliefs and sent stimulus to the PMP. It didn’t look different to the times when he did the same with PDL. Even the audience was half the same. The party that wants to bring novelties to the political scene is in fact starting its long road in politics with the same advice coming from the president. It claims need for reform and modernisation but novelties are debatable. Last but not least, one may notice that PMP needs Traian Basescu to have an identity. Not to be forgotten that President Traian Basescu needs PMP and PDL at least as much as they need him. His future after concluding the presidential mandate might become uncertain, having in view his political foes. Several judicial files are waiting in line for him, sources say. In this regard, Traian Basescu needs support from as many parties as possible. Maybe that is why he sent a message of peace towards the democrat-liberals: see you in 2016! He started by dividing the right, now he is militating for a united right against a common enemy – the Social-Liberal Union. It could be the first sign that his planning has begun to misfire.

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