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Vasile Blaga, Elena Udrea and Monica Macovei, the three candidates for the leadership of PDL, took part in a tour de force last week-end, launching their campaigns for the office of PDL president. In the speeches they gave on this occasion the three attacked each other, while at the same time criticizing USL and the Ponta Government in particular.
The start was given by PDL President Vasile Blaga on Friday in Suceava where he launched his political programme for a new term at the helm of the party. In the speech given in front of the more than one thousand members of PDL Suceava, Blaga stated that he chose the location because that is where “the orange revolution” and the “Justice and Truth Alliance” started. He pointed out that his programme entails the reconstruction of PDL, regaining the Romanians’ hearts and winning the future general elections. He pointed out that the Democrat-Liberals should present in the upcoming period solutions to the measures adopted by the USL Government, pointing out that “people have had enough with feuding and want solutions.” In this context, Blaga stated that he does not want USL to break up, underlining that USL should remain united in order for the electoral price for unaccomplished promises to be paid by all of its constituent parties. “May God keep them together in order for each of them to pay for what they promised and for transforming the people’s dissatisfaction into votes,” Blaga stated, quoted by Mediafax. During a press conference in Iasi on Saturday, the PDL President stated that he is not afraid of possible betrayals at the March 23 Convention from those that support his candidacy, pointing out that the people will judge for themselves in the voting booth. “I am not part of a party in which I could say: if you don’t vote for me I’ll see whether I’ll remain. From the party I’ll leave for one place only: home,” Blaga said. Moreover, he stated that he does not believe the Democrat-Liberals that love the party will leave after the Convention this March. Asked whether he will invite President Traian Basescu to the congress, Blaga stated that according to the Statute only the national convention’s organizing commission can do that: “I have nothing against the President taking part in the Convention.” On the other hand, Blaga stated on Saturday in Vaslui that what is needed is a system in which promotion within the party and on public offices should be based on work, without some ending up being ministers or MEPs without having been party members for a day: “People that are appointed in office should come from the party’s reserve of cadres. (…) We have to respect a principle in order to be a powerful party, the principle of meritocracy. (…) I will ask the party a year before the elections, when the outlook is good, to close its doors.” Blaga’s candidacy is backed by Raluca Turcan, Gheorghe Flutur, Cristian Boureanu, Andreea Paul, Cristian Radulescu, Radu F. Alexandru and Constantin Ostaficiuc.
Udrea: I am the leader PDL needs today
Elena Udrea presented her candidacy motion titled “The New PDL. A New Romania” on Sunday in Bucharest. Udrea had previously promoted it in Brasov, Bistrita and Sibiu. In the speech she gave on this occasion she stated that she is “the leader that PDL needs today,” pointing out that she has proven in the 8 years of her political career that she does not shy away from a fight and has the power to persuade despite being the target of the most numerous attacks and negative press campaigns. Udrea stated that her strong points are her vision on PDL, which “is tightly knit with the vision on what has to happen with Romania at this moment.” The former development minister criticized Vasile Blaga’s motion, stating that it is overwhelmingly the same as the one in 2011 and 2012. “To come up with the ideas from 2011, back when the party was in power, I don’t think it’s realistic given that we are in March 2013,” Udrea pointed out. At the same time she criticized the Ponta Government, pointing out that USL has “a government for show, on TV, led by the one man show” (Ponta – editor’s note). Udrea added that USL “can be beaten easily, easily,” considering the promises it has so far failed to honor. In her opinion Sibiu Mayor Klaus Johannis’s decision to join PNL is “Antonescu’s PR move,” a move that does not affect PDL. She stated that PSD should have an opinion on that move which she deemed to be “a fault against PSD.”On the other hand, Elena Udrea stated that she will never be Traian Basescu’s boss within PDL, adding that it is not known “in what form” he will continue to do politics: “If he ever wants to lead PDL, he will obviously do it.” Asked whether she thinks about running for President, she denied, stating that “Romania is not as misogynistic as to not vote for a woman, but not in 2014,” adding that the type of woman that would be voted in Romania has to be seen. Former Premier Emil Boc stated he supports Udrea for PDL President because she knows how to be in the opposition, she is capable of attracting right-wing voters and to maintain the partnership with the Romanian President and, last but not least, to bring the party back to power in 2016. “And when it comes to the opposition I believe she can engage in strong, harsh opposition, much better than the one we’re doing at the moment,” Boc stated. Moreover, he asked his party colleagues to move beyond the “clichés” about Udrea, especially those concerning her high-heels and purses, stating that “unlike other women in politics she brought them along in politics, she bought them before, from her own money.” Apart from Boc, Udrea is also backed by Elena Basescu, former minister Cristian Petrescu, Vasile Gherasim and Gheorghe Stefan also known as “Pinalti.”
Macovei: Credibility is my main trump card
On the other hand, PDL MEP Monica Macovei stated on Friday, while filing her candidacy for the PDL leadership, that “credibility” is her trump card. Asked whether she plans to leave the party in case she registers failure in the March 23 Convention, the former justice minister answered: “At this moment I have in mind winning the battle in the party and winning the party’s leadership. Maybe Mr. Blaga would want me to leave, but I repeat, for me this is the priority (winning PDL’s leadership – editor’s note).” The event was attended by Cristian Preda, Sever Voinescu, Teodor Baconschi and Ionut Popescu.