USL seems to have set off on the wrong foot in 2014. The disagreements between PSD and PNL erupted on the second day of the year, the two parties’ leaders talking about the breakup of the Union or about the need to revalidate Antonescu’s presidential candidacy on behalf of USL this year.
The first warning signal was issued by PSD Ilfov President Gabriela Firea who talked on Antena 3 about USL’s breakup and even mentioned a deadline in this regard.
“It would be best for it to take place in March. The EP elections campaign starts in April and we need a clear situation. I have to know how we stand, so to speak,” Firea stated, being quoted by evz.ro. She claims that other colleagues also proposed the breakup of USL during party meetings. “I personally said ‘I vote for Crin Antonescu’ because I respect him, I appreciate him, I hold him in esteem, I had him as a guest in dozens of talk-shows, I know he is an intelligent man, a respectable man, a redoubtable candidate. But now – for instance I am talking about my Ilfov branch, about PSD Ilfov, as a president – my colleagues do not have the same feelings,” she pointed out. The PSD Senator accused the Liberals of breaking the USL protocol from the first day, pointing out that the Union was “jeopardized by some provincial egos.” Subsequently, Firea stated on B1TV that she suspects that the Liberals have a nation-wide strategy of discrediting the Social-Democrats, underlining that they seem “to want to govern alongside PDL.” Apart from Ilfov, she also gave the example of Botosani, Arges, Bihor and Alba counties.
Marian Petrache, PNL Vice President and head of the Ilfov County Council, stated for pesurse.ro: “Well if they really want to break up USL very well, let them do it, the government will fall, another majority will be formed in Parliament.” The Liberals go even further than that. Thus, PNL Vice President and PNL Botosani President Florin Turcanu stated that during the party’s leadership next meeting he will propose the organizing of an extraordinary USL congress meeting in order to revalidate Crin Antonescu’s presidential candidacy. “We have to clarify things. (…) If we are not staying within USL we will get to work on our own, we will charge our batteries and see how much we can win by ourselves. In order to stay in the government you have to have a congress that would validate USL’s goals and presidential candidate,” Turcanu stated.
The request comes as 2013 ended against the backdrop of Social-Democrats criticizing Antonescu and launching veiled threats that they will no longer support his presidential candidacy. PSD spokesperson Catalin Ivan however claims that Florin Turcanu’s request cannot be answered.