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Preparations of the parliamentary election have entered the last leg, with negotiations over finalising the lists of candidates being at their height in the backstage of the Social Liberal Union (USL) and Fair Romania Alliance (ARD). The rush to complete the lists that is visible at each party is quite natural, as USL’s self-set deadline is October 15 and ARD’s October 4, the term being in the meantime extended because of the differences over candidates that had emerged inside the alliance. Today, the ARD lists of candidates are set to go under the scrutiny of the Ethics Commission headed by ex-Justice Minister Monica Macovei, who will assess each candidate against the 12 integrity criteria set forth in the ARD protocol and approve them by vote.PDL President Vasile Blaga told Realitatea TV that he would stand for election as a senator in Timis constituency. Blaga has been invited by the party county organisation to run for the Senate in a Timis electoral district, PDL officials saying it is District number 3 which overlaps with District number 5 for the Chamber of Deputies, currently represented by Alin Popoviciu. The PDL leader claims ARD will obtain a score of over 30 per cent in the parliamentary election and PDL would be the most important party in the new Parliament. Later on, at a meeting of the League of PDL Locally Elected Officials, Blaga said his party ‘would have to be in the government starting with the winter’, in order not to let USL ‘go on with its policy of doing nothing and of causing scandal after scandal’.
Udrea runs again
If Blaga has made up his mind about where he would run in the parliamentary election, the same thing cannot be said about ex-Tourism Minister Elena Udrea. She could be a candidate in Neamt County or in Harghita County, Udrea having received a proposal from the President of the county organisation, Adrian Trif. It would be the electoral district now represented in the lower Chamber by Interior Minister Mircea Dusa. Dusa’s reply is that he would very much like to see the person willing to stand for election ‘in the most difficult constituency in Romania, where about 40 per cent of the population are Hungarian ethnics and 60 per cent Romanians’. However, Udrea got a new offer yesterday from the President of PDL Suceava, Gheorghe Flutur, who invited her to run in one of the electoral districts of the county. The leader of the Civic Force (FC), Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, has also not decided where he wants to run in election. The ex-PM has been invited by PDL to run for the Senate in Arad County and the leader of the county organisation of the party, Gheorghe Seculici, for the Chamber of Deputies. ‘I thank them (the Arad PDL organisation – A/N). (…) My thanks also go to the other PDL organisations that have made me the offer to be their candidate. (…) I will let you know when I decide’, Ungureanu said according to realitatea.net. On the other hand, the president of the Bistrita-Nasaud PDL organisation, Ioan Oltean, has been nominated party candidate for the Chamber of Deputies in District number 3. ‘I’m staring off with the thought of winning, this is the truth, but I am not making any calculations before actually jumping to the other side of the ditch’, Oltean said at a press conference. The former PDL secretary general criticised PM Ponta on that occasion, saying that Romania had ‘the worst prime minister’ and ‘the worst government since Petru Groza’, USL having done in five months – according to him – more ‘stupid things’ than PDL had done in its three years of rule. The other people who have announced their candidacy on ARD lists this weekend are ex-Ploiesti Mayor Andrei Volosevici (PDL), who will run for a seat on the Senate in the single member district number 5 in Prahova County, currently represented by the Social Democrat Daniel Savu, Romanian Post ex-Director Dumitru Daniel Neagoe, currently Prahova local councillor elected on PDL lists, who will run in a single member constituency in Prahova County for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies , his main opponent there being PNL MP Gratiela Gavrilescu. The President of the College of Physicians in Prahova, Simona Schnelbach, has also announced her candidacy for the Senate in a Prahova district under the ARD logo, for the Civic Force. On the other hand, the former President of the Bistrita-Nasaud County Council, Liviu Rusu (PDL), currently under investigation in a corruption case by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), has suspended himself as First Vice President of the organisation and as a party member and may be an independent candidate in the parliamentary election although he had initially submitted his candidacy for the Chamber of Deputies on behalf of PDL in District 4, PDL sources say.
Lists with UDMR candidates ready by October 11
On the other hand, UDMR representatives claim that the party will not enter any pre-elections alliances and will have candidates in all electoral colleges, being of the opinion that it can win votes in all localities. In what concerns the lists of candidates, UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated they will be finalized on October 11. For the time being the General Assembly of Electors in Harghita County has validated Senator Verestoy Attila and Romanian Ice Hockey Federation President Tanczos Barna as the candidates of the party’s county branch for the Senate. Current MPs Korodi Attila and Antal Istvan, former secretary of state Moldovan Jozsef, Borsec Mayor Mik Jozsef, as well as UDMR President Kelemen Hunor will run for the Lower Chamber.
Iacob Ridzi in talks with PP-DD
Political sources quoted by Mediafax claim that MP Monica Iacob Ridzi, who recently resigned from PDL, is negotiating a place on the lists of Dan Diaconescu’s PP-DD in the same electoral college in which she ran during the previous elections, namely in electoral college number 5, which includes the city of Petrosani where her husband is mayor. Likewise, sources close to Ridzi state that she had talks with PSD and PNL representatives too. In fact, Dan Diaconescu himself stated on Saturday that he is not aware of Monica Iacob Ridzi running on behalf of PP-DD and that, from what he knows, she would like to take part in general elections on USL lists. We remind our readers that former Sports and Youth Minister Iacob Ridzi was sued in May 2011, along with 11 other persons, for corruption in a case concerning events organized on National Youth Day.
Turmoil in USL “camp” too…
So far, former Prahova County Prefect Radu Oprea has announced his plan to run on USL lists for a seat in the Senate. Oprea ran for a seat in the Lower Chamber in 2008, before being a prefect, but lost the elections, being defeated by a PDL candidate. Apart from Radu Oprea, Social-Democrats Daniel Savu and Georgica Severin and UNPR member Sorin Serioja Chivu will run in Prahova for seats in the Senate.Establishing the candidates for the general elections resulted in a row within PNL after Liberal MP Tiberiu Prodan, deputy leader of the group of Liberal Senators, and Liberal MP Mircea Irimescu, were not voted on Saturday by PNL Suceava’s Permanent Delegation as candidates within the uninominal colleges in which they were active during the last parliamentary sitting. At the opposite end, PNL Suceava President Alexandru Baisanu, PSD Suceava Vice President Ilie Nita and MP Dumitru Pardau were “endorsed” by the Permanent Delegation. Things did not go any better at central level either. PNL’s District 1 branch is dissatisfied because the party’s central leadership has decided to cede to PC the electoral college that Mayor Andrei Chiliman wanted for former PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu. In reply, PNL President Crin Antonescu stated yesterday that his party will have talks with PC in an attempt to offer to Calin Popescu Tariceanu an electoral college in Bucharest. Antonescu stated on Saturday, on Antena 3, that the problem of the college in which Tariceanu will run was “a bit distorted.” The PNL President believes that District 1 Mayor Andrei Chiliman’s involvement was “out of sync,” stating at the same time that he has “no jurisdiction to decide” who runs where. In what concerns him, Antonescu stated he will run in an electoral college in District 3.