Parties warm up their candidates for MEP elections

Aside from current MEPs, candidates for the May 25 MEP elections may include Mircea Geoana, Teodor Baconschi, and Mircea Diaconu, as well as independent candidate Remus Cernea. Romania currently holds 33 mandates in the EP.

Though they are partners within USL, PSD and PNL, will be running for elections with separate candidate lists, while sharing a joint agenda consisting of common European objectives for Romania, according to recent statements made by leaders of the two parties. Social-Democrats have already decided to run for the MEP elections together with UNPR, who will most likely feature on PSD’s list. Victor Ponta’s party has invited PC to join his party in the race, but the Conservatives have not made a final decision yet. In any case, PSD’s alliances in view of the upcoming election race and the number of seats the alliance partners will receive will be agreed upon and validated at the National Executive Committee reunion held on January 31.
The head of PSD’s electoral campaign for the European Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea, has already set in motion a series of meetings with the party’s county organization representatives to discuss the MEP elections. Dragnea has called four such meetings and the first one took place Friday. At the meeting, Dragnea mentioned PSD would surely have more MEPs than at the moment. According to him, PSD candidates for the EP must be good politicians and colleagues, master all European procedures, and show strong character. When asked if prospective PSD candidates for EP should be good professionals, Dragnea replied, “Not necessarily professionals, because they are not running for a company position. They don’t have to be specialists.”
According to sources cited by Mediafax, Mircea Geoana, former party chairman, could feature at the top of PSD’s candidate list. Under the current European legislation, the PSD and PC alliance had 12 mandates, and after Adrian Severin’s exclusion, it now has 11 EP deputies.

Liberals plan to acquire eight MEP mandates, as opposed to the five mandates currently owned. Norica Nicolai (head of PNL delegation), Adina Valean, Renate Weber, Eduard Hellvig, and Ovidiu Silaghi, PNL’s MEPs at the moment, are still eligibile candidates, Crin Antonescu, leader of the Liberals, announced.
Sources within PNL have referred to PNL Vice-Chairman Mircea Diaconu as a potential candidate. “I’ve had plenty of rest,” Dicaonu answered when asked whether he is considering running. PNL Iasi is also expected to include branch leader Relu Fenechiu, Varujan Vosganian, or Tudor Chiuariu on the EP candidate list. Another rumored name, among others, is former Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
The European Parliamentary elections will be the topic of discussion at the PNL Permanent Delegation reunion scheduled early February, at which Liberals will set their objectives and devise their campaign strategy based on a specific scenario presented by the MEP campaign coordinator and head of PNL Ilfov, Marian Petrache.
Under the current European legislative framework, the Liberal Democrats hope to attain eight or nine seats in the EP, in addition to their 11 mandates. Theodor Stolojan, Monica Macovei, Traian Ungureanu, and Marian Jean Marinescu are among the candidates featuring on PDL’s list, who wish to renew their term. Rares Niculescu and Oana Antonescu may join them as well. Anca Boagiu, First Vice-president of PDL and Vice-President of EPP, has expressed her intention to run for MEP elections this year. So far, Elena Basescu, the President’s youngest daughter, has not announced her candidacy for another term as MEP.
Likewise, UDMR’s plans are not very clear. The only certainty is UDMR Cluj’s approval of the candidacies submitted by Peter Eckstein Kovacs, former Counselor to the President, and current MEPs Winkler Iuliu and Sogor Csaba, who are running for a new mandate. Bishop Laszlo Tokes has lost the support of Kelemen Hunor’s party, but he is nevertheless determined to run for another mandate with support from a Romanian party, as an independent, or with support from Hungary’s Fidesz.
Mihai Razvan Ungureanu’s party, Civic Force (FC), and the People’s Movement Party (PMP), run by Eugen Tomac, will join the MEP race. At the moment, the two parties are discussing the possibility of running with a joint list. One of PMP’s definite contenders is Teodor Baconschi, former Foreign Affairs Minister. Mihai Razvan Ungureanu stated late last year that he could lead his party’s MEP candidate list, after which he would withdraw from the EP.
Aurelian Pavelescu, chairman of National Christian-Democrat Peasant’s Party (PNTCD), has announced the party’s first option is to run with a separate list, but he added the party is open to a right-wing alliance, on the condition it abides by the principles set forth by Corneliu Coposu.

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