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PNL central leadership votes to expel mayor Chereches and MP Bot. The final decision will be made on January 21 by the Permanent Delegation.
The first PNL meeting held this year also brings the first expulsions from the party. The mayor of Baia-Mare, Catalin Chereches and Deputy Octavian Bot were proposed to be expelled during the meeting held yesterday by the Central Permanent Bureau (BPC) of PNL. “In the case of Mr. Chereches, the proposal – this is not an expulsion yet, as it must be endorsed by the Permanent Delegation – was approved with unanimity. As for the proposal that regards deputy Bot, it was adopted with two votes against,” the vice-president of PNL, Mihai Voicu said, quoted by Mediafax. He mentioned that the arguments in favour of expelling the two politicians were presented under the form of public statements and press stories “that were considered as enough reasons to make this proposal.” Chereches is accused of not supporting the USL candidates in the campaign, while former PDL member Bot is blamed for his very strong statements against the fellow Liberals of the Bihor party branch.The mayor of Baia Mare, Catalin Chereches said Monday for MEDIAFAX that he will attend the meeting of the Permanent Delegation that will validate his expulsion from PNL, but he does not hope to overturn the vote, because “only few have the courage of contradictory opinions.” He also emphasised that, in the past, the acting president of PNL was not “a disciplined voice or soldier of PNL.” In his turn, deputy Octavian Bot said Monday for Mediafax that the proposal to expel him from PNL came following a pamphlet he published after he was insulted by leaders of the Bihor party branch, adding that “tolerance” should have been one of the supreme values of PNL.
Antonescu raises the stakes
PNL leader Crin Antonescu yesterday announced that he wants to call an Extraordinary Congress soon, i.e. on February 23-24. The reason?
There is not enough room in the party for both Crin Antonescu and Andrei Chiliman, and the congress must decide who will stay. “Either the congress decides that the PNL leaders, starting with me, transformed a party that had a pro-west stance for the last 20 years in an ex-soviet party a.s.o., and then I will leave, or Mr. Chiliman is a person that betrayed and affected the party, and then it is he who must go,” the PNL leader said yesterday. He added that nobody demanded Chiliman to leave, during yesterday’s BPC meeting, and he sticks to his initial position: Chiliman must come before the delegates in the Congress and support his opinions. “Equally, all those invoked by Mr. Chiliman, who keep silent and think like Mr. Chiliman, are invited in the most democratic debate that can be,” the Liberal leader mentioned. Asked if he refers to the attitudes of former PNL leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu or former Transport Minister Ludovic Orban regarding to Chiliman, Antonescu said: “I regret and find embarrassing the fact that people whose name is invoked by Basescu’s propaganda at every step and by master Chiliman recently, do not go public to say <<Yes, this is true: I have the same opinions as Chiliman, or no, this is wrong and Chiliman was struck by some form of amnesia, confusion or something else.” The decision on holding the congress will be made by the Permanent Delegation next Monday.
“I find traitors disgusting and revolting”
In an interview with gandul.ro, Crin Antonescu lashed out at Andrei Chiliman, whom he accused of having betrayed the party, adding that he finds traitors “disgusting and revolting.” “If the whole party decided to suspend Traian Basescu last summer and if the whole party has a political stance and votes some decisions, and Andrei Chiliman comes during the campaign and says, precisely like our political opponents, that this was against the rule of law in Romania, that we are an anti-west party, which is precisely the aberrant discourse of Monica Macovei, Traian Basescu, Elena Udrea, I consider this as a betrayal,” Antonescu explained his statement.The Liberal leader also criticised former premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who “was ill-inspired” when he became “the henchman of Chiliman.” He added that traitors should be expelled from the party, but he will ask his colleagues to postpone the decision in order to allow them to attend the congress of the party, which will be held “at the end of February, or the beginning of March.” Crin Antonescu does not believe that PNL will split if Andrei Chiliman leaves. “Andrei Chiliman never was a leader of PNL,” the president of PNL explained. In his turn, the leader of Liberal senators, Puiu Hasotti said yesterday that the mayor of District 1, Andrei Chiliman brings prejudice to the party through his political attitudes, but a clear, honest and collegial discussion with him is necessary before deciding to expel him.
Tariceanu, humiliated in PNL
Former premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu said yesterday, commenting the situation of PNL, that there were times when he felt humiliated of late and he reserves the right to react. He will even contradict the party leader during the meetings of leading structures and in public, he warned. “In a democratic party as PNL is – I hope – everybody is entitled to a personal opinion. Mr. Antonescu is entitled to his opinion, and I am entitled to mine, which I say in public when I consider this necessary. Naturally, I reserve the right to have my positions, regarding the opinions expressed by him (Antonescu),” Tariceanu mentioned, adding that he is involved in no struggle for high positions in the party.