PNL honorary president Mircea Ionescu Quintus gave the signal of the step back regarding the merger with the democrat-liberals. “After our statute shows that we cannot change the name, tradition, history, unity etc, hearing the opinion of Mr. Predoiu (PDL – our note) that his party has a history and cannot accept the demise, I said that such a merger is not possible. An alliance respects the identity and prestige of each side. I cannot say that PDL is not an important party,” Quintus said on B1 TV. According to him, “the only solution for the two parties to get together in view of the presidential elections and of future matters would be an alliance.” The delegations of PDL and PNL were due to meet yesterday evening in view of resuming talks.
Commenting the assertions, PNL leader Klaus Johannis said the liberals’ option is clear, i.e. for merger. “PNL’s decision is very clear and was adopted during the congress. PNL is aiming merger with PDL and the negotiations will go on having a newly set up team on our side, backed by the congress’ decision,” said Johannis.
The National Liberal Party is confronted by new tensions, as the resignations of some MPs in order to join the new party founded by Calin Popescu Tariceanu added to recent problems regarding the merger with PDL, and to the race between Klaus Johannis and Crin Antonescu for the party’s nomination to the presidential elections. Liberal deputy Radu Zlati demanded Johannis, in an open letter, to withdraw from the race for Cotroceni. According to the liberal, it would be preferable if Antonescu were the presidential candidate of the party, while Johannis should remain the president of PNL. Thus, if Antonescu wins the elections, Johannis will be the premier designated by Antonescu. “Dare more than you are allowed by those who want to hit Crin Antonescu by sacrificing you! They seem many, they seem important, but they are neither grand nor – much less – important, as they are only united and decided to get rid of you in maximum 4-5 months. (…)
We ask you to avoid a division of PNL that would result from the internal competition between you and Crin Antonescu, do us good and do yourself good: DON’T GIVE US A CHOICE! Do not oppose Crin Antonescu, stay TOGETHER with Crin Antonescu”, Zlati wrote in the letter.
On the other hand, the PNL-PDL over the merger of the two parties seem to have reached an impasse, despite the assurance given Monday by liberal-democrat leader Vasile Blaga that everything is going well.
Tariceanu to launch the Liberal Reformer Party
The speaker of the Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, former premier and leader of PNL, announced Monday evening that he will launch this week the new Liberal Reformer Party, estimating that over 20 members of the Parliament will leave PNL and join the new structure. Tariceanu also announced that this week, after launching the party, he will begin gathering signatures for his candidacy in the presidential elections.
“This week we will have the party launching event, this is the Liberal Reformer Party. (…) There are colleagues who even today called me and told me that they want to join, and of course I invited them. They must be 20, if not more,” Tariceanu said at his Senate office, adding that the launching event will be held Thursday or Friday, depending on the programme of the Senate. According to the same source, “PNL continues the line of Crin Antonescu with no discussions, only personal attacks, insults against one or another, and nothing related to social life,” which is “inexplicable” and contributes to the poor result of this party in opinion polls as well as to the decision of some MPs to leave,” Tariceanu affirmed.
So far, 10 MPs resigned from PNL and announced they would join Tariceanu’s new party. The 11th, deputy Mihai Stanisoara (former defence minister 2008-2009 with the Emil Boc cabinet) announced a similar decision yesterday, claiming that PNL has turned into a “war zone of personal agendas.” “I decided to resign from PNL. In fact, it would be more correct to say that PNL decided to resign from the position of party that must represent the citizens with liberal views in our country. (…) I cannot hide my disappointement over the recent evolution of the National Liberal Party, which was transformed, during just one month, in a war zone of personal agendas,” Stanisoara said, explaining his decision. Stanisoara was a member of PDL until 2013, when he moved to PNL, and since mid-June this year he joined the Group of Initiative for the preservation of the liberal identity, launched by Tariceanu.
According to Tariceanu, Daniel Barbu, the former liberal minister of Culture, and Daniel Iliesiu are two more liberals that will join his new party.
Reacting to the defections from PNL, liberal vice-president Ludovic Orban said that those who leave do not join Calin Popescu Tariceanu, but PSD, to help Victor Ponta in the presidential elections, in exchange of the protection against justice or of financial benefits, claiming that PNL will emerge “strengthened” and “more coherent” from the wave of “defections.”
“Some of them seek protection to Victor Ponta against the justice that investigates them. Obviously this is the case of Chitoiu, Silaghi and few other deputies whose names I do not want to make public today, but this is about two more deputies who actually run away from justice in the arms of the brave little tailor, Victor Ponta. Others simply leave because they are sponsored by PSD and they were promised they could keep their annuities from PSD if they leave PNL,” Orban mentioned.