National Liberal Party (PNL) leaders convened the party’s National Political Bureau (BPN) on Tuesday to talk about the party’s interim leadership, after Alina Gorghiu announced her resignation from the party’s helm.
Raluca Turcan, one of PNL’s Vice Presidents, is the person rumoured since Monday evening to take over the party’s interim leadership following Alina Gorghiu’s resignation. Turcan will take over the party’s leadership against the backdrop in which the score registered in the December 11th parliamentary elections by PNL Sibiu, the party branch she leads, was the highest among PNL branches.
According to the results, PNL won 39.52 percent of the votes in Sibiu, surpassing PSD (28.20 percent).
Alina Gorghiu and the leaders of local party branches whose results surpassed the party’s nationwide average score met at the party headquarters on Monday evening to decide whom to nominate for the position of acting president and who are the Liberals who could fill-in the offices vacated after the resignations filed following PNL’s failure in the parliamentary elections.
In their stormy meeting on Monday, the Liberals also discussed a wide interim leadership formula. Thus, the possibility that Raluca Turcan would coordinate a team that would include the leaders of local branches which scored better than the party did was rumoured.
The interim leadership would consist of approximately 20 persons, mainly the leaders of county branches which obtained results higher than the party’s nationwide average.
Mircea Hava, the leader of PNL Alba, would be part of PNL’s interim leadership until next year’s party conference. He could become acting secretary general, taking over Ilie Bolojan’s office after the latter resigned on Monday, News.ro informs. Another person who could be part of PNL’s interim leadership team is MEP Daniel Buda from Cluj. He currently holds the position of PNL First Vice President, after Vasile Blaga resigned from the party’s helm earlier this year.
On Monday, Alina Gorghiu stated she will resign and added that other Liberal leaders will also follow suit. She also stated that PNL’s National Political Bureau would convene on Tuesday, and she would propose the convening of the National Convention in February.
“I will ask my colleagues for us to rapidly convene the party’s national convention, the body that organises elections within PNL, sometime in mid-February. (…) Certainly, we have to establish a new PNL leadership, there is the need for a legitimate leadership, there is the need for a new start, for coherence, for stability and for an efficient political action. (…) Ever since yesterday, I have had constant talks with my party colleagues, with local branch leaders, with the central leadership, and I informed them that for me there is no other gesture but to resign. (…) There are other party leaders who are adopting the same attitude,” Alina Gorghiu stated.
According to Liberal sources, the heads of party branches that registered the highest scores in the parliamentary elections had different opinions in what concerns the party’s interim leadership. Thus, some wanted Alina Gorghiu and Ilie Bolojan to exercise their prerogatives until the party convention in early 2017, while others demanded the appointment of a different leadership team.
Monday’s meeting was informal and the official decision in what concerns the party’s leadership was to be taken on Tuesday, within PNL’s National Political Bureau.
PNL Secretary General Ilie Bolojan also resigned on Monday, following the poor results registered in the parliamentary elections. Likewise, PNL Bucharest leader Cristian Busoi resigned, according to Liberal sources. PNL First Vice President Adriana Saftoiu resigned in her turn too.
PNL’s Gorghiu: Those who earn merits, to be fair proposals for interim positions
Outgoing PNL President Alina Gorghiu stated on Monday evening that the offices vacated and the interim offices will be held by those who obtained results, stating that the National Political Bureau will clarify on Tuesday the leadership formula that will be adopted.
Party meritocracy and those who obtained results in the December 11th parliamentary elections will be concrete proposals for the interim positions, National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Alina Gorghiu said on Monday evening.
“The talk with the party branch leaders who obtained results higher than the [party’s] national average was informal. It was not a talk to take official decisions after it. And yet a conclusion was reached (…). There will be a rule we should implement for the positions vacated and the interim positions: party meritocracy and those who have obtained results are going to be, in my opinion, concrete proposals for the interim jobs that Ilie Bolojan (PNL’s secretary general) and I have just quit. You’ll see tomorrow (Tuesday – author’s note) which of these proposals will be made within the National Permanent Bureau (BPN) and I hope they’ll be well received,” said Gorghiu, at the PNL headquarters.
“The goal I have always had in mind, whether it came to fruition or not, was supported by people who brought results for PNL. It is high time to take decisions that work towards this direction. Be it a variant with a leaner leadership, be it an interim leadership from a certain branch or another, be it the congress to be organised by a committee of six or ten, these are aspects that will be made clear exclusively by tomorrow’s BPN,” added Alina Gorghiu.
She stressed she will have a proposal for the BPN which obviously will suffer amendments, probably some nuances too, but will also have a proposal to her colleagues as well.
PNL President Alina Gorghiu announced on Monday evening that she was going to quit the party’s wheel and that her gesture was announced by other Liberal leaders too.
“Ever since yesterday, I have had constant talks with my party colleagues, with local branch leaders, with the central leadership, and I informed them that for me there is no other gesture but to resign. (…) There are other party leaders who are adopting the same attitude,” Gorghiu told a news conference.
Raluca Turcan accepts colleagues’ unanimous proposition to serve as PNL acting president
Raluca Turcan was unanimously elected PNL’s acting president on Tuesday.
In addition, PNL Ilfov President Marian Petrache was elected acting secretary general at the Tuesday meeting of the party’s National Political Bureau (BPN), Liberal sources said, after several BPN members challenged the persons nominated during the meeting, namely Teodor Atanasiu and Raducu Filipescu.
Following the reportedly unanimous decision, Petrache will serve in this position until the party conference.
Raluca Turcan stated at the BPN meeting that she comes with a good result, a team result registered in Sibiu, “with new and professional people, while respecting integrity criteria,” the sources pointed out.
Lower Chamber member Raluca Turcan, leader of the National Liberal Party’s Sibiu county branch, said on Tuesday that she accepted the unanimous offer made by her colleagues within the National Political Bureau to serve as PNL acting president in recognition of the good electoral score of the party’s Sibiu branch.
“I said ‘yes’ to my party colleagues’ unanimous proposition to serve as PNL acting chair, given that at today’s meeting I was able to report the best PNL score countrywide. (…) This proposition is not the consequence of a compromise, or of negotiations whatsoever. I didn’t expect this to happen and I didn’t necessarily want this. Quite the contrary, I have a wonderful organization and team at the PNL Sibiu branch,” Turcan said.
She added that PNL has the capacity to revive and grow into Romania’s strongest right-wing party.
“The nationwide message sent to us was that people who would have wanted to vote for the Liberal Party against the Social Democratic Party (PSD) had certain doubts, certain reasons for discontent and moved away from us. We are bound to answer the messages society conveyed to us and we need to correct the issues, and I think that PNL has the ability to revive, to convey to people that it can be the strongest right-wing party in Romania,” said Raluca Turcan.
The interim president’s main responsibility will be to organise the party conference which will elect a full-fledged party leadership. The party conference is scheduled early next year.
The BPN meeting was tense, several members of the former PDL leaving the room dissatisfied with the initial nominations made for the office of interim secretary general.
Teodor Atanasiu was challenged within the BPN, the low score he registered in Buzau being invoked, and the former PDL wing was asked to nominate a different person.
After several former PDL members left the room, ignoring Raluca Turcan’s calls not to do so, a five-minute recess was announced. At the end of the recess, Ilfov County Council Chairman Marian Petrache was elected interim secretary general. Ilie Bolojan held PNL’s Secretary General office until recently.
Catalin Predoiu to run for PNL leadership at party Congress next year
National Liberal Party (PNL) First Deputy President Catalin Predoiu has announced he will run for the leadership of the party at next year’s party congress.
“I decided to run for the position of party president at the next PNL party conference in 2017. I want a united PNL, a living PNL, not an inert one, as it is at this point, puzzled by the elections’ outcome,” Predoiu posted on Facebook, on Tuesday.
He addressed a message to Liberals, calling for unity and asking them to return to the policies that made a name for their party.
“I call my colleagues to unity, and for the PNL’s return to the policies that consecrated it. I will run because PNL has to return to people’s problems, to militate for entrepreneurs and national capitalism. I will run because I understand how important it is to have a real opposition against the Social Democratic Party in Parliament,” Predoiu mentioned.