Ponta: Antonescu decided to run for president on behalf of the opposition

“Ponta made his mind faster than the initial deadline and dropped the USL”, PNL spokeswoman Cristina Pocora says.

Premier Victor Ponta believes that PNL president Crin Antonescu wants to run in the presidential elections this year on behalf of the opposition. “My impression is that Mr. Crin Antonescu decided to run in the presidential elections without the responsibility of the governance. Politically I can understand it, but personally I would not act this way,” Ponta said, quoted by romaniatv.net, at the end of a meeting with the territorial leaders of PSD. However, Ponta still hopes the liberals will stay in the USL government and accept the nomination of Klaus Iohannis either as minister of Interior, or as minister of Finance and vice-premier. According to the PSD leader, several high-ranking social-democrats expressed fears that PNL already decided to leave the ruling coalition: “The problem is that Mr. Antonescu made the decision to run as a candidate of the opposition, because it is easier to criticise and have no responsibility. This disappoints me.”
Asked if PSD considers having its own candidate in the presidential elections, Ponta gave a negative answer. However, political sources quoted by Realitatea TV claim that the Social Democratic Union (PSD, PC and UNPR) will have its own presidential candidate.
PNL promptly answered through the voice of spokeswoman Cristina Pocora, who said that PM Victor Ponta made his mind faster than the deadline and dropped the USL through his statement on Antonescu’s presidential candidacy on behalf of the opposition. According to Pocora, Antonescu also recommended Labour minister Mariana Campeanu to consider the possibility of resigning following the scandal over the retirement of her husband.

Social Democrats met yesterday at the Rin Hotel in Bucharest to have an informal discussion with representatives of UNPR and PC regarding the future of USL. The reunion also marked four years since the Party Congress appointed Victor Ponta chairman of PSD.
Before the meeting, Liviu Dragnea, executive chairman of PSD, stated the purpose of the meeting was not for PSD, PC, and UNPR leaders to unwind, but analyze the four-year-term of Ponta’s chairmanship and discuss the future of USL. “Yes, there are representatives of all three parties – PSD, PC, and UNPR. We initially decided to set up the meeting today because it marks four years since the Congress session from February 20, 2010; then, we invited our colleagues from PC and UNPR. It is practically an assessment meeting, but topics of discussion will also include the EP elections and others. Of course, we are not naïve enough to think the future of USL will not be discussed today,” Dragnea underlined, as cited by Mediafax. He mentioned he does not know whether other decisions would be made at the meeting because it is an informal session. “We will certainly discuss it, since we are all concerned with what is happening to USL and we would not wish it to break,” Dragnea said.

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