Ponta: I believe USL will be restored if Antonescu no longer heads PNL


The Social Liberal Union (USL) will not be restored if the National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu remains the chairman of this party, the Social Democrat Party (PSD) chairman, Prime Minister Victor Ponta told Romania TV on Sunday.
However, asked whether the USL would be restored if Crin Antonescu were no longer the PNL’s head, Victor Ponta replied: ‘Yes, I believe so.’ He added that until the split of the USL, for the PSD there was a ‘very clear’ candidate for Romania’s President.
‘When this split occurred and they [the PNL] left the USL, we were obviously not ready with a counter-candidate or a candidate. After May 25, we will definitely have a candidate, but for us there are two options,’ said Ponta. ‘The first variant, the best one, is to have the USL again, where things were clearly established (…). If not, we will decide together, after May 25, who should candidate on behalf of the USD, and here are quite few people,’ said the prime minister. He added that he does not rule out the idea of running for the President himself, but he hopes there is still another variant.
Asked whether supporting Calin Popescu-Tariceanu for Romania’s President would be a variant for the PSD, Ponta replied this it is ‘definitely’ another variant that he would trust. ‘It could be Mr. Tariceanu, it could be Mr. Oprescu, if he wanted to. (…) In the PSD, the two people who have reputation and voting potential are obviously Mr. Geoana and me,’ Ponta added.
Regarding the candidates for president from the opposition, PM Ponta said he was sure Elena Udrea would run for president this year, from the position of “candidate of Basescu regime,” and claimed he is not afraid to compete against anyone, if he was to be appointed as presidential candidate.
“Basescu will have to answer in court for irregularities after his mandate”
On the other hand, the prime minister said he is sure President Traian Basecu will have to answer in court at the end of his mandate for irregularities in his activities, saying there are files that “remained and waited” that the Head of State should no longer have immunity. “The Fleet file entered all the prescription deadlines, but there are many others that stayed and waited for him no longer to have immunity,” said Ponta at Romania TV. He said that also the former presidents of France are involved in lawsuits.
On amnesties
Ponta showed leniency towards the figures that are now imprisoned. He repeated that, once president, he will pardon Gica Popescu and said there are cases, such as that of Gigi Becali, in which, for the interest of the society, most of the damages should be recovered rather than the person should be kept in an overcrowded penitentiary system. According to the prime-minister, President Traian Basescu decided not to pardon Becali out of pure political reasons and being afraid of “the Talibans built by Macovei people.”
The Head of State decided on Friday against the individual pardoning for George Becali following the analysis of his amnesty file. In February, President Basescu said that the Ministry of Justice, led by “the PM’s cousin” Robert Cazanciuc, sent a negative notification for the request regarding George Becali’s pardoning, as the Head of State reminded that Victor Ponta recently said he would pardon the former MEP.

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