Ponta: Ready to run for president if there is party backing

According to him, Romania needs a referee-president, because it had,
“for 10 years, a player-president and things went very bad.”
National leader of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) Victor Ponta on Monday said he told his colleagues within the PSD Executive Committee that he is ready to run for president if they back him in the endeavour. “I told my colleagues that if I have their backing I will be ready on August 1 to request their support for my presidential bid. Mr Geoana said something that I also kept saying that if I decide to run he will support me. And I appreciate his support. After we take the decision on August 1, we will need a very clear discussion with our allies – the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) and the Conservative Party (PC) – because there will be a single candidate of the three parties and we are working on a country project,” Ponta said, quoted by Agerpres, in Orastie after an informal meeting of the PSD Executive Committee.
In his opinion, Romania needs a referee-president, because it had, for 10 years, a player-president and things went very badly, referring to Traian Basescu’s statement several years ago that he wishes to be a more active president – a player-president.
“I believe Romanians know full-well what I’ve promised together with Crin Antonescu when USL [Social Liberal Union] still existed, and I haven’t changed my mind at all, namely that Romania needs a referee-president. We had a player-president for 10 years and things went very badly and it is important, in order to progress, that Romania have its two main political actors, the country’s president and prime minister working in tandem. (…) The idea is that we are not only ending a presidential mandate in November, that of Mr. Basescu, we are ending an epoch, a period and not only a 10-year period, but in fact a 25-year period, [representing] the transition from communism to what is a modern European society”, said Ponta. He added that for PSD, for him as a political figure, but mostly for him as a citizen it is very important that an old chapter ends in Romania’s history, a chapter he deems negative, the 10-year terms of Traian Basescu: “All my colleagues agreed, we can’t sit with our hands crossed regarding a third mandate of Traian Basescu, because, in fact, there are candidates that are not named Traian Basescu but they’re saying the same things. The idea is that we want a complete change.”
Until Nov. 16, whoever’s concern is my replacement at PSD helm is out of party next day
On the other hand, Victor Ponta said that the campaign for the presidential elections should be the priority of all party members. He added that whoever takes more concern about who is to succeed him at the party helm will be expelled from PSD the next day. “That’s what I discussed with my colleagues and I said that until November 16, whoever busies himself with who is to replace me will leave the party the day after we learn about this. It’s an understanding of ours. Most of us have been through the experience of 2004 and 2009, when some of us were campaigning and others were counting the chickens before they were hatched. Or, the most important discussion today was exactly this: dear colleagues, we are all pulling in the same direction, the campaign. We’ll discuss after November 17 who will lead the party, provided that we win the office of President,” said Ponta.
He added that the party’s leading structures are well organized and that things won’t hold still for one person alone. “We have all the party structures in place, we have the executive president, the Secretary-general, the vice presidents, the party won’t hold still because of one person, but on the other hand we could lose if we focus on a pointless battle instead of focusing on what we need to do,” the Leader of PSD concluded.
According to some Social-Democrat sources quoted by Mediafax, Bucharest’s District 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie allegedly announced on Monday, at PSD’s informal National Executive Committee (CExN) meeting in Orastie, that he files his bid for the party’s presidency and that he will also run for Bucharest Mayor in 2016. The aforementioned sources claim that the issue of organizing elections within PSD in February 2015 was discussed within the CExN meeting.

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