Ponta: Remaking USL after May 25, a project in which I still believe

Asked if Antonescu could still run on USL’s ticket in the presidential
election, the Premier said, ‘Yes, if that is what USL decides. Why not?’

National leader of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), Prime Minister Victor Ponta is convinced that after the European elections of May 25 in Romania, the Social Liberal Union (USL) will be remade. He told Romania TV private broadcaster on Monday that PSD will not unveil a presidential candidate before the outcome of the European elections is known.
‘From my point of view, the remaking of USL after May 25 is a project in which I still believe. I indeed link the candidacy of a PSD member to the remaking of USL. This is certainly one of the main reasons why we do not want to announce the candidate of the PSD-Conservative Party- National Union for Romania’s Progress alliance before I am convinced that USL will be remade or it will certainly not be remade. I believe that the ballots to be cast on May 25, because you know people are wiser than political leaders, will make the National Liberal Party (PNL) and PNL leaders understand that the remaking of US is a solution,’ said Ponta. He added that he will take the first step toward PNL and propose the remaking of USL.
Ponta also said that PSD will not make the remaking of USL conditional, for instance, upon PNL ousting Crin Antonescu from PNL’s chairman office. Asked if Antonescu could still run on USL’s ticket in the presidential election, Ponta said, ‘Yes, if that is what USL decides. Why not?’ Ponta is convinced that PNL will not garner 20 percent of the vote in the May 25 European elections. He added that PSD’s target is to win 35 percent of the vote.
The Social-Democrats are counting on Victor Ponta’s candidacy in the end-of-the-year presidential elections. Liviu Dragnea, executive chairman of PSD, stated in a press conference late Monday that Victor Ponta is, in his opinion, the best presidential candidate, and Ponta is convinced he would be the best option for this position. “In the upcoming weeks, we will discuss this candidacy formally with all party members. PSD will not seek to persuade Victor Ponta; he must be convinced he is the best option for this position, and I believe he is convinced,” Dragnea said.
The PSD leader also conveyed to Liberal chairman Crin Antonescu that PSD “will not be threatened” because Social-Democrats are not easily scared. When asked to comment on the Liberal’s statement according to which the Social democrats will come to regret Traian Basescu, Dragnea replied this would never happen.
On the other hand, on the same day, Antonescu clarified his statement about Traian Basescu by explaining that if he was elected president, he would never “rub elbows” or conclude cohabitation agreements with bandits because “absolute justice” means that all criminals go to prison.
Meeting between Patriarch Daniel, USD leaders, and Mugur Isarescu
On Monday, Prime Minister Victor Ponta met with Patriarch Daniel, USD leaders Liviu Dragnea, Gabriel Oprea, and Daniel Constantin, and BNR governor Mugur Isarescu. On a subsequent TV appearance on RTV, PM Ponta mentioned that one of the topics of discussion in the meeting was the Cathedral for the Salvation of Romanian People, although it was not the primary objective of the meeting with Patriarch Daniel. “I was invited by the Patriarch a while back. We meet regularly; we last saw each other before I went to visit the Pope,” Ponta stated on Romania TV. Adrian Vasilescu, counselor to Isarescu, also stated for Mediafax that the meeting is part of the Patriarch’s tradition of inviting public figures, including the governor of the national bank, “to an Easter dinner.”

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