The Liberals tell Victor Ponta to focus on government activity and desist from talking about the restoration of USL. “Facts prove however that this is a lie and we are only witnessing political and facetious statements,” PNL’s spokesperson said.
PSD President Victor Ponta told the members of the party’s leadership during the Permanent National Bureau (BPN) meeting yesterday that they should maintain good relations with the Liberals because the two parties will come together once again after the EP elections on May 25. “I ask you all to relay to the territorial branches that we need all forces and allies, and I will also ask you to maintain good relations with the Liberals as far as possible – I know it’s more difficult in Iasi but I believe it is possible elsewhere – because after May 25 I believe we will come together again,” Ponta said, being quoted by Mediafax.
The PSD President emphasized that PSD’s opponents are Traian Basescu and Elena Udrea: “Mr. Basescu, Mrs. Udrea have recovered a bit, have gotten bold, again they believe people have forgotten who cut their pensions and salaries, who stole from them for so many years. They are our opponents, they still have a powerful regime with propaganda, with rich people that want to help them stay in power. They are the ones we are fighting.” He stated that the “main battle” will last until November 16, the date on which the presidential runoff may take place. Ponta expressed his hope that until then the new plans and optimism displayed by Basescu and Udrea will prove baseless and “people will not forget who brought them in this situation.”
“Apart from that, they will make a lot of noise, they will use their regular weapons, however I believe we can beat them on May 25, November 2 and November 16 too and we can go forward with all of our plans,” the Social-Democrat pointed out.
On the other hand, he announced that the PSD-UNPR-PC ruling alliance (Social-Democratic Party, the National Union for Romania’s Progress and the Conservative Party) will draw up a list of candidates for the European elections and pick their candidates for the special local and parliamentary elections to take place also on May 25.
Ponta however is not the only Social-Democrat that hopes that USL will be restored after the EP elections in May. PSD spokesperson Catalin Ivan claims that the score that PNL will obtain in the EP elections is very important, pointing out that if the Liberals score poorly then there will be higher chances for USL to be “reactivated” because the union “is not disbanded.”
“The elections for the European Parliament are a test for all parties, as well as for the PSD-UNPR-PC alliance, but also for PNL. Now, after the Liberals left USL and sought to break this political union they will face the voters by themselves. Their score is important,” Ivan said. He pointed out that the Social-Democrats know very well that not all Liberals are happy with the decision taken by the Permanent Delegation and want the restoration of USL: “We are relying on the dialogue we are having with the Liberal colleagues and we cannot avoid hoping. We want USL to be reactivated after the EP elections.” Asked whether PSD wants the reactivation of USL with or without Crin Antonescu, the current leader of PNL, Ivan answered: “With PNL. With or without Crin Antonescu these elections are a test.” “The Liberals will see for themselves whether they took the good decision or not. We believe the good decision would have been for them to stay within USL,” Ivan pointed out.
The day before, Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea stated at a press conference in Alexandria that he continues to hope that USL will be restored. “We continue to hope that USL will not disappear. We are trying and we are doing everything possible for the goals that USL assumed and presented to the citizens in December 2012 to be accomplished step by step. We are willing to do many things in order for USL to exist and, if possible, to be restored,” Dragnea stated, being quoted by hotnews.ro.
The statements made by the PSD leaders however dissatisfy the Liberals. PNL President Crin Antonescu commented on Tuesday the statements made by Premier Victor Ponta in what concerns the restoration of USL, stating that the Head of Government “lacks courage without camouflage” and that his goal is for PNL to score poorly in the EP elections and “to get rid of Antonescu.” PNL spokesperson Cristina Pocora, also told Victor Ponta to focus on government activities and to stop talking about the restoration of USL after the EP elections, to give up “demagogy” and “political intrigues.”
“You invoke for naught at central level the restoration of USL, while among territorial branches the PSD representatives are signing collaboration agreements with PDL on the conveyor belt. It seems that you forgot that the Social Liberal Union finished its existence precisely because you failed to respect the commitments taken towards PNL. We wanted a powerful Romania, you wanted solely a powerful PSD,” a press release signed by Pocora reads. She claims that she noticed that “PSD hasn’t changed its mentalities and practices, which are the same as those in 2000-2004; it has even enriched them with habits patented by Traian Basescu.” Victor Ponta replied to Pocora, saying USL can be restored “with or without Crin Antonescu” and Liberals are the ones to decide that.
Disputes between PSD and PNL in Iasi
While central PSD leaders encourage branch leaders to maintain a relationship of friendship with their former alliance partners, things are not faring well at branch level. Iasi is an example of PSD-PNL tensions, the Social-Democrats there accusing Iasi County Council chairman Cristian Adomnitei of initiating a new majority within the County Council and asking for his resignation. “There are counties where they continue to get along very well and the majorities work. We want things to be like this everywhere. The functioning of USL with Cristi Adomnitei is impossible in Iasi. The only option is for us to find a different majority in order to carry on with the county’s projects. But wherever possible we are maintaining USL as it was in the local elections,” PSD’s spokesperson stated yesterday.
On the other hand, PNL Iasi accuses PSD of starting the political war by replacing the County Council’s Liberal Vice Chairman, the Liberals asking the Social-Democrats to leave behind “the petty logic of selling and buying offices.” It seems the Liberals’ dissatisfaction has to do with the replacement of Iasi County Council Vice Chairman Victor Chirila (PNL) with PPDD Iasi President Alin Aivanoaei. The decision was taken during an extraordinary meeting of the Iasi County Council at the end of last week. The vote cast on Friday during the County Council meeting dissatisfied the Democrat-Liberals too, after two of the party’s county council members voted for the vice chairman backed by PSD, not for their own candidate.