The first round of negotiations between PDL and PNL representatives unfolds today. Civic Force leader makes first con tact with the liberals. PMP and Civic Force officials also support the coming together of the right to form an anti-PSD front.
While PSD persists on bringing USL back, on the other side of the aisle, right-wing party leaders dream of creating a coalition of opposition parties and producing a single presidential candidate.
Sources say PNL leaders are also considering a merger with PDL. However, the chairman of the Liberal Democrats, Vasile Blaga, stated early this week that a merger with PNL or the People’s Movement Party is out of the question.
PDL leaders met yesterday in an informal meeting to discuss the possibility of forming an anti-PSD alliance, although the final political formula is still to be established. After the meeting, Vasile Blaga announced that PDL representatives will meet with PNL members at Parliament headquarters today at 5.00 p.m. for the first round of negotiations on a potential alliance of the two parties. Prior to the PDL-PNL reunion, both the Liberal Democrats and PNL will meet separately (PNL at 2.00 p.m.) in a session of the National Standing Bureau.
The scenario involving the unification of the right seems to be taking shape for more and more party leaders. Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, leader of the Civic Force, went to PNL headquarters yesterday to go over association alternatives for the right with former leader of the Liberals’ Crin Antonescu, given the two parties’ score in the EP elections. Ungureanu made a statement after the meeting, saying that discussions about a consolidation of the right are still in the early stages and stressed they are not centered on mergers.
“I urge our opposition colleagues not to disclose names, deliver attacks from one side to the other, and to behave with common decency and respect the results of Sunday’s vote.
What we need at the moment is a plan for Romania, not proposals, self-proposals, or various names to be brought up; our interest is first and foremost the nation’s interest,” Ungureanu pointed out, as cited by Mediafax. He expressed hope that the right-wing parties “learned their lesson after Sunday’s vote” and will behave responsibly. “Given everything that happened and given the electoral disaster, we must ensure the country is not left in the hands of PSD,” the former prime minister added.
Elena Udrea, deputy of the People’s Movement Party (PMP), has seemingly reached the same conclusion. Yet in a Facebook comment posted early yesterday she said the center-right parties would not be able to come together, at least not until the fall elections. “The leaders’ personal resentment is too great and their character too weak to allow them to get past it, even for the great dream of winning against PSD in the presidential elections,” Udrea wrote on her Facebook page. Several hours later, the former Minister of Development and Tourism stated that PMP will accept any unification initiative, “regardless from which party it comes,” capable of defeating PSD’s candidate. Her party colleague, Adrian Papahagi (PMP), also commented on Facebook about the right’s need for unity. “Will we finally bring the right together or repeat the disaster of 2000? We don’t need fusions or effusions of love, but rather a clear agenda called the Union for Presidential Majority, able to place a right-wing representative at Cotroceni and help a right-wing government rise to power starting this year,” Papahagi said.
In his opinion, “the elected, resigning, or informal” leaders of PDL, PNL, and PMP can not lead the right to victory. “In other words, I don’t believe Antonescu, Blaga, or Udrea, be they alone or together, can lead the right to victory against Ponta. I do believe, however, that both they and others are capable of setting their personal interests aside and working towards a common goal to form a Union for Presidential Majority that can defeat PSD and bring the right to governance.”
Furthermore, Papahagi announced his decision to run for PMP leadership, seeing how no one else has stepped up, and pointed out that the party cannot oppose the “inanity wrapped in media blitz that is Ponta.”