Social-Democrats’ Congress set for September 6-7, sources say

PSD Presidential candidate is expected to be announced then.

PSD President Victor Ponta stated on Thursday at the start of the party’s National Executive Committee meeting that personally he would want to be premier until 2016, however experience has shown that there is also need for a good president. He stated that the decision whether he will run in the presidential elections or not will be taken along with the members of PSD. “But if I have to run I will do so gladly and confidently,” the Premier stated, being quoted by Mediafax.
According to Ponta, the candidate of the Social-Democratic Party, the National Union for Romania’s Progress and the Conservative Party electoral alliance will be established following a congress to take place, most likely, in September. ‘We shall definitely have, according to the statutes, a congress through which we shall designate the candidate in the presidential elections, because, in the latest congress, we designated Crin Antonescu and I no longer think that is the case,’ Ponta pointed out, at the Palace of Parliament, at the end of a meeting of the Social Democrat Youth Organization. Ponta added that it was premature for the congress date to be established following the PSD National Executive Committee meeting on Thursday: ‘No, we really do not have very high pressure and, for now, we must prepare for the ruling part, for the parliamentary part, and, after that, for the political autumn’. On the other, hand, PSD sources claim that the members CExN have allegedly scheduled the party’s congress on September 6-7.
In context, Ponta voiced his conviction that part of the Liberals would join the PSD project, when asked about the reconstruction of USL. He added that in view of the alliance between PDL and PNL it is understandable that PSD and its political allies would have a candidate in the presidential elections: ‘Mr Antonescu sees me smiling, his journalists say I no longer smile. Let us be serious and think that we could have no opponent in autumn, there was that possibility. I do not know. There will certainly be an opponent and, most certainly, to us, the difficult battle is in the second round. After the first round, our candidate will certainly qualify further.’

When asked what PSD would do locally, taking into account that the Liberals announced that they would break the local alliances with the Social Democrats, Ponta replied: ‘We shall analyse this.’ He added that the Liberals would decide at the PNL congress what their option would be. ‘This will be probably decided at the PNL Congress. It is difficult, otherwise they are bigamous. For now, they [the Liberals] have not divorced USL [the Social Democratic Union], they haven’t signed the papers with PDL, who knows whom they may ally with until July. After the PNL congress, we shall see what happens to USL,’ Ponta said. At the end of the CExN meeting, Ponta pointed out that the Social-Democrat Party local branches will try to form their own majorities, considering that Crin Antonescu pointed out that the alliances between PNL’s and PSD’s local branches will no longer be maintained, and accused Antonescu of killing the USL.
Voted for Antonescu in 2009 presidential elections
The Premier stated that in 2009, in the first round of presidential elections, he considered Crin Antonescu to be the change that Romania needed. About Mircea Geoana, whose presidential campaign spokesperson he was that year, the PSD President said: “I voted for him in the runoff.” The PSD President told the Social Democrat Youth that they are lucky that in 2014 they no longer have to choose between two communists in the presidential elections as had happened in 2004. He then explained that none of the candidates announced so far (Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, Catalin Predoiu, Elena Udrea) “were communists or members of the Securitate, like Basescu was.” Asked about Antonescu’s statements according to which Ponta is more dangerous than Traian Basescu, he stated: “I have seen that he has reassessed Traian Basescu, Traian Basescu has reassessed Crin Antonescu,” pointing out that the fact that Antonescu regrets Basescu is the former’s problem. “I don’t regret Traian Basescu,” the Social-Democrat added.
PSD’s Sarbu: PSD should not hurry in announcing its presidential candidate
Ilie Sarbu, the leader of the PSD Senators, argues that the Social-Democrats should not hurry in announcing a presidential candidate for this year’s election. ‘I do not believe that the candidate should concern us now. We are analyzing the results, which are good, although not 100 percent to our liking. If you take a look at the electoral map you will see that the PSD has never fared better. (…) There is time and a Congress convention to make the nomination,’ Sarbu told RFI radio broadcaster. He also said PSD should not be irked by the closeness of late between the PNL, PSD’s former ally until recently, and the PDL.
Asked for his comment on the fact that Ponta did not vote for Mircea Geoana in the 2009 presidential elections, Sarbu stated that every person votes as that person sees fit. In his turn, Mircea Geoana avoided making any comments about Ponta’s statement, stating: “I will leave it to our party members, our voters and our sympathizers to judge Mr. Ponta’s attitude.”

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