Social-Democrats set calendar for naming presidential candidate


Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the leader of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) announced at the beginning of the party’s Standing Bureau meeting on Monday that the persons who will want to run for President of Romania in this November’s elections will have to undergo certain procedures set in agreement with the party statutes.
Ponta said he will put to the party leadership’s approval a calendar of such procedures. ‘The congress will be held in September, but we cannot wait until that day to carry out the procedures. We will draw up certain procedures also in line with the statutes and anyone who wants and feels they can candidate for the position of President must undergo these procedures,’ he explained.

According to Ponta, PSD will convene the National Executive Committee on June 30, the National Council on August 1 and the Congress in September.

The PSD president also mentioned that he will submit his candidacy at the National Council of PSD that will be called on August 1, if he decides to run in the presidential elections. “If I will decide I will run for the office of president of Romania, obviously I will submit my candidacy during the National Council,” Ponta stated. Asked if Mircea Geoana expressed his wish to run for president himself, Ponta answered: “On August 1 you will know precisely who expresses his wish or not”.

Ponta stressed the presidential candidate will be agreed upon with the PSD partners – the Conservatives and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR). ‘It is much too serious a position, the most important one. We will field our candidate together with the Conservatives and the UNPR and I think this summer is devoted to building a political project that should win in November,’ Ponta said.

UNPR already expressed its support for Ponta’s possible candidacy. Attending a party meeting in the North-East region, UNPR leader Gabriel Oprea said that the party continues the campaign aimed at raising 1,000,000 signatures in support of this candidacy. Oprea added that UNPR will remain a trustworthy partner of the Centre-Left Alliance which it forms with PSD and a loyal ally in the government and in Parliament.


Any Right endorsee to make it to the presidential runoff is a strong candidate

In an interview to Agerpres on Monday, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said that any Right endorsee to make it to the presidential runoff is a strong candidate, and the Left will have to treat very seriously the election to avoid losing the presidential election for the third consecutive time, after 2004 and 2009. ‘All the competitors are strong. And I very clearly remember that our candidates lost both in 2004 and 2009, albeit by a whisker. I say once again that the idea is any Right endorsee making it to the presidential runoff is a strong candidate simply because he or she will try to get together the others. If we do not treat the matter very seriously, we may lose a third time,’ Ponta said, adding that in his opinion PSD has learned a lot from the past and can now avoid its mistakes.

PSD to hold talks with PP-DD, for securing majority


Prime Minister Victor Ponta told his colleagues of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) leadership that talks are to be held with the People’s Party – Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD) on Monday, with a view to forging local alliances, this being the only solution for PSD to secure majority. ‘It’s important to decide what local alliances we shall forge. … If it’s possible to make alliances with PP-DD to secure majority, and we shall discuss this matter today, we shall make them. We shall hold talks with PP-DD because there’s no other solution for securing majority. It’s important to move the central and local projects forward despite these changes,’ Ponta said at the beginning of the meeting of the PSD Standing Bureau. On the other hand, Ponta said he is not ashamed of PP-DD electorate and he wants to represent it.

In addition, Ponta criticized the ‘trick’ the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) headed by Vasile Blaga want to use to be in power at local level. ‘We ran in 2012 as the Social Liberal Union and we told voters we would rid of PDL and we respected our promise in 39 counties out of 41. But PDL has returned through the back door (…) The trick of Mr. Blaga is efficient, but I believe people will be extremely dissatisfied with this trick,’ Ponta pointed out.

The negotiations between PSD and PP-DD began two weeks ago, but they reached an impasse precisely because of the alliances reached meanwhile by the People’s Party with PDL and PNL. So far PSD cooperates with PP-DD in 5 counties on securing a majority and is close to signing 11 more alliances at local scale.

According to “Evenimentul zilei”, in Gorj County, the fief of PSD, the leading team of the local PP-DD branch was sacked precisely over its alliance with the opposition. The Gorj branch of PP-DD was disbanded 24 hours after the county councillors of this party voted, jointly with the liberals, to replace a CJ vice-president appointed by PSD. Immediately after the reprisals of the central leadership, Deputy Niculina Mocioi, former head of PP-DD Gorj said that this is the revenge of Ponta. “I was expelled from PP-DD by PSD, not by PP-DD,” Mocioi said, quoted by