President Traian Basescu told a TV talk show on Wednesday evening that he definitely supported People’s Movement Party’s (PMP) official candidate in the presidential elections, Elena Udrea.
‘I am an unreserved supporter of PMP, you have seen it very well in the elections to the European Parliament, I haven’t backed down from any kind of support, I took upon myself this party that I wanted to be different. I definitely endorse this party’s candidate for the office of Romania’s president. First it was Cristian Diaconescu and I endorsed him as long as he needed it or until he announced he would run independently. The moment [he announced that] I could no longer support him, as I was the one who inspired the creation of this party, as well as the creation of the foundation [the People’s Movement Foundation]. Today [the candidate] is Elena Udrea, I shall definitely support her during the election campaign, because she is the PMP candidate,’ Traian Basescu told a talk show on B1 TV private television broadcaster.
He said he could not recant his support for the PMP and that it would be ‘ridiculous’ to support an independent candidate: ‘I committed to support Cristian Diaconescu as long as he was PMP’s official endorsee. I cannot recant the support for PMP and say starting today I support an independent candidate, it would be completely ridiculous, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, we must see why this situation was reached, because Cristian Diaconescu had all the data of a person who if sat on the chair at Cotroceni can push things forward. It was an option inside the party, some kind of a small revolt, and I regret this thing.’
At the same time, the President said that Diaconescu might have a conscience issue, as when he was Social Democratic Party deputy chairman he was part of the 322 parliamentarians who signed for initiating the procedure on suspending Traian Basescu from office.
‘If Mr Diaconescu had gone to the steering college meeting held yesterday [on Tuesday], I believe there would have been a fair debate. I have a special respect for Cristi, because I have worked with him, I believe he had a conscience issue. He had a talk which I did not know of in the party’s executive council meeting or with members of that office who asked him if he had been among ‘the 322’, he said ‘no,’ he said he had been away, maybe this is how he remembered it, only the Deputies’ Chamber website has the documents and his signature in favour of the suspension, in favour of initiating the procedure and the attendance chart of the Official Gazette shows he was present in the vote. I believe he should have gone to the executive council meeting and explain why he said he had been away the day he was asked and he could have probably been able to give an explanation. He preferred not to go,’ Traian Basescu said.
Dispersion of Right candidates could help attract voters
President Traian Basescu said that the Opposition parties have to realise that in the second round of this November’s presidential election they will have to endorse only one candidate, recommending them to pay more attention to how they wage their electoral battle and manage the moment.
‘My opinion is that the Right voters will vote for their candidate that makes it to the second round and perhaps this current dispersion helps now, because it is very likely that only one candidate would have not been able to attract the entire range of centre and right-of-centre voters. All the Opposition right-of-centre parties should realise that and they should pay more attention to how they wage their battle because the first round of the election will be about the second position. Ponta will surely make it to the second round and that moment should be managed so that no irremediable things will happen,’ said Basescu.
He also claimed that independent presidential candidate Monica Macovei is backed up by PDL leaders in order to take away some of the voters of the People’s Movement Party (PMP), and about PDL and PNL’s official endorsee Klaus Johannis said he will have to fight more with Ponta, the same as he is sure Monica Macovei and PMP’s Elena Udrea will do.
Basescu also said the role of presidential candidate Calin Popescu Tariceanu is to win over the Liberal county council chairs and steer voters away from PNL and to Victor Ponta. ‘I believe Mr Tariceanu’s objective is to win the support of the county council chairs that are PNL members. I believe his objective is to bring the votes as an offering to Ponta, because Ponta cannot win counting on his Left electorate only. And the red Liberal, as I call Tariceanu, has undertaken this part of steering Liberal voters to Socialists,’ said Basescu.
He also said he still hopes that the candidates with an incomplete CV, whom he threatened to expose publicly, will present to voters all the information about their past.
‘I still hope that the candidate or the candidates whose CV is incomplete yet, will complete it and this is no threatening; I believe becoming the president and hiding things from your life is horribly immoral,’ adding that ‘there is nothing despiteful, just things that need to be said,’ adding that this is not information that would lead to the candidates in question dropping out of the election race, provided they do the completing timely.
The level of this year’s presidential candidates is very low
The head of state said that, in his opinion, the level of this year’s presidential candidates is very low and also that Elena Udrea wouldn’t have entered this competition had she had stronger opponents, as strong as Adrian Nastase or Traian Basescu used to be, for instance.
‘At some point Elena Udrea said that, had she been supposed to battle someone like Adrian Nastase or Traian Basescu, she would have rather preferred to stay aside, instead of running for president […] Which said it all, for it’s exactly how I see things too. When you look at Ponta, and even at Iohannis or Tariceanu, you realise that the level of this year’s presidential candidates is very low […] Which is why we are going to watch all kinds of candidates. Had Adrian Nastase been in the race I can assure you that many would have backed down to avoid losing precious time while running against him. If either Nastase or Basescu were to run, we wouldn’t see now so many candidates hoping that they could win. I liked it how Elena Udrea was so frank,’ said the head of the state.
Traian Basescu maintained that the People’s Movement Party (PMP) will have a great say in the upcoming presidential election, and also in the next elections of 2016, despite the many attacks coming from certain politicians and media groups. In what concerns Elena Udrea, the PMP official endorsee, he said that she is going to be ‘one of the extremely active candidates and sometimes even aggressive’ in this year’s election campaign and that during his meeting with the PMP delegation he saw a very united and optimistic team that believed in the chances of its candidate.
Traian Basescu added that Elena Udrea gets an unfair treatment when she is being criticised for ‘breaking the unity of the Right’, while other candidates of the same Right, such as Cristian Diaonescu or Monica Macovei, are being treated with more indulgence.
Becoming prime minister is not what I want
President Traian Basescu said that becoming prime minister was not among his objectives, while adding that he was going to support the People’s Movement Party (PMP) during the presidential elections this autumn.
He said that whoever is going to win the presidential elections will have to find a prime minister able to understand the country’s priorities.
‘I have a granddaughter and two other grandsons are on the way, so that I shall be busy enough. However, I shall take care of the party, support the party, but the prime minister office is a job for someone else, even if I were the best prime minister the political class could give, (…) but maybe my time for these kind of positions has passed.