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Election campaign news

Iliescu warns against election fraud


Former President Ion Iliescu warned on Saturday against election fraud attempts, saying that although he does not have exact information about such attempts, there have been several signals. “There will be attempts, there were such attempts at local and European Parliament elections, so the ground is already set. (…) There are several signals about this and everybody should be very careful,” Iliescu said in a TV show on Antena 3 on Saturday evening. News reports and opposition parties warned agains election fraud too. The Greater Romania Party also staged a rally on Saturday against election rigging attempts.


In the show, Iliescu also talked about President Traian Basescu’s behaviour, saying that the head of state’s attacks should be analyzed by psychologists. His comments referred to the fact that Basescu has stepped up attacks against his predecessor lately. “I think there was some sort of psychological trigger, Mr. Basescu is panicking, and he seems to believe that his targets, his direct rivals, are not spectacular enough. He lies with a disarming serenity,” Iliescu said. He also compared Basescu with ex communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, saying that both share “the same kind of behavior, the same mentality and almost the same lack of culture.”

Antonescu calls on Hrebenciuc to ‘allow’ Geoana to confront him


On a campaign tour in Piatra Neamt yesterday, Liberal leader Crin Antonescu asked Social Democrats’ chief strategist Viorel Hrebenciuc to “allow” PSD presidential candidate Mircea Geoana to take part in an election debate with him.


Antonescu criticized the PSD leader for not wanting to take part in direct debates with his rivals and voiced hope that Romanians will be able “to get rid of the two (e. n. Basescu and Geoana) once and for all.” The Liberal leader said Geoana is not a good solution for Romania and voiced confidence that if he goes into the runoff with the Social-Democrat, he will win.


Poll: Geoana or Oprescu would win runoff against Basescu


A new poll, run by CCSB and made public on Friday, shows that although Basescu would get the highest number of votes in the first round of elections, he would lose a runoff against Mircea Geoana or independent Sorin Oprescu.


In the first round, Basescu would get 34 per cent of votes, followed by Geoana (31 per cent), Crin Antonescu (16 per cent) and Oprescu (10 per cent). In a runoff Geoana-Basescu, the PSD leader would get 52 per cent of votes and Basescu would get 48 per cent. Against Oprescu, the head of state would get 49 per cent while the mayor of Bucharest would win, with 51 per cent. In case Basescu goes in the runoff with Antonescu, both would get 50 per cent, the poll shows.


The poll was ordered by CCSB and run on November 7-11, on 1,348 people. CCSB was accredited by the Central Election Bureau, along with CURS, to run exit polls for both the first round of presidential elections and the runoff.


“Basescu: The Shame of Romania” book documents fleet ‘vanishing’


“Basescu: The Shame of Romania” is the title of a new book that charts the course of the Romanian merchant and oceanic fishing fleets as they sailed across a sea of corruption, disappearing into their own Bermuda Triangle, PRNewswire reports. It has been called “The greatest corruption case in the history of Romania.”


In his rise from ordinary sea-man to ship’s captain in the Communist system, with a possible detour through the feared Securitate, to mayor of Bucharest, transport minister and ultimately national president, “Traian Basescu has displayed an almost contemptuous disregard for the rule of law and an ongoing propensity for abuse of power,” says Jonathan Harper, the author of the book. Harper is the pen name of a longtime observer of the Romanian scene whose identity had to be concealed to protect his sources and his own security. His book is packed with revelations and questions about the record and performance of the deck hand who became president. Basescu was set to stand trial for his involvement in the ‘Fleet’ case, but all legal proceedings were halted when he became president.

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