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February 1, 2023

Debate between main presidential candidates most likely to be held today

The debate between the Presidential candidates, a debate set to take place today at 6 PM at the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE), has sparked new electoral disputes. The candidates’ confrontation was unsure last evening, as the parties’ electoral staffs did not reach any agreement regarding the location, issues and moderator. By the time our paper went to print, the campaign staffs were still arguing over the debate terms.

Impact News reported that the debate would be held at the Palace of Parliament, around 8 PM, but it was not yet known how many candidates would attend. Yet, President Traian Basescu stated yesterday that he will take part in the debate while accusing Ion Rosca, ASE’s rector, of disinformation after the latter, who is set to host the debate, allegedly suggested that the Head of State does not want to take part in a debate in front of the students. ‘I see there is a gentleman from the ASE who issued a communiqué that says that President Basescu won’t take part in the debate. On the contrary, I will take part in it, but its location and terms are not my problem. I have no idea what the campaign staffs are negotiating,’ Basescu stated during a conference at his campaign headquarters. ‘I haven’t stated that I decline the meeting. So I see Mr. Rosca has switched to disinformation and it’s a pity,’ Basescu added. The Head of State had previously accused the ASE rector of being a PSD member, a claim that Rosca dismissed yesterday in an open letter sent to Basescu. In the open letter Rosca points out that he is not the member or sympathizer of any political party and gives assurances that the debate will be objective.

PSD leader Mircea Geoana announced that he will take part in the debate, while PNL leader Crin Antonescu stated that he has received no invitation but that he is willing to take part in debates alongside other candidates, with his terms being for the debate to contain other issues besides the economy and for the moderators to be journalists. Moreover, Antonescu criticized Geoana too for ‘trying to summon the other parties’ candidates to his own party’s action.’

In his turn, independent candidate Sorin Oprescu expressed his openness to taking part in any debate, whether moderated by journalists or experts. At the same time Oprescu accused Basescu and Geoana of treating with arrogance and disinterest the organization of debates on public interest themes, opining that they have relevant reasons to hide away from public opinion.

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