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October 28, 2020

Tariceanu lashes out at Antonescu over internal poll

The former PM also said an alliance with the Democrat Liberals would not be useful anymore.

Former prime minister and Liberal Party leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu said yesterday that he would not run for party president if the organization enforces a new voting system, in which voters will have to choose lists of candidates, not individual candidacies. He insisted that if PNL changes its regulations so as to enforce this system before the party’s congress, he will refuse to run for the top post, in order not to offer legitimacy to such an “aberration.”

Tariceanu further slammed current liberal leader Crin Antonescu, saying that the congress seems to be merely “a political and image exercise of the current leader” and will not offer runners to the top post a real political competition.

The former prime minister also told Antonescu to “control himself” when he wants to make statements about him, in reference to the liberal leader’s recent announcement that he does not want Tariceanu on his list of candidates. In the context, Tariceanu told reporters yesterday that after being party leader and prime minister, he will not, under any circumstances, accept to be part of somebody else’s list of candidates. “Regardless of who that person might be, I want to make it very clear and thus give an answer to Antonescu as well: I have never asked him or anybody else to be part of a team. If I desire, I am perfectly able to decide my own political path,” Tariceanu said. He also told Antonescu to “keep whatever positions he wants to” in the party, insisting that he is not interested in obtaining the party’s leadership. “My problem is how the party is going, where it is going. I want PNL to remain at the same level I brought it to,” he said.

Earlier this week, Antonescu said his list of candidates would not include Tariceanu or PNL first vice president Ludovic Orban. “From my point of view, Tariceanu is a colleague whom I respect, but who will never be a member on my team, and in no case first vice president,” Antonescu said when inquired by journalists.

Tariceanu and Antonescu have been at odds over several issues, most recently about whether PNL should join the Democrat Liberals in the government or not. While Tariceanu seemed to favour the idea, Antonescu fiercely opposed it, saying that Liberals would never be part of a “puppet” government actually controlled by President Traian Basescu.

Yesterday, Tariceanu seemed to change course and said an association with the PDL on governmental or parliamentary level would not longer be useful. When asked whether PNL members are leaving the party because Antonescu does not want to join the government, Tariceanu answered that the two issues should not be connected. He added that PNL should have sealed an alliance with the PDL in December last year, underlining that such a deal at the moment would not do any good.

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