Politicians welcome Ponta’s victory

Most parties’ leading representatives voiced confidence the new Social Democrat president can truly reform the party and get rid of controversial members who affect its image, such as Bucharest leader Marian Vanghelie.

DEMOCRAT LIBERAL (PDL) FIRST VICE PRESIDENT THEODOR STOLOJAN wished Victor Ponta good luck with his term and voiced hope that the new PSD leader will manage to achieve what Ion Iliescu and Mircea Geoana failed – to create a modern socialist party. Moreover, Ponta should be able to get rid of the ‘corrupt’ label associated with the organization so far. When asked whether PSD and PDL ties could change following Ponta’s win, Stolojan said this was very unlikely. “This doesn’t make any difference, we are practically two different parties, we are centre-right and they are left-wing. Romania needs a left-wing party, but a modern one,” Stolojan said.

PDL VICE PRESIDENT CEZAR PREDA also congratulated Ponta for his victory and asked the fresh PSD leader to make public his stance as regards constitutional review and changes to election legislation, so as to reform Parliament into a one-chamber assembly and reduce the number of MPs. Preda also said that Social Democrats and Democrat Liberals will remain “life and death rivals in ideology and policies.”

OPPOSITION NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY LEADER CRIN ANTONESCU underlined that Ponta, the youngest PSD president, has the difficult task of reforming the party, underlining that Romania needs an “authentic left-wing.” He added that if PSD modernizes itself, it will have a trustworthy partner in the PNL, although the two sides will remain at odds over ideological issues. “I have not spoke of collaboration or alliances, but of the fact that by trying to reform the PNL we are trying to make it an authentic, right-wing party and that we need an equally strong opponent, an authentic, efficient left-wing,” Antonescu said.

DEMOCRATIC UNION OF HUNGARIANS IN ROMANIA SENATOR GYORGY FRUNDA said Ponta’s election closes a chapter in the life of the PSD and is a good sign that many current members, such as PSD Bucharest leader Marian Vanghelie, will no longer be in the party’s front ranks. “I appreciate Mr. Ponta a lot, he has a refined legal thinking, he says what’s on his mind, and this was not something typical of the PSD. He had the courage to stand up and say he would not collaborate with Vanghelie, which means he will get out of the picture. And this is a good sign,” the UDMR senator said.

UDMR’S EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT LASZLO BORBELY said PSD really needed a change and that with Ponta in its leadership, the party will be able to become a real option for voters.

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