POLITICS

Catarama, five other local Liberal leaders sacked

Viorel Catarama has been excluded from the party yesterday, following a decision by the party’s Executive National Council (CNEx) at the proposal of the Political Bureau. The decision was taken with 39 votes in favour, six votes against and four abstentions, Liberal sources told Mediafax. Catarama did not attend the meeting despite being invited to express his point of view. Catarama had intended to enter the race for the National Liberal Party presidency but eventually did not file his candidacy. During the party’s Congress in early March, Catarama suggested that party leader Crin Antonescu allegedly wanted to change the Statute in order to silence critical voices at the behest of the sponsors that were set to pay the EUR 1.6 M debt incurred by the party during the electoral campaign for the presidential elections. PNL President Crin Antonescu said at the Congress that a well organized party would have excluded Catarama, who was still a party member because of ‘negligence,’ after he ‘acted in the lowest manner during the electoral campaign.’ Viorel Catarama joined the Liberal party back in 1990.


Also on Monday, Crin Antonescu has dissolved the leaderships of five branches (Arad, Dambovita, Ialomita, Bucharest District 2 and District 5) and decided to appoint interim leaders. The reason was the score registered in the Presidential elections by the three County branches and the tensions generated by the leaders in the case of the two branches in Bucharest.


MP Ludovic Orban, former First Vice President of the party, stated that the five branch presidents were replaced by PNL’s National Executive Council because they stood by him during the Congress and against the list-based election system. Asked whether the leadership of the party’s District 2 branch was changed because the branch did not hasten the exclusion of Viorel Catarama, Crin Antonescu denied. ‘The party can no longer continue in the logic of intrigue and petty reconciliations, it has to start using the logic of election results and we have to find formulas that would allow us to win the confidence and implicitly the votes of people in Bucharest’s districts as well as in Arad, Dambovita and Ialomita,’ Antonescu said.


‘Viorel Catarama has dinted the image of the National Liberal Party and has damaged the party’s interests, that is why the PNL’s National Executive Council took the decision to exclude him from the party,’ the Liberal leader said. He claims Catarama’s attitude during the Presidential elections campaign as well as during the PNL Congress ‘has offended any party member.’ ‘I was the one that insisted that the General Secretariat should not place any administrative hurdles in front of Mr. Catarama so that he could attend and run for office during the Congress. There were reasons (for his exclusion – editor’s note) but I insisted on allowing him to take part in the Congress, being convinced that each man has the right to support any political program he wants. Mr. Catarama did not support his program, he came out once again with an embarrassing attack against the party’s image and I believe that cannot be tolerated unless you’re a weak party. And that’s not the case,’ Antonescu added.


According to a press communiqué issued in Viorel Catarama’s behalf, the businessman does not know about his sacking, that he was not invited at any meeting and does not know the reasons behind the decision. He is out of the country for a week.

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