Democrat Liberals say they can run alone in 2012 and do not need to ‘beg’ for partnerships. Party leaders use internal elections to launch call for unity and support of cabinet’s austerity measures.
The ruling Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) has started making gains in opinion polls and is ready to win 2012 legislative elections, being determined to keep on fighting for supremacy on the local political stage, two important party leaders said on Saturday in Bistrita Nasaud. The party elected a new local leadership in the presence of several important members, including party president, PM Emil Boc, general secretary Vasile Blaga and cabinet members such as Tourism and Regional Development Minister and PDL Bucharest head Elena Udrea, Finance Minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu, Interior Minister Traian Igas, Labour Minister Ioan Botis, along with several other MPs.
Both Udrea and Blaga insisted that the party can still become the first political force in the country until 2012. Udrea said that in the last three months, the party has been growing in opinion polls, which shows that Romanians understood the current government is a responsible, reforming one. “PDL is remobilising. We can re-become the number one political force of Romania. We must continue reforming the country and reforming the party as well,” she said, underlining that Democrat Liberals should not fear internal reform, because this does not mean one generation would be replaced with another, but that all values will get equally promoted. In reference to recent speculations that PDL might try to seal an election alliance with the opposition National Liberal Party, Udrea said PDL must not “beg” for partnerships from anybody but have a proper right-wing message for all those interested.
In his turn, Blaga insisted that PDL doesn’t need any “protecting wings” and can do very well without an alliance with the Liberals. “Whoever thinks that PDL gave up the fight to become the first political force of Romania is wrong,” Blaga said, quoted by Mediafax. He underlined however that in order to achieve this, the party must remain united and all members must know how to respect the organisation’s decisions.
Deputy Ioan Oltean, who was re-elected head of the party’s Bistrita Nasaud branch, also said PDL must remain in government until November 2012, as “guarantee for another term in office.” For this purpose, the party must stand united around PM Boc and the government, Oltean said. “A difficult period is coming up and the opposition will increase criticism of the government and the PDL, a party that endangered its own existence with the measures it took to support this country’s citizens. We will not be influenced by the opposition’s attitude and by some media representatives. Boc government needs our support,” Oltean added, calling on all party members to explain to the people why austerity measures were needed.
PM Boc defended his government’s cuts, saying they were necessary for the country to get back on track. He added that populist measures such as the ones promoted by the opposition would risk throwing the country into bankruptcy and underlined that if the previous Liberal-led cabinet’s policies had been continued, the country would already be “at the bottom of the pit.”
Blaming the Liberals for the huge budget deficit, Boc said, “EUR 11 M was squandered. If this money had been directed to investment and employment, we would have gone through the crisis easier. And we had to take measures to reduce the excessive deficit.” All government members who held speeches at the Bistrita Nasaud conference also defended the government’s policies and called for party unity despite popularity drops. The speeches also included repeated attacks on the opposition, such as accusations of having brought the country to bankruptcy and of opposing reform and modernisation. PDL Vice President Gheorghe Flutur said Social Democrats are applying the technique of “plundered land and poisoned wells” in their attempt of getting back in power, and accused the left-wing party of “harassing” the Democrat Liberals by stalling important laws.
BERCEANU RE-ELECTED HEAD OF DOLJ BRANCH
Senator Radu Berceanu, one of the PDL ‘heavyweights,’ was re-elected president of the party’s Dolj organisation with a majority of votes. “I am the only president that has been leading a county chapter for over 20 years,” Berceanu said after obtaining 419 votes in his favour, compared to the 113 votes garnered by his rival in the race, Deputy Gelu Visan.
Present at the session, PDL First Vice President Adriean Videanu had a similar speech to those held in Bistrita Nasaud a day before, defending the government’s austerity measures and voicing confidence that “things would get back to normal” in 2011. He added that the government’s measures have already begun to “bear fruit,” getting appreciation from international institutions as well. Videanu also said PDL currently lacks a politician that could replace President Traian Basescu and that is why the party “needs a team to compensate for the fact that Basescu is no longer a member.”