POLITICS

PDL young wolves want to oust old guard

Party sources say MEP Cristian Preda could run for party president.

There has been significant restlessness within PDL lately. The Democrat-Liberals are preparing both for the National Coordination Council (CNC) scheduled on March 5 and for the Congress scheduled in May when a new party leadership could be elected. They are also considering replacing Premier Emil Boc with a technocrat. At the same time, the ruling coalition’s agreement will be signed tomorrow in Parliament. There are moves on all flanks in order to win the elections and the lost votes. PDL’s Permanent National Bureau (BPN) approved yesterday a “derogation” in order for persons who have not been party members in the last five years to be able to run for the party’s presidency. The change was proposed by MEP Cristian Preda, alongside Monica Macovei and Sever Voinescu. “You have to expect to see one of us in charge of such a motion. We’ll see who that will be, we haven’t decided yet,” Cristian Preda stated yesterday for Mediafax. According to party sources, it seems Preda himself may run for PDL’s presidency in May, provided the CNC approves the proposed derogation. On the other hand, Sever Voinescu stated that he will be the party’s spokesperson.


Several changes to the party statute, changes proposed by the Preda-Macovei-Voinescu trio, were approved yesterday. The most important of them stipulates that a party member’s preventive arrest, court arraignment or conviction for crimes can lead to a three-year suspension from PDL or even to exclusion from the party. The document – published on Monica Macovei’s blog – even classifies the actions for which a PDL member can be sanctioned. The actions considered to be very serious include: incompatibilities ascertained in court on the basis of ANI notifications; being shown to have been a Securitate member or collaborator; preventive arrest, court arraignment or conviction for crimes in Romania or in other democratic countries; attempt to buy votes or influence voters and the serious and repeated violation of the party’s statute.


The Democrat-Liberal leader Gheorghe Flutur argues there is no problem with allowing party members with less than five years’ experience to run for the leadership of the party, adding he voted in favour of this idea “with both hands”.


Vasile Blaga also seems to have no objections to this derogation from the experience condition in the filing of candidacies to the PDL presidency.


“The Board will be delegated to take this measure,” Blaga stated, adding that he thought the idea was good. In turn, the leader of Democrat-Liberal deputies, Mircea Toader, stated that “no one should be barred from running (e.n. to the leading positions in PDL), but we shouldn’t be taking people from the street either”.


Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Baconschi expressed his delight with the fact that the party’s statute commission accepted the proposals that Monica Macovei made, stating that the former Justice Minister’s action “proves that a policy based on values and principles always ends up having its way.” “I am glad the reforming values that many PDL members embody are echoed within the party’s leadership. I am confident that the reforming proposals will be included in the statute and will really be applied,” Baconschi stated in a communiqué.


In what concerns the issue of having a technocrat as Prime Minister, PDL Vice President Raluca Turcan claims that the party will quickly clarify this problem by coming up with a “wise solution.” “There is a lot of media speculation in the discussion concerning carrying out changes at the helm of the government, a lot of interested speculation seeking to create the image of confusion within the party. PDL will act calmly and wisely and will quickly take a decision because now there is also the need to gear up the engine of reforms and at the same time the need for a clear projection on the elections outlook for 2012,” Turcan wrote on her personal blog.


UDMR is waiting for a PDL decision in what concerns the Premier, a fact confirmed by new UDMR President Kelemen Hunor. According to him, instead of a technocrat UDMR would rather prefer a Prime Minister with political ties, one that has responsibility towards the voters.


LAZAROIU: “PRESIDENCY DID NOT ASK FOR BOC’S REPLACEMENT’


However, it’s possible that the whole thing may be nothing but a smoke screen. This hypothesis seems the more valid as Presidential advisor Sebastian Lazaroiu himself stated on Realitatea TV that the Presidency did not ask for the Premier to be replaced. He explained that the President was the one to open this debate in his talks with PDL MPs, however he did not tell them how to go about doing it: “He didn’t tell them do this or that. He told them that from this moment on there is the need to restore confidence in the government.” Moreover, according to Lazaroiu, Boc has a trump card that few politicians have: he is the Premier whose image has not been affected by any corruption row. Despite these aspects, the Presidential advisor admits that Boc’s popularity “is pretty much eroded,” so that the best solution would be an independent Premier after all.

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