Boc: “In PDL, we are and we will remain friends”. Blaga: “I won’t leave Emil for Geoana, Olga and Crinut”.
Approximately one month before the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL)’s National Convention, which is to elect a new leader, the opposing candidates Emil Boc and Vasile Blaga, due to launch their candidacies today, at the party’s central office, send reassuring messages of unity, just as a new contender for the party leadership emerges in the picture – the former Culture Minister, the deputy Toader Paleologu. Whereas some are considering joining the race, others, such as the reformist camp, reiterate their doubt they would be able to run, as the MEP Cristian Preda states the reformers failed to collect the 35 signatures needed to file a motion for PDL presidency.
Present, on Saturday, in Miercurea Ciuc, where they attended the elections in the PDL Harghita organization, prime-minister Emil Boc and the party’s secretary general, Vasile Blaga, tried to put up a common front, invoking the good of the party and of the nation. Thus, Boc stated that, in the party, “competition is between colleagues”, adding that “many people fail to understand” that PDL members “are and remain friends”. The premier argued that PDL had two clearly-defined targets – to modernize Romania, to offer the people the chance of a better life, and to win the 2012 elections, to continue their government program. In his opinion, the crisis helped everyone see Romania as it really was, “burdened with too many public sector employees, a number boosted between 2008 and 2009,” the reason for which the present government had to set staff standards. Boc also explained the welfare reform. “I saw pot-bellied men, driving a Mercedes, who applied for welfare benefits,” he argued, adding this was no longer the case.
In turn, Boc’s opposing candidate, Vasile Blaga, argued, on the same occasion, that he could agree or disagree with Boc, but would never betray him by joining the opposition. “The votes of Romanians in Covasna and Harghita are ours to take, why shouldn’t we be the ones to take them, rather than leaving them to others? We are amongst friends, the others are our political opponents. This is what must be understood. I may at any point agree or disagree with Emil (e.n. Boc), but I will never leave Emil for Geoana, Olga (e.n. Vasilescu, a member of the Social-Democrat Party), Crinut (e.n. Crin Antonescu, the president of the National Liberal Party) or anybody else,” Blaga stated. Moving on to another topic, Blaga advocated, yet again, for changing PDL’s name and emblem.
As regards Toader Paleologu, the former Culture Minister voiced his intention of running for PDL presidency at the end of last week and he is also due to launch candidacy today. Paleologu was among the Democrat-Liberals who returned a blank vote on March 5 in the vote on proposed modifications to the party statute. Paleologu admits, nevertheless, that the motion on which he is going to run, “Looking towards the Future”, has slim chances to pass, explaining, however, that, by his candidacy, he wishes to defuse the tension. “I haven’t got a killer’s instinct in politics. I wish to defuse the tension and I am sure I will manage. I got into this precisely because I am not greedy for power. The chances that my motion should win are very slim,” Paleologu stated, quoted by Realitatea.net. The deputy argued that his urge to join the race also sprang from a desire to take advantage of the derogation from the condition regarding one’s time in the party, obtained by the Macovei-Preda-Voinescu wing.
Reformers will not run for party presidency
In an interview to Mediafax, the MEP Cristian Preda, a representative of the reformist camp in PDL, argues that the initiators of the recently-launched platform to make PDL “a modern people’s party” have failed to obtain the 35 signatures needed to file a motion in the internal elections. “We don’t have 35 signatures. Based on reactions we received, there isn’t a potential for this. I regret it is so,” Preda said, adding that, at present, he was “marginalised” in the party, which is why he would not run, but would read all the motions filed and would avoid polemics with all the camps. “I will abide by this, at whatever cost, I will always be ‘contre courant’ and I will place my bets on moderation (…) I do not wish to join the 70 pc-list, just because others are there,” Preda stated. Unlike him, his colleague, the deputy Sever Voinescu, argued he would run for an office in the party’s National Political Bureau, adding he was more interested in being a member of the team and “less interested in what it says on the T-shirt.”