POLITICS

The president and the party leadership

Vasile Blaga and EmilBoc are on the teamthat promoted TraianBasescu to his presidentialoffice. While the former wasone of the artisans of the goodorganization of the electioncampaign, the latter was ensuringthe cohesion of a party thatwas the perfect replica of itsleader.Emil Boc built his politicalcareer as a faithful executor ofTraian Basescu’s policy. Notonly has he worked to make apolitical body always willing toserve its captain functionproperly, but he has also beenthe living example of how it ispossible for one to be totallyand completely compliantwith his opinions. He hasalways promoted like an echohaving the amplitude of awhole political body TraianBasescu’s decisions and personalambitions.

But he has done it with certainnaturalness, without the dissonanceof annoying servitude, asif the justness of the cause hadlegitimised the strategy. As ifTraian Basescu had been theonly winning card in the entireRomanian politics. From thatpoint of view, his role has beenquite important in this particularpolitical period. VasileBlaga, on the other hand,played a different part, one thatwas less of representation andmore of organisation in key-situations.He has always knownhow to empower the leaders ofall ranks in his party to endorsea certain system of governance,with its Democrat-Liberalspecificities. And here they arenow, both competing for thetop position in the party.There are several things atstake here. First of all, it is thepolitical future of the presidentof the country. Vasile Blaga hashinted that it was about timethe party took some distancefrom Traian Basescu. In not somany words, PDL should godown a more self-containedroad and leave behind the manwho has been its absolute sovereignin the last ten years.What the limits of such breakawaycould be is still to bedetermined surely by Blagahimself and his supporters. Thepresident has become quiteused to this system of decisiveand even unchallengeableauthority he has been using forso long now. What would it belike for him to be told ‘No’,something that has happenedso rarely that a leader evenbragged about being the onlyone who had ever found thatcourage? It is self-evident whythe president wants to keepEmil Boc at the top of theparty.

Most likely he also sees him atthe top of the Governmentfrom now on, as well, althoughhe had said he was waiting foran independent figure toreplace him. Traian Basescu haslaunched similar smoke curtainsmeant to mislead thepublic and the political communityalike and divert attentionfrom his real intentions inthe past. The effect is that hewins time in favour of hisplans.

The competition of the twoalso has an electoral importance.Who is best fit to leadthe party into the next election?Emil Boc is hindered bythe burden of an unpopularterm, but the presidential supportbecomes his propellingspring again. In fact, the competitionnow goes betweenTraian Basescu and VasileBlaga. And, even if diminished,the president still has someelectoral potential left, all themore so if just as a factor ofsupport.

Vasile Blaga can count more onthe chance of a rhetoric ofchange, which would enhancethe already pierced credit theparty enjoys. In addition, thefact that Blaga has the supportof some important figures inthe party is not something tobe neglected. His defeat wouldcreate a persistent tension inthe party, with consequencesthat will not necessarily be dramatic,but anyway serious forits further operation. Whatsurprises is that after a firstwave of enthusiasm aboutVasile Blaga’s candidacy, thePM has recuperated an unexpectedlylarge terrain, whichcan only mean that the president’sauthority is still valid, ofcourse in the context of a longexercised relation under theaura of ‘Zeus’ the omnipotent.

The breeze of absolution fromhis authority is still feeble.Actually, if Traian Basescudecided to rejoin his party aftercompleting his presidentialterm, Vasile Blaga would notgive him his place and wouldnot encourage his associationwith his private circle of leaderseither. On the other hand, thatis something Emil Boc wouldunconditionally do for him.

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