Politicians counterattack

Commenting on what Basescu said, Cezar Preda told Mediafax yesterday that it was “sad and painful” but “not serious.” “It would be serious if I disappointed my wife, parents, in-laws, friends or those who voted for me. In like one has to do what one must, and say what one wants to say. (…) This must have disappointed Basescu, but I don’t know for sure, you have to ask him,” Preda said.

When asked what the future head of state should be, Basescu said his predecessor would be someone who “is not in the first lines” now and that Romanians will probably want someone with “cultural weight” who seems to be open-minded. The people will not want a player president such as himself or a tolerant one like Iliescu, Basescu said. He said he had a list of a few names appropriate for the position, but did not want to give any more details.

The president’s comments about constitutional review and opposition leaders drew a harsh rebuke from Iliescu yesterday. The former head of state said it was “totally inappropriate” for Basescu to condition passage of the constitutional revision plan on his giving up part of his presidential term. Iliescu underlined that Basescu “could be forced to give up his term even if he does not want to.”

He added that the president has “an improper understanding of things” when saying USL wants to join the government. “USL cannot plan to join the government and it’s not the president who decides such things. This comes from the power ratio in Parliament,” Iliescu said. As for the comment that Nastase is more appropriate for PSD than Ponta, Iliescu said the president cannot “select what people he likes or not in a party. He admitted however that Ponta does not yet have Nastase’s experience in political matters.

Moreover, Iliescu criticised Basescu for refusing to retract his comments about King Mihai. He also said the current president cannot be a “factor of dialogue” given that he cannot even have proper dialogue with UDMR.

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