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May 19, 2022

Lazaroiu: Ponta turned from Che Guevara into puppy

Ex-presidential aide Sebastian Lazaroiu criticizes Social-Democrat Party (PSD) president Victor Ponta, whom he calls “a weak leader”, “a puppet” who “fails to draw votes”.

“He was feared and active at the helm of the Social-Democrat Youth (TSD). He had managed to inspire the youth and to scare the senior members. Then, Ponta turned from a Che Guevara-figure into a puppy. If Ponta sometimes seems to assert his independence from the old guard, this is merely because they loosened the leash, but he’s still on a leash,” Lazaroiu claims, in an interview published yesterday by “Evenimentul Zilei” (EVZ).

In the latter’s opinion, Ponta is still reliant on Adrian Nastase. As regards the fate of PSD, the Labour Minister argues this was once “a great party” which crumbled, however, “under its own weight”. “It didn’t know how to take advantage of its time in the opposition. It failed to do a proper cleaning, and they’ve got the same local barons. (…) Nastase and Iliescu are still the party leaders,” he argued. The National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu was not spared from Lazaroiu’s critical remarks either. “Out of a 30 days’ campaign, he can barely bear seven. This is how he’s made. His colleagues know this too,” the ex-presidential aide stated, commenting on the possibility that Antonescu should run once again for president in the 2012 race.

As regards the fate of the Social Liberal Union (USL), Sebastian Lazaroiu abides by the claim this will dissolve, most likely after the 2012 elections, he argues, before the parliamentary elections: “In the parliamentary elections, the question is whether USL will be featured on the ballot or not. In my opinion, it won’t. They set themselves a target that cannot be met – not just by them, by anyone in Romania – obtaining 51 pc of the votes. They will probably stay together until the local elections.”

In this context, he added that the results of the partial elections in Neamt and Maramures counties confirmed his theory that “no party or alliance can secure 50 pc plus one at a national level”. “This is what happens when you leave two great parties in the hands of children,” he argued, commenting on the fact that USL was unable to win more than 45 pc of votes even in colleges “favourable” to the Union (e.n. which belonged to PSD and PNL). On the other hand, the official hinted that Democrat-Liberals would agree to form an alliance with PNL after next year’s parliamentary elections: “Naturally, PSD understands that, after they deserted the government, in 2009, irresponsibly, at a difficult time, for the sake of the presidential race, the president (…) can no longer trust them with the executive reins. I fail to understand, however, the Liberals’ masochism. They are kept prisoners in USL by PSD. In other words, it’s something like – if we’re in the opposition, why shouldn’t you be here with us?”

On the other hand, Lazaroiu reiterated the idea of forming a new centre-right political party before next year’s elections, the so-called “Snow White”.

“In the present context, Romania has to start from scratch, as if nothing had existed. Regionalization is one of the major projects which will be included in this plan. (…) A new institutional order. And someone will have to coordinate this movement. A new leader,” Lazaroiu argued, hinting he may be the leader in question.

The former presidential aide also referred, in the aforementioned interview, to president Basescu’s suspension in 2007. On this topic, he mentioned he had anticipated the “score” of the president’s comeback: 75/25.

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