POLITICS

Crin Antonescu calls on UDMR to quit government

In return, PNL president guarantees UDMR’s presence in a new government next to USL until 2016. President Kelemen Hunor replies that UDMR’s defecting from the ruling coalition is not an option for now.

PNL President Crin Antonescu said in Mamaia on Saturday that USL was ready to guarantee UDMR’s access to the government until 2016 if, in September, the Union refuses to ‘endorse’ a ‘disastrous’ administration. According to Mediafax, Antonescu said that was his personal opinion and that, if UDMR cannot understand that it is ‘endorsing and is an accessory to a disastrous administration’, USL is no longer interested in governing alongside the Union. ‘In that situation, as far as we are concerned, we will need to say goodbye to the hypothesis that, with the last strength, I hope, the PDL and Basescu’s debauchery ahead of schedule’, he continued.

UDMR President Kelemen Hunor told the press at the Targu Mures Peninsula festival on Saturday that the Union’s defecting from the government was out of question for the moment and refused to comment in PNL leader Crin Antonescu’s statements. PDL MEP Cristian Preda said, in a blog post, that Antonescu’s offer to UDMR was an indication of the fact that USL feels it cannot win elections.

USL, the victorious alternative

After the meeting of the Standing Delegation in Mamaia, Crin Antonescu also said that all assessments showed that no county branch leader doubted the fact that USL was the victorious alternative. ‘No attempt by the power to divide us, to make us doubt USL and its success doesn’t stand a chance,’ said Antonescu. He pointed out that, the following week, USL parties would convene their statutory fora to ratify the results of negotiations over the common candidates. At the same time, Antonescu noted that the Standing Delegation had decided to resume ‘at full speed’ the PNL and USL project for the reduction of the number of MPs and would further support the principle of the uncompensated plurality voting system also for the parliamentary election.

Attending the PNL Central Political Bureau meeting held in Mamaia on Friday, PSD President Victor Ponta assured the Liberal leaders that, apart from the debates going on in each different county, the idea of a parity of PDL-ACD candidacies was still valid. After the meeting, he said in front of the press that he had asked the Liberal candidates for county councils representing USL to treat the PSD mayors with attention, care and respect, because they are supposed to obtain votes for them.

PSD and PNL will be opponents in 2016 if PDL disappears

On Saturday, during the Summer School of the Liberal youth in Mamaia, Antonescu said that PNL and PSD would be political opponents in 2016, as their shared objective was the ‘disappearance’ of PDL. Antonescu said the strategy he had in mind when accepting the alliance with PSD was PDL’s disappearance. ‘The PNL target for this electoral cycle is not to be the first party in numerical terms. (…) The first thing I had in mind when we started USL was not who would have the PM or who would have the president or other bear skins still running free in the woods, but simply what we could do to cleanse this infection which is PDL from the Romanian stage,’ the liberal president said.

Antonescu, ready to call Congress in extraordinary session

At the beginning of the meeting on Saturday, PNL President Crin Antonescu asked the members of the Standing Delegation if they wanted to put on the agenda the proposal to call the Congress in extraordinary session, stressing that he was not joking. The meeting, however, did not make a decision. After the meeting, he said he had not joked when he mentioned an extraordinary Congress. Antonescu said he would ask the question during every meeting of the Standing Delegation, the only forum of the party that is empowered to convene the Congress. He noted that any differences or tensed situations are always dealt with among the Liberals. ‘No one has done or will do anything that could give hope to Mr. Basescu or to other people that PNL could break apart and pone little piece would go to see him at Cotroceni when the night falls or see his advisers if he is with his wife and therefore unavailable,’ said the PNL president.

The media has published information lately to suggest that there are voiced or even groups in PNL who are annoyed by the alliance with PSD and Antonescu’s leadership style.

Oprescu supported only if he takes on USL’s logo

Crin Antonescu also said on Saturday that USL would not back Sorin Oprescu’s candidacy for a new term as mayor of Bucharest unless he takes on USL’s logo politically. On the other hand, he said the Union would oppose Oprescu’s independent candidacy without being a member of either PSD or PNL. According to him, Oprescu had not conditioned his candidacy supported by USL to the names of the candidates the Union would nominate in the election of sector mayors or city councillors.

PNL agrees to simultaneous elections only if parliamentary election is brought closer

At the week-end, PNL president nuanced his position on PDL’s idea of holding simultaneous local and parliamentary elections. He said his party would only accept a debate on that if the parliamentary election if moved closer in time because PNL opposes the deferral of the local election. He said the ‘mixing’ of the election of the mayor with the election of local councillors or MPs would not be a democratic advantage for the Romanian voter. On the other hand, PM Emil Boc said on National Radio on Friday that simultaneous elections would translate into savings worth some EUR 30 M, which was the cost of the 2008 local election.

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