Conservatives yesterday decided to run in the local elections on their own and say the announcement about supporting Oprescu is just an intention.
Victor Ponta and Crin Antonescu announced yesterday, in a joint press conference, their common support for Bucharest General Mayor Sorin Oprescu to run in next year’s local elections, as independent candidate, for a new term in office. The conference was not attended by Daniel Constantin, the leader of the third party of the USL alliance – the Conservative Party (PC) – as the Conservatives decided to run the elections on their own, and to support acting District 4 Mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone for the position of General Mayor of Bucharest.
“I announce our intention to build this partnership for Bucharest and Bucharesters, together with the acting general mayor and – I am convinced – the next general mayor, Sorin Oprescu,” Victor Ponta said in the opening address. He added that he wanted to make this announcement also in order “to stop all speculations, discussions about who is better and nicer, where we should – or should not – put the logo.” According to Ponta, Bucharest could be “a model of success for the whole country, giving a signal for unity meant to serve the citizen, rather than to meet political goals.” “I want to believe that the next General Council will work jointly with the mayor, as in too many occasions general councils worked against him,” said the Social-Democratic leader, also referring to the years 2000-2004, when Traian Basescu was mayor.
In his turn, PNL President Crin Antonescu insisted on denying the rumours about the Liberals’ reluctance to support Oprescu for General Mayor. “I received a unanimous mandate from all the Liberal organisations of Bucharest, and from all the members of the National Political Bureau, to grant full political support to Oprescu,” he stated. In its turn, the PNL local organisation of Bucharest proved it fully agrees to the move, as it hailed yesterday the support granted by USL to the acting general mayor.
Sorin Oprescu stated, in turn, that a “moral” partnership was working between him and USL, to be followed at some point by a formal, written partnership, which would include clearly-stated targets. “It is a tripartite partnership, including Oprescu, the people of Bucharest and USL. The partnership with USL is a moral one and it is not the label, but the team, that matters,” Oprescu stated, quoted by Mediafax. He said that he would back USL candidates, ranging from district mayors to district council members, but would not get involved in nominating candidates for district mayors or for Bucharest’s General Council (CGMB). “I won’t meddle in the nomination of candidates, USL will nominate its own candidates, everybody is doing their own thing,” Oprescu stated. He added that, as far he knew, the Conservative Party was backing him. “At no point was I led to believe PC is not backing me. However, the party is made up of people, everyone has their own opinion. I have no reason to believe they are against me,” the general mayor of Bucharest stated.
In the opposing camp, the Democrat-Liberals seem to have anticipated such a partnership between Oprescu, on the one hand, and the Social-Democrats and Liberals, on the other. The spokesman for the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) Sever Voinescu said, yesterday, it came as no surprise for PDL that Sorin Oprescu would be running for Bucharest Mayor’s Office with USL’s backing, arguing that the party had taken into consideration such a scenario. He said that the PDL Bucharest organization was currently seeking the best electoral formula, adding that quite a number of his colleagues were keen to run for this office. “The PDL Bucharest organization would decide on the best candidate,” Voinescu said.
PC is running on its own in local elections
Soon after Ponta, Antonescu and Oprescu announced their partnership for Bucharest, the Conservatives, who are part of USL, having joined the Liberals in forming the Centre-Right Alliance (ACD), publicly announced they would be running on their own in the countrywide local elections. The PC leader Daniel Constantin stated, in a press conference, that his party would be running on its own in the 2012 local elections, for mayor’s and alderman’s offices, with the exceptions already negotiated within USL. However, PC will be running jointly with the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and PNL in the parliamentary elections. Constantin further stated that the announcement concerning USL’s backing Sorin Oprescu in the race for Bucharest Mayor’s Office was merely an ‘intention’ voiced by Victor Ponta, rather than an official decision of USL, as the proposal had not been discussed and adopted at Union level, as required by protocol. He added that Crin Antonescu could not sign either any decision on behalf of ACD without consulting PC. Constantin reiterated in fact that PC saw more fit to back Cristian Popescu ‘Piedone’ for Bucharest Mayor’s Office.