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June 28, 2022

PDL unanimously supports Vasile Blaga as Senate Speaker

Ruling coalition members are meeting today to pick the formal candidate for the second highest position in the state, with a vote in the Senate plenum reportedly expected later in the day.

By    Daniela Baragan

The battle for Senate leadership could spark dissensions among the ruling government coalition, as the position is coveted not only by the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) but also by the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR).

Democrat-Liberals have already agreed on their nominee for the job. Although they are yet to make a formal announcement in this respect, they unanimously lent their support to Vasile Blaga, although former transport minister Radu Berceanu too is “on the cards”. “Whether it’s Mr. Blaga or Mr. Berceanu, they are able to rise to the challenge of the second highest position in the state. It is up to the coalition decision to reach a relevant decision,” Mediafax quoted PDL Vice-President Elena Udrea as saying, a view also shared by Democrat-Liberal Deputy Cezar Preda.

Furthermore, Preda maintains that “PDL will succeed in imposing its viewpoint in the coalition,” so that a Democrat-Liberal would hold the Senate Speaker position. “With all due respect to the other colleagues of mine, I believe that Vasile Blaga, along with Roberta Anastase and Emil Boc, will succeed in imposing a very rigorous austerity programme for Romania. I hope this coalition will put forth a single candidate,” the Democrat-Liberal said.

Raluca Turcan too doesn’t appear inclined to leave the Senate Speaker position in the hands of junior coalition partners UDMR or UNPR. Moreover, she considers it would be a “mistake for the ruling coalition to have two or several candidates, if willing to get the Senate Speaker post. “It is out of question for the ruling to have two or more candidates, if it’s willing to get the top position in the Senate,” PDL General Secretary Ioan Oltean said in his turn. According to cotidianul.ro, UNPR could launch Cristian Diaconescu, Senate deputy speaker and honourary president of UNPR, in the race.

We remind our readers that the UDMR has so far mentioned Gyorgy Frunda and Marko Bela as likely aspirants for the job, while the Social-Democrat Party (PSD) places its bet on Titus Corlatean, chairman of the Senate foreign policy Commission.

Geoana wants to set up registered party and Parliament groups by 2012

Freshly stripped of  his Senate Speaker post, Mircea Geoana is planning his political future, with Mediafax quoting political sources as saying the former PSD leader is contemplating setting up a party to get registered in Court in the first part of 2012, with own legislative groups by March of next year. The sources said Geoana is hopeful that 20-25 MPs will joint the new grouping, which is more than enough given the threshold calls for seven senators and 12 deputies for a party to have its own representatives in Parliament. Four to five chairmen of county councils could join in.

PSD honourary president Ion Iliescu said he considers the “Geoana chapter” closed, adding he would be surprised for Social-Democrats to join the forthcoming grouping. “Geoana deludes himself into believing people will follow him. I rather doubt that,” Iliescu said.

Meanwhile, it was reported that anticorruption prosecutors are investigating how Geoana’s presidential campaign was financed in 2009. According to prosecutors, the head of Braila County Council Gheorghe Bunea and the head of InterAgro company Ioan Niculae are probed for raising campaign funds illegally, in order to obtain various advantages in case Geoana had won the election, ‘Romania libera’ said.

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