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July 2, 2022

No guarantee USL will win 2012 elections, social-democrat institute says

‘Ovidiu Sincai’ analysts warn social-liberal leaders about being likely to lose at the polls in case early elections were to be called.

By    Daniela Baragan

A study conducted this month by researchers at the “Ovidiu Sincai” Social-Democrat Institute, led by Adrian Nastase and Adrian Severin, and quoted by evz.ro, warns the leaders of the Social-Liberal Union (USL) that they could lose at the polls if early elections were to be called. The study – “Prospects in political year 2012 – an analysis Report” – starts from the notion that even if the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) is unable to win the 2012 elections, the USL is not guaranteed to win either, as opposition leaders have repeatedly said.

The document authors therefore accredit the notion that, in both the best and the worst-case scenario, it is still the ruling power headed by PM Emil Boc that would stand to gain. “With more EU money to go into Romania in 2012, such breaths of fresh air are likely to rehabilitate the credibility of the PDL-led government, which means the USL has the chance not to obtain the majority of mandates in the next legislative elections,” the study shows.

Furthermore, PSD analysts hold that 2012 is likely to witness the “first positive results of the austerity measures promoted by the Boc Government”. “No matter how distrusted this Government is, it should not be forgotten that its anti-crisis programmes were created together with experts at the National Bank of Romania (BNR), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU), which, short-term social suffering aside, bring macroeconomic stability in the medium term, from which growth could resume,” the report says.

Ponta and Antonescu, criticised

Document authors are rather sceptical about the USL leaders’ ability to forge a close relationship with the US of the kind President Traian Basescu appears to have done with the White House. “President Basescu has achieved a spectacular re-launching of Romanian-US relations, and full of consequences too, amid the Romanian opposition being slow to act. There is Washington support for Basescu’s political agenda,” the studio also states.

The more pro-Europe stance of the political discourse by the opposition is not considered to bring in more votes either. Unlike their American counterparts, European politicians are seen as less likely to get involved in supporting a particular Romanian candidate and, implicitly, electoral campaigns in Romania. “Romanian opposition leaders are still known too little and, therefore, all too little assimilated/accepted in the EU to qualify as a Romanian political alternative likely to cause an attitude change towards Romania.”

The ‘independent’ Geoana, national unity government and “down with Basescu” obsession

The study also circulates a status-quo hypothesis that would allow President Basescu to appoint an independent prime minister who could form a government of national unity. The name of the “independent” circulated by the study authors: Mircea Geoana, freshly excluded from the PSD.

In the authors’ view, the National Liberal Party (PNL), the PSD ally, should prove persuasive enough to show it has the ideas and the means necessary to re-launch the economy, as long as its most prestigious intellectuals able to come up with ideas and solutions are considered as either rallying with PDL, or selling out altogether.

The study also touches on  the turmoil in the PSD, “a party that goes through a generational change” and the PNL, “the only stable party as we speak, as there are no vocal factions to contest Crin Antonescu,” a party which, however, does not rise to the level of the PSD, given its lacking the consolidated basis of the Social-Democrats. The report also recommends that the USL consolidate voter trust, proving it truly is an alternative to the ruling coalition, and not get stuck with the “Down with Basescu” obsession confirmed by its latest political actions.

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