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June 23, 2021

Lazaroiu-Ponta retorts, reciprocal accusations

Lazaroiu: Ponta gave me Social-Democrats’ records in exchange for D.A. Alliance’s confidential polls. Lazaroiu takes journalists for fools, but he is wrong to rely on this when making all sorts of statements, as people are smarter than he thinks, the PSD leader replied.

By    Daniela Baragan

Sebastian Lazaroiu is stirring things on the political scene again. The ex-presidential aide confessed earlier this week, in a posting on his Facebook account, that he had given Victor Ponta (e.n. now the Social-Democrat Party leader) the confidential polls of the D.A. Alliance (ADA), which were forwarded to Adrian Nastase, in exchange for the Social-Democrats’ records, which Ponta held since the time he acted as the head of the Government’s Control Body.

The post titled most suggestively “A Time for Confessions” is, in fact, Lazaroiu’s reply to a posting Ponta made on Monday on his blog titled “The Mafia is free – Will Adrian Nastase be left to foot the bill?”. In this, Ponta argued that Traian Basescu had launched three “staple” ideas during the 2004 campaign: “Live in style”, “I’m laying it all on one card – the Constitution” and “I will have the corrupt impaled on wooden stakes in the Victoria Square”. Ponta points to the fact that at the time Basescu referred to “stakes” in the plural, while in December 2011 there seems to be only one head left “at stake” – Adrian Nastase’s.

“Those who have a good memory and common sense cannot but ask themselves – what happened to the others? To keep that promise, wouldn’t it make sense to have at least a few extra stakes, so it won’t be clear to one and all that you are in fact waging a personal war against a political opponent? (…) How about a tiny, fine stake for Mr. Sebastian Lazaroiu, the one who collaborated in drafting the PSD strategists’ discrete polls, who offered Adrian Nastase confidential information from the D.A. Alliance’s own backyard?,” Ponta wonders.

In response, Lazaroiu claimed the current PSD leader was in fact the “middleman” during that exchange: ADA’s confidential polls in exchange for the Social-Democrats’ “tainted” records. “Yes, I can admit it now, after all this time. And Mr. Victor Ponta knows it because he mediated it all. He was the middleman. In fact, it was an exchange of sorts. I would give him the D.A. Alliance’s confidential polls which were forwarded to Adrian Nastase. He gave me in exchange the records of all Social-Democrats involved in tainted businesses, which he held since the time he acted as the head of the control body. Many of these records were published by the papers at the time. Others are still kept hidden. This was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship between Mr. Ponta and me,” Lazaroiu argued.

Victor Ponta was quick to reply, though in a rather evasive manner. Thus, Ponta contented himself with saying that the ex-presidential aide’s statements on Facebook reflected his low opinion on journalists. “Lazaroiu takes journalists for fools, but he is wrong to rely on this when making all sorts of statements, as people are smarter than he thinks,” Ponta argued, quoted by Mediafax. Nevertheless, he refrained from making any explicit comment as to the truth of Lazaroiu’s allegations. On the other hand, Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) senior deputy president Gheorghe Flutur argued that Sebastian Lazaroiu “is backed by arguments” when claiming he had given Ponta ADA’s confidential polls in exchange for the Social-Democrats’ records. Flutur stated, however, he for one had no information concerning the situation reported by the ex-Labour Minister.

Nevertheless, his party colleague Senator Radu Berceanu argues that “there’s something very wrong” about the fact that Sebastian Lazaroiu was involved in “a barter” with Victor Ponta, qualifying it as a dishonourable action. “If you have access to polls which had been commissioned by one party, this doesn’t mean you can sell them to the other party or exchange them for other things,” Radu Berceanu concluded. On the other hand, PDL deputy president Sever Voinescu considers Lazaroiu’s statement was ironic. Finally, the PDL deputy Raluca Turcan claims Ponta “has a calling for betrayal” and argues Lazaroiu’s statements fully fit the profile.

On the other hand, the president of the National Liberal Party, Crin Antonescu, harshly criticized Lazaroiu, calling him “a puny parasite”.

“Was Mr. Lazaroiu a professional who was paid by the D.A. Alliance and peddled the goods behind the counter to the political opponent?  Go ahead and hire Mr. Lazaroiu to do your polling in the future! These informants are such imbeciles that they self-incriminate themselves. They know no limit (…),” Antonescu stated on Romania TV. “I wasn’t even aware of this guy’s existence. (…) In 2003 – 2004 he was a kind of Andronic, a puny parasite,” Antonescu added.

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