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April 1, 2023

Alliance with Gigi Becali in Bucharest upsets part of Democrat-Liberals

Co-opting Gigi Becali as PDL’s local elections partner in Bucharest is giving rise to different opinions among Democrat-Liberals. And that is because the leader of the New Generation Party (PNG) has put the wrong leg foremost in this possible alliance by making offensive statements about PDL leaders that are part of the party’s new guard, leaders such as Cristian Preda and Toader Paleologu. Becali stated that he is willing to support PDL’s candidate for the Bucharest City Hall provided that candidate will not be Preda or Paleologu. “Indeed, we reached an agreement and we will move on jointly, but if it’s Preda I’ll go home immediately. What, I’m supposed to back a losing horse? What is Preda supposed to win? Preda will score 2 per cent, Oprescu will score 98 per cent. If he even scores 2 per cent…” Becali stated about MEP Preda. MEP Becali continued making statements on the same tone. “In a battle neither Paleologu nor Cristian Preda can score a jot of what I can. (…) What need is there for Paleologu? They should tell him “kid, go read two or three books, come on TV and speak with a burr for as long as you want,” Becali said.The Democrat-Liberals that are part of the party’s new guard immediately came to Paleologu’s and Preda’s defence, criticizing Becali’s statements. PDL MEP Monica Macovei stated ahead of PDL’s Permanent National Bureau meeting that “Gigi Becali should shut up,” while MP Sulfina Barbu considers that the PNG President should apologize because that is not a way of collaborating with PDL. “I felt great discomfort when I saw how he ventures to offend my colleagues. I believe each of us has his place in politics,” Barbu stated, being quoted by Mediafax. Cristian Preda pointed out that “Silence would be Gigi Becali’s only positive contribution to Romanian politics,” because he “speaks nonsense.” “It is regrettable he wants to make his mark in politics after he destroyed Steaua,” Preda stated, adding that PDL and PNG have no agreement on local elections. Nevertheless, PDL Bucharest President Elena Udrea contradicted that allegation, stating that she talked with the PNG leader about a possible agreement on supporting PDL’s candidates in local elections, not about co-opting him in the much-discussed Popular Statement as mentioned in the press. “In Bucharest we talked not about the Popular Movement but about a possible agreement for the local elections, for supporting PDL’s candidates,” Udrea stated. She also explained why Becali was approached. According to Udrea, PDL and PNG have formed a majority within Bucharest’s General Council (CGMB) for the past four years and PNG has backed PDL within CGMB during all that time. “The talks concern Bucharest alone and we will see their results in the future,” Udrea concluded. What is certain is that PDL wants to be supported by as many satellite parties as possible, considering that opinion polls show current Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu is bound to win another term in office. Also yesterday Elena Udrea admitted that she would like for “all parties that do not back Sorin Oprescu to back PDL’s candidate.” As proof, she stated that an alliance with UNPR is foreshadowed not just in Bucharest, but at the level of every branch in the country. “I’m convinced the alliance with UNPR will be at local level, at the level of each branch. (…) Of course we will have a partnership on whose basis we will mutually support our candidates, and we will have this alliance in Bucharest,” Udrea stated. The creation of the Popular Movement, an ampler project that PDL has as an electoral strategy this year, is uncertain prior to local elections. Speaker of the Senate Vasile Blaga stated yesterday that he is not convinced the Popular Movement will be created prior to local elections, pointing out that the party will take a decision based on the analyses it has ordered. In his turn, Adriean Videanu, former PDL First Vice President and Economy Minister stated that “it is insufficient for the Movement to be only an alliance of parties.” “If PDL, through the Popular Movement or without the Popular Movement, fails to create those internal structures that would have a permanent dialogue with society as a whole it will be doing a big mistake,” Videanu stated in an interview for ‘Evenimentul Zilei.’

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