According to an opinion poll conducted by IMAS in February for ‘Adevarul’ daily, 76.1 per cent of respondents have confidence in Raed Arafat, this being the highest popularity level ever registered in IMAS polls in the last two years. He was followed by another person not involved in politics – King Michael (28.8 per cent). Nevertheless, 75.4 per cent of respondents want Romania to remain a republic, and only 14.4 per cent are in favor of monarchy. PSD leader Victor Ponta was third, with 23.7 per cent, followed by PNL leader Crin Antonescu (23.3 per cent). The two leaders of the Social-Liberal Union are followed by Premier Mihai Razvan Ungureanu (22.3 per cent). The latter seems to be the only ruling power representative that still enjoys a modicum of popularity. Only 13.3 per cent of respondents have confidence in government, while other PDL leaders score very low in the poll: Emil Boc – 10.4 per cent; Theodor Stolojan – 9.5 per cent; Elena Udrea – 6.2 per cent; Roberta Anastase – 3.7 per cent; President Basescu – 8.9 per cent. The authors of the poll state that Arafat’s popularity is not a surprise, having been confirmed for the first time in January when his sacking led to street protests. It is rumored that PDL itself would like to take advantage of Arafat’s popularity and to try to persuade him to run for the City Hall, considering that for the time being the Democrat-Liberals lack a strong candidate for this sought-after office. PDL Bucharest President Elena Udrea made the first hint, stating that she is certain that Raed Arafat could win the race for the City Hall were he to run in it. However, Arafat has repeatedly turned down the idea of entering politics or of running for a public office. “I’ve said it and I’ll repeat it, I’m not interested in entering politics, not now and not in the future,” Arafat said.Macovei, Prigoana and Videanu in internal polls for Bucharest
Meanwhile, PDL Bucharest is still looking for its ideal candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, the branch led by Elena Udrea conducting an opinion poll in order to establish the candidate’s profile. Monica Macovei, Silviu Prigoana and Adriean Videanu were included in the poll, political sources stated for Mediafax. The sources revealed that another poll was conducted last autumn, one that also included Elena Udrea, Liviu Negoita, Cristian Preda and Teodor Paleologu, however they were no longer included in the new poll.