POLITICS

USL presidential and premiership candidates to be announced on April 7

The local candidates will be made public March 19. Antonescu and Ponta at odds over PDL cooperation ban.

Representatives of the Social-Liberal Union (USL) are putting the finishing touches to the Union candidate lists in view of the upcoming local elections. Despite the original list announcement deadline being set for March 15, the target date was moved back to early next week, March 19 namely. The announcement was made by Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Victor Ponta while in Craiova yesterday. The Social-Democrats made the point that on April 7, “in an unprecedented event for the Romanian politics”, two major decisions will be reached at the end of the extraordinary congresses of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), National Liberal Party (PNL) and Conservative Party (PC). One regards the participation on joint lists of the USL in the local, parliamentary and presidential elections, the other, to a non-cooperation pact with both the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) and Traian Basescu. Furthermore, Ponta said that all the USL candidates in the legislative elections must sign a blank resignation so that they will lose their senator or deputy seat if they join another political grouping once they were elected.In his turn, National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu said that the names of the USL joint presidential and premiership candidates will be formally announced on April 7. However, Antonescu said the party of which he is a president won’t include in its statute the PDL cooperation ban provision, a stand at odds with Victor Ponta’s view on the issue. “We won’t introduce such article, there’s no need for it. The PNL is credible enough and, in this respect, there hasn’t been a single attempt at cooperation with Traian Basescu and the PDL after it left the Tariceanu Government in 2007,” the Liberal said. Antonescu explained that such ban had already been in place in the USL setup statute, “in some form”. “It would be a mistake for anybody, and I think no political analyst would do it, to believe that what the PNL and the PSD are signing in an electoral year is meant to last beyond the elections,” PDL spokesman Sever Voinescu said in his turn.The PNL President reiterated that there are tensions within USL over the designation of local elections candidates, however he pointed out that negotiations over important issues are over: “They are set, agreed upon, accepted by all three parties, after talks, after competition, after thinking it over and rethinking it over.” According to HotNews, dissensions over the nomination of eligible candidates continue within USL, particularly between Liberals and Conservatives in Buzau, Dambovita, Neamt, Suceava and Botosani counties. Negotiations between the three parties that form USL are not over yet. In Bucharest the leaders of USL vie over District 6. In what concerns Centre-Right Alliance (ACD) candidates, Crin Antonescu stated that “things are very clear,” the candidates being mutually accepted by the two parties. The ACD is made up of PNL and PC.

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