PDL holds special meeting amidst massive defection wave

PDL leaders met for the third time this week yesterday in a difficult context marked by the loss of several local leaders and MPs.

First Vice-President Roberta Anastase announced the meeting saying there was nothing exceptional about it. ‘We will discuss the elections. It’s just a meeting, nothing exceptional,’ said Anastase. But the meeting took place after another PDL MP, Gheorghe Ciobanu (photo), had announced his resignation from PDL and move to PNL yesterday, by that enlarging the list of desertions that have taken place in the last few days. Ciobanu was deputy leader of the PDL fraction in the Chamber of Deputies.Vasile Blaga, head of PDL’s elections campaign, announced yesterday after the BPN meeting that the party has signed electoral alliances with other parties (PER, PNTCD, UNPR, Roma’s Party) in 14 counties. PDL will present its local elections offer on April 21, within the Palace Hall where over 5,000 members are expected in the attendance. “I trust PDL will consolidate its position as the main party on the political stage. We want to conquer back the mayoralties lost in 2008 and to win some mayoralties within PSD and PNL fiefdoms,” Blaga stated. He added that the resignation of Timis County MP Gheorghe Ciobanu did not surprise him, considering that he knew about it ever since Sorin Frunzaverde left. Blaga claims that he did not take part in any meeting with President Basescu at the PDL headquarters. On the other hand, he assured that no significant departures of Democrat-Liberal members would happen, adding that ‘inversed departures,’ from USL, would be seen ‘in the coming few days’. He refused to give the names or positions of the people he claimed would defect from the opposition.About the PDL members having recently joined USL, PNL Vice-President Varujan Vosganian said, yesterday, that they were ‘filling the Swiss cheese eyes’ where USL had no credible candidates, also raising the moral of its ‘troops’.  Thirty-eight Caras-Severin mayors have followed Sorin Frunzaverde in PNL and 20 Neamt County mayors have also joined the president of the county Council who had also defected to USL. The PDL meeting yesterday also happened in the context of warnings made by President Basescu to the Democrat-Liberal leaders at a meeting taking place at the Modrogan headquarters Monday night. Mediafax quotes Democrat-Liberal sources as saying that Basescu warned the PDL leaders that, unless the party obtained at least half plus one of USL’s score, it would go in the opposition. The sources also say the meeting between the president and PDL heads was set to agree on PDL’s targets in the November parliamentary election. The president told them he would apply the Constitution on the formation of the Government ad literam: he will invite parties, not alliances to talks in the matter. Basescu said that he would have in view the party with the best score. Regarding the decision the PDL BPN made on Monday, expelling MEP Cristian Preda, formerly the president’s adviser, from the party, Basescu reportedly asked: ‘Are you going to sack them all?’  Berceanu: I’m not running  PDL Dolj leader, Senator Radu Berceanu, said in Craiova, on Tuesday, that he would not stand for election as an MP and that he would also resign as president of the Dolj party organisation before the end of the year. ‘At the end of this year and of this term I will celebrate 23 years in Parliament and I believe it is quite enough. The Parliament also needs young people and I think it’s not a good idea to still be in Parliament when you no longer quite know what’s going on there,’ Mediafax quotes Berceanu as saying. He said he intended to quit ‘top politics’, but that he would never leave PDL to join another party. Berceanu actually criticised former First Vice-President of his party, Sorin Frunzaverde, calling him ‘a traitor’, being of the opinion that ‘USL has been double-crossed big time’, because its former candidate would have had a much better chance of winning the office of county council president than Frunzaverde does.

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