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August 3, 2021

Opposition holds majority in the Senate, as PDL MP joins PNL ranks

PDL loses ground to USL. Yesterday, democrat-liberal Senator Mihaela Popa, representing the Iasi County, left the ruling party. This leaves the ruling coalition with just 65 senators, while the Opposition has 67.

The expected reversal of the situation in the Senate finally occurred yesterday, when PDL Senator Mihaela Popa resigned and joined the USL. What was initially only a rumour got eventually confirmed by Popa herself – a former vice-president of PDL. In a press conference held at Iasi and attended by PNL vice-presidents Sorin Frunzaverde and Relu Fenechiu, she explained that the main reason for her decision is “the lack of a democratic exercise” within PDL. “Life is a succession of crossroads. One might take another road, while still keeping the final destination. My political destination is democracy. (…) One cannot build democracy in Romania without a democratic exercise inside the party. Unfortunately, by staying in attention forever, this was something impossible to accept or to see people placed under remand and then released because they are innocent. People make the parties, rather than the other way around,” Popa said, quoted by Mediafax. The senator affirmed her intention to join PNL Iasi – “a team that was consolidated in time.” In his turn, PNL vice-president Relu Fenechiu said that he spoke with Crin Antonescu about supporting Mihaela Popa for the European Parliament. In fact, Fenechiu added that ever since 2006 he invited Mihaela Popa to join PNL, but she turned him down “due to dignity.”“It’s official. As of today USL has the majority in the Senate. With Mihaela Popa resigning from PDL and joining the Liberals, USL has 67 senators and PDL 65. The golden votes of some independent (senators) have only a marginal importance, if any,” PSD Senator Georgica Severin said.Mihaela Popa was not alone to switch camps. Also yesterday, Veronica Diaconu, the mayor of the Gorgota commune, Prahova County, announced that she joined PNL and will run for a new term in office on behalf of USL. The announcement came just weeks after PDL introduced Diaconu as its own candidate for the local elections of June 10. Diaconu explained that she decided to join PNL because the inhabitants of the commune asked her to quit PDL and said that they want her as mayor, but they don’t want to vote the major ruling party.

Boc: It is good for PDL to cleanse itself of opportunists

Speaking about Mihaela Popa’s decision to join PNL, PDL President Emil Boc said yesterday that “it is good for PDL to cleanse itself of opportunists,” because the Democrat-Liberals will enter the elections “with their authentic body” and will win. On the other hand, the leader of PDL’s women organisation, Sulfina Barbu declared herself “unpleasantly surprised” by the decision of Senator Mihaela Popa to switch camps to PNL, saying that “generally speaking, those who betray are still called traitors.” The PDL secretary general Ioan Oltean too was disappointed with the departure of Mihaela Popa, whom he considers as “the spoiled kid of the party,” saying that she had no reason to leave, because she was offered everything. “Those who leave will always be strangers where they go,” he warned.PDL vice-president Traian Igas commented the decision of Mihaela Popa to move from PDL to PNL by saying: “Any member of the Parliament that leaves the party can be considered as a loss.” However, he did not rule out the hypothesis of PDL and Popa meeting once again, at some moment, “in a new right-wing structure.” More optimistic, Raluca Turcan – an influential member of PDL – said that “the haemorrhage of departures from PDL will stop” and losing the majority in the Senate forces PDL to pragmatism and vision. In the same context, she added that the Democrat-Liberals are growing more dependent from the political project of PM Ungureanu.

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