The National Steering College of the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) convened at the Parliament Palace yesterday afternoon to decide on the organisation of the extraordinary National Convention that should elect new leaders, following the resignation of the entire Democrat Liberal leadership Thursday night. President Emil Boc said he wasn’t going to stand for election as president of the party and that he would focus on his newly won mayoral office of Cluj-Napoca. The Democrat Liberals met behind closed doors, far from the eyes and ears of the press. No press conference had taken place to announce the decisions of the College before this issue went to print. Anyway, it seems that the PDL leaders discussed, yesterday morning, the several options for organising the Convention, many of them pleading that it should happen as soon as possible, meaning in two weeks’ time. Other said it should be held after two months and a third group of Democrat Liberals including many local leaders say it should happen in the autumn, according to party sources quoted by Mediafax. The leader of the Democrat Liberals, Emil Boc, said on Thursday that in the upcoming period PDL would only have a transitional leading body until the new leadership is elected, but stressed that a date should be agreed for the extraordinary National Convention to legitimise a new leadership of the party, because the interim leaders could not stay in office until the parliamentary election. Boc said, on Friday, that the austerity measures taken by the Liberal Democrat government had not been the only causes for the defeat suffered by the party in the local election, since he was a demonstration of the fact that one could wing with the party logo, with the colour orange and not in an alliance.
As for PDL’s results in the local election, Boc pointed out they were only two per cent below the anticipated 25 per cent and said that PDL had always found ‘the strength and capacity to mobilise itself at the most difficult moments’.One thing is for certain as far as Boc is concerned: resignations by the county organisation leaders with poor electoral results are not excluded. He added that they would be anyway ‘swept off’ by the new leadership of the party.
Blaga – favourite, Ungureanu variant – not very fancied
The biggest chance to take over as president is with Senate Speaker Vasile Blaga, who sought the presidential position in PDL before, but was defeated by Emil Boc. When asked, Thursday night, if he excluded a candidacy for president of the party, Blaga answered: ‘not by a long shot’. Mediafax had previously quoted party sources as saying that Blaga told the Steering College that he would not like to run fro any position in PDL. Referring to Blaga’s possible candidacy, Emil Boc said ‘anyone was welcome to submit their candidacy and the party will decide who is best.’ The leader of PDL MPs in the lower chamber, Mircea Toader, said he would support Blaga for president of PDL if he ran, and said he might also run for vice president or executive secretary in the future leadership. Many branch leaders across the country have expressed confidence that Blaga had the strength and experience for rebuilding PDL. Others, on the other hand, avoided naming the person they deemed suitable for leading the party, limiting their statements to the fact that they would need someone strong, capable of keeping the party united. For example, the leader of PDL Iasi, Senator Dumitru Oprea, said that most people in the party were mentioning the return of Blaga as head of PDL, but noted that a new congress should be organised after the parliamentary election in the autumn. PDL Senator Radu F. Alexandru told Mediafax on Friday that it seemed natural to him that Blaga should stand for election as president of PDL, saying that he would support him and that he hoped he would react as ‘a bulldog and bite anyone who does not belong in the party leadership’.So far, no PDL leader or member has manifested an open intention to run for the supreme position in the party, but just for other offices. Senator Mihai Stanisoara told a Drobeta Turnu Severin TV channel yesterday that he was going to run for a leading office, stressing that Vasile Blaga could be an option, as he had all the strengths’, but excluding the possibility that Mihai Razvan Ungureanu might become the president of the Democrat Liberals. The President of the PDL Women Organisation, Sulfina Barbu, also said she was considering running for vice president on the future National Political Bureau of PDL and added that their new president should be ‘someone who has been validated in the local election’. PDL Senator Traian Igas on the other hand pointed out that he had not made up his mind about running or not for a seat on the new PDL leading body, but noted that a centre-right organisation was needed where, apart from PDL, there should also be other right-wing people such as Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. Asked about the Ungureanu variant, resigning PDL president Emil Boc said he was not PDL’s opponent. MEP Cristian Preda, someone who hasn’t been exactly on the best terms with the PDL leaders, said that the party had never been in such a severe crisis and that it needs a genuine political project. He warned that ‘time has become impatient with PDL and Traian Basescu’.