POLITICS

Low blows reach climax as referendum campaign enters last stretch

Traian Basescu and PDL, on the one hand, Victor Ponta, Crin Antonescu and USL, on the other hand, have not missed a second, public appearance or televised intervention without attacking each other as roughly as they could. Worried about a possible referendum fraud, suspended president Traian Basescu and his party on Saturday publicly demanded the deployment of video cameras to all polling stations for the referendum. Through Vice President Cristian Boureanu, PDL wants the closing of all additional polling stations illegally – it claims – set up after July 16, an expedited procurement of the anti-fraud software and the obligation for anyone voting on supplementary lists to sign an affidavit that they have not voted somewhere else already. In the context it has to be noted that the Permanent Electoral Authority on Friday cancelled the tendering procedure for the procurement of services for the tracking of multiple voting. The tendering is set to be resumed this week, as none of the three bidders had paid the participation guarantee with the solicited period of validity. Traian Basescu said, on Saturday, that video recording cameras were required at all polling stations because people would vote in ‘restaurants and bars’ on July 29, something that, according to him, ‘goes beyond all imagination’. As for a possible electoral fraud, the suspended president said, as long as video surveillance is in place in combination with the same affidavit system for voters on supplementary lists, ‘risks are reduced’. Asked at his campaign headquarters, on Sunday, if he feared a fraud at the referendum, Traian Basescu said: ‘I wouldn’t say I do not have concerns about it, but we will see.’  PDL also insisted on warning anyone who might be tempted to vote several times in the referendum not to take the risk, as PDL would file criminal complaints against anyone, no matter who they are. ‘We mean to sound an alarm bell that PDL holds all the necessary logistic enabling it to identify anyone with the temptation of multiple voting on the very voting day’, ex-Minister Adriean Videanu said at a press conference. During the 2009 European and presidential elections, it was PDL who was accused by the opposition of staging massive fraud through the multiple vote and ‘electoral tourism’. Premier Victor Ponta said in Iasi, on Sunday, after seeing Moldavian prefects, that he had never heard about video surveillance at polling stations, but, ‘if there is such possibility, with pleasure’.

Mirror meetings in Iasi

 

Nearly 10,000 people attended a Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) rally in the Cultural Palace Square in Iasi Saturday. The rally had its share of incidents, as, at some point, the power went out unexpectedly, with organizing having to use a generator as a source of electricity, and the rally started with Basescu supporters and a group of revolutionists pushing one another, which prompted gendarmes to intervene and disperse the two groups.  Suspended president Traian Basescu told attendees that he is convinced that on July 29 the “Romanian people will teach the political class a terrible lesson namely “Romania’s salvation”, and that, between the country and parties, Romanians will choose the country.  Traian Basescu showed that justice was “one of the political delinquents’ fears” in the past couple of years, and what has during past few years terrified them, as they realized they will have to be accountable to the law. Basescu urged rally participants to go to the polls, since otherwise they legitimize the state coup, adding that what Romania needs now more than ever is the evidence of a force able to put an end to abuses. “It is not Traian Basescu’s seat that we are discussing on July 29, Romanians must choose between saying «yes» to Antonescu and Ponta, and leaving the country in isolation, and saying “no” to the president’s dismissal, thus proving that Romanians are above the political class, that Romanians have a better understanding of the national interest than that of a prison-eligible group in Romania’s Parliament,” the suspended president said.According to local authorities, 15.000 people attended a Social Liberal Union (USL) rally in the Union Square Sunday. According to USL, there were 30,000 people at the meeting.  The protesters chanted “Down with Basescu”, and held banners reading “We send the dictator by ship “, “He lied, dismiss him,” “Yes at the referendum”.Speaking at the rally, interim president Crin Antonescu said that Traian Basescu was backed by the Communist Party and Ceausescu’s Securitate, and he is lying when saying that Europe and the USA stand by him, since in the democratic world, nobody makes a country conditional to the presence of just one man.  Antonescu said that “Traian Basescu’s last and biggest lie is the “lie spread by his people namely that if the “Romanian people tells him bye, enough, go, Romania will be out of Europe”. In his turn, PM Victor Ponta said that “the only thing Basescu and his mafia gang did was to curse, insult and defame”, saying that the suspended president left the people die in front of hospitals and let the “smart guys protected by Videanu” to steal. Ponta also said that Traian Basescu must be held accountable before the law and pay for everything he stole from the Romanian people, calling him “a traitor and corrupt” who stole together with “his mafia gang”.

 

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