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February 4, 2023

Crin Antonescu not ruling out new impeachment

The PNL President defended in a TV interview, the decision to invite Gigi Becali to join the party.

PNL President Crin Antonescu stated in a TV interview that President Traian Basescu will be impeached again, at the end of this year, if he refuses to appoint Victor Ponta as Premier in case USL wins the general elections.Antonescu pointed out that he does not believe that will happen and added that a new impeachment is not an overt or covert part of USL’s platform. “An impeachment could be the end result, and it could be in 2012. I have no way of knowing that. I suppose or forecast it won’t happen and, if it doesn’t happen, a new impeachment is not an overt or covert part of the platform,” Crin Antonescu stated. He pointed out that the impeachment procedure will start if the Head of State does not appoint Victor Ponta as Premier or if he decides to nominate a different USL member as Premier. The PNL President believes that Traian Basescu is an illegitimate president, something he too is aware of and “is embarrassed for.” During the same interview Crin Antonescu talked about the fact that Gigi Becali recently joined PNL. The PNL President stated that Steaua FC’s financier was accepted by “an overwhelming majority” and denied the allegations that there are conflicts within the party over this issue. “Gigi Becali has the importance that you offered to him. Bigger, smaller, it doesn’t matter; USL and PNL didn’t make Gigi Becali a sort of superstar, often comical, of Romanian politics, his relation with the mass-media made him that. His presence on USL lists was deemed acceptable, his candidacy was not difficult to accept, it was accepted democratically, through vote, by an overwhelming majority, and it didn’t spark too many discussions. The fact that Mr. Tariceanu’s choice ran contrary to the choice of the crushing majority of PNL’s decision bodies is an entirely different matter,” Antonescu said.

Asked whether Steaua’s owner will also receive an office within PNL in case he wins a seat in the Romanian Parliament, the PNL President answered negatively, adding that for the time being Becali is just “a formal party member,” and if he wants to remain in the party the issue will be discussed at a later date.At the same time, the PNL President expressed his discontent with the attitude shown by former PNL member Teodor Melescanu, the current head of the External Intelligence Service (SIE), during the impeachment referendum, stating that Melescanu had the duty to correctly inform Romania’s international partners and to contradict the PDL leaders’ and Traian Basescu’s statements about a coup d’état. “When someone talks irrationally – Monica Macovei and Traian Basescu, one of them in the European Parliament, the other in a garage – and starts talking about a coup d’état then I don’t think it’s a PR job but the duty of a service that serves the nation. He should have said no, there is no coup d’état. When they stated the absurdity that the new leaders in Bucharest are abandoning, are changing the orientation of Romania’s foreign policy, its commitments with NATO, with the EU and that they’ve suddenly become pro-Russian and they’re with Moscow, then it was the duty of the intelligence services to say no, this is foolish,” Antonescu stated.The Senate Speaker’s statement comes after Teodor Melescanu stated in a TV interview last week that SIE “is not a PR agency” and that he was not asked to do anything during the impeachment. In his turn, Crin Antonescu stated that he did not ask the SIE boss for anything and has nothing personal against him. He added that the intelligence services’ duty should be to remain “within the framework of their constitutional prerogatives.”

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