USL launches its candidates for District 1 amid controversy. PNL leader Crin Antonescu was made knock-out by his fellow party members, though he did not attend the event.
The Social Liberal Union (USL) on Saturday launched its candidates in District 1 of Bucharest, in presence of the honour president of PNL, Mircea Ionescu Quintus, former president Emil Constantinescu and District mayor Andrei Chiliman (PNL). The candidates are Titus Corlatean, Dan Tudorache, Vlad Nistor, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Diana Tusa and Ludovic Orban. The launching event stirred controversy within PNL. The leader of the party, Crin Antonescu, who did not attend the meeting, came under tough criticism from Andrei Chiliman and Vlad Moisescu, whom he recently replaced from leading positions with PNL.Chiliman began his speech on a tough note: “People want unity, not disunity. They want the political war to cease. Stop splitting them in two camps: pro and against Basescu. Do not copy the bad habits of Traian Basescu! Take care not to replace Traian Basescu with someone more poorly trained than him, without character and common sense. People want a national project that will unite the forces of Romanians, to move the country forward. Place national interest above petty interests, often personal or political ones! Sit at the same table and find the solutions for overcoming the economic crisis which is still holding Romania in its grasp. Romanians are waiting for economic solutions, not sterile political wars, they want measures for economic growth and solutions for the economic agents that will lead to the creation of jobs,” Chiliman said.He added that the “stupid war” of statements against US ambassador Mark Gitenstein, German chancellor Angela Merkel or EC president Jose Manuel Barroso is damaging for the country and makes it look ridiculous.
“People demand responsibility. Today Romania is part of the western world. Make it so that it stays in this world. The stupid war of statements against the US ambassador, Merkel and Barroso is damaging for us and makes us look ridiculous. Avoid such statements fit for relics of the Cold War,” Chiliman said.The mayor of District 1 told the USL candidates that he “appreciates the courage of running in elections for the most exigent place in Romania,” instead of going somewhere else in the country, where they could obtain votes more easily. He thus alluded to Antonescu, who gave up his constituency in Bucharest and went to run in elections in Teleorman. He had initially announced that he would run in District 3 of Bucharest, but eventually made a strategic withdrawal to Teleorman, which is categorically dominated by the secretary general of PSD, Liviu Dragnea. Antonescu thus escaped the fear of losing his place in Parliament.Andrei Chiliman also voiced his support for the candidacy of former premier Calin-Popescu Tariceanu, whom he described as the best minister of post-December Romania. In the context, Chiliman said that perhaps Tariceanu will no longer be prime-minister. “Plus, knowing you, Calin, I am sure that, after you get elected senator, I will not be reproached in the street by people of your constituency and asked why you never went to talk with them. This is what happened with your predecessor; even the tree he planted died,” Chiliman went on. The name of the predecessor? Easy to guess: Crin Antonescu.As for Ludovic Orban, Andrei Chiliman said that he is among the most valuable and hard-working people in the service of the public and “a trusted ally” within the party.Moisescu: “Political jesters come and go”
Another attack against Crin Antonescu came from PNL vice-president Vlad Moisescu, who said that “political executions come and go, same as political jesters, but what remains is what we, serious people, do for Romania.”The Liberal explained that, although two years ago neither he, nor Ludovic Orban or the mayor of District 1 signed for creating the alliance with the left, they will respect the agreements and the given word. “I, Ludovic Orban and mayor Chiliman were each subjected of a small political execution by the hothead of our party,” Vlad Moisescu added, thus recollecting Antonescu’s decision to remove him and Andrei Chiliman from the leading positions of the Bucharest branch of the party.The PNL vice-president asked candidates to do everything for Romania not to return to the darkness of the ‘90s. “As a former protester in the Piata Universitatii Square in 1990, I ask you but one thing: Keep Romania on the road we chose then! On the road of political and economic freedom, on the road of western values!” Vlad Moisescu said. He insisted on emphasising the importance of the political battle which the Liberals and Social-democrats must wage today for Romania’s future. “If we come before Romanians with solutions to overcome the economic crisis, with well-intended, sane and competent people, we cannot lose. We will not lose because we have the best team of candidates of the Social-Liberal Union in the whole Romania! We will not lose, because we are loyal partners, in virtue of the quality of each of us, as people of honour,” Vlad Moisescu stated