In 2014, he will however endorse Crin Antonescu who, in his opinion, will be starting the presidential race on pole position.
PSD President Victor Ponta said during a B1TV talk-show Monday night that he would not be a candidate in the 2014 presidential election, but would endorse Crin Antonescu’s candidacy. However, he did not rule out the possibility of him running for president in 2024, when – he says – he has the appropriate age for the position. ‘I wouldn’t be a politician if I said <No. Never.> But that moment is very far away. On the other hand, in 2024 I will be 52. In my view, a country president should be over 50’, Ponta said on B1TV, answering a question about whether he was considering a candidacy in the 2019 or 2024 presidential poll. He assured that he would not run in 2014 and that he would support Crin Antonescu’s candidacy. ‘Antonescu will be the candidate. We have signed an agreement inside USL. Mr. Antonescu supported me, and I will support him next year. That’s besides our friendship and the existence of a signed and sealed agreement’, the PM stressed. ‘I will definitely not run for president in 2014’, Ponta added. The prime minister said he was convinced that PNL leader Crin Antonescu, with USL’s support, would be the 2014 race favourite, based on existing sociological surveys. ‘Do you know how quickly a year can pass? Crin Antonescu will run for president with USL’s support and I believe he will win. To Crin Antonescu it is important that the USL Government functions well. I think no one can debate the fact that the favourite in the future presidential race in Crin Antonescu. We count on all sociological research’, Ponta said. He added that USL had been riding the wave ever since the year before and that, except that, Crin Antonescu would most probably not have a senior league opponent in the arena. ‘After last year’s victories, given the power that USL has and that it will not lose next year, I think Antonescu, the USL candidate, will start on pole position. If he runs against Udrea, Boc and Ungureanu, as Basescu said, he can leave on holiday with a piece of mind. Oprescu will not have PSD’s support if he runs for president in 2014’, he also explained. ‘I believe Mr. Oprescu wants to be a mayor’, he added. The name of the Bucharest mayor has been mentioned in the last weeks as a possible candidate in the 2014 presidential election, given his good public confidence rating.The head of the Government also said Antonescu could be the present Romania needed and that a president should generally be above 50. He added he would be 52 only in 2024. ‘I think people will want something else than a player-president this time. More than a prime minister, a president has the duty of dignity and defending his country’, Ponta said. However, a certain intention that Ponta may be considering a candidacy in the 2019 presidential election already means a message to Crin Antonescu that he may not have PSD’s support for a second term should he win a first one in 2014.
Dem Libs consider presidential candidate
PDL Secretary General Gheorghe Flutur said that PDL obviously had the responsibility to designate a presidential candidate in the upcoming period, but that the criteria should be first set for selecting the best candidate representing the Right. ‘He should be from the right or centre-right side of Romanian society’, Flutur also said. Flutur’s statement followed another one, made the day before by Civic Force President Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, that the Right needed to agree on a presidential candidate as soon as possible. PDL member Cristian Preda also said the party should find a candidate for the presidential election as a matter of urgency. Ex-PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu’s name has been often mentioned as a possible 2014 presidential candidate representing the Right. However, he presents the handicap of not being a member of the most important party on that side of the political echelon, PDL.
PM unhappy he could not respect agreement with UDMR
In the B1TV interview, Victor Ponta said ‘it had been an unpleasant moment for him, personally’ when he could not respect the agreement he had signed with UDMR in September, which provided for the invitation of the Union into the Government. ‘Politically, I think the decision that USL should form the Government alone was the right one. On the other hand, I signed in good faith a paper and that was the first time I could not implement what I had signed for or promised’, Ponta said. Asked about the so-called PSD ‘traitors’ issue, the PM would not confirm or deny that the alleged traitor was Mircea Geoana. PNL leader Crin Antonescu said in December that President Traian Basescu had contacted someone from PSD to propose to him to become the prime minister of the new Government. During the same B1TV show, the premier said that, from a jurist’s stand point, he considered that the Tribunal judge’s decision in Dan Voiculescu’s case relative to the privatisation of the Food Research Institute (ICA) had been wrong, explaining that, as long as he had not been sworn in, he was not a senator.