USL leaders play down breakup scenario

PM Ponta says he never raised the issue of USL’s breakup and that nobody from PSD will ever raise it. “There is breaking news about USL’s breakup, but nothing is breaking up,” Antonescu stated too.

Premier Victor Ponta stated on Monday that he never raised the issue of USL’s breakup, pointing out that nobody from PSD will ever raise such an issue and that the Social-Democrats are serious alliance partners. The rumor concerning USL’s breakup started off from the statements made by PNL President Crin Antonescu, according to which the Union could break up in case former attorney general Laura Codruta Kovesi is appointed head of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA). At the same time, Ponta also stated that he respects PNL President Antonescu’s opinion against the potential appointment of Kovesi as head of the DNA, sarcastically pointing out that the Liberals can rest at ease because he will not appoint her PSD Vice President like persons close to Basescu, such as Sorin Frunzaverde and Mihai Stanisoara, were offered leadership positions within PNL.

Ponta also stated that he never talked with Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu about a candidacy backed by the Social-Democrats for the office of Romanian President, since PSD has an agreement within USL, one that it is determined to respect. PNL President Crin Antonescu denied the rumor according to which USL will break up. “Finding out, taking note of the fact that you are again broadcasting breaking news about USL’s breakup, about horrible tensions that one can see you no longer stand, I came out to tell you that I am meeting the Premier, Mr. Parvulescu (Cristian Parvulescu, chairman of the constitutional forum – editor’s note) and Mr. Zgonea (Valeriu Zgonea, Speaker of the Lower Chamber – editor’s note) and we are very calmly talking about the activity of the constitutional forum, about the timetable, about the way in which we can help this public debate on the issue of the Constitution, a debate that will extend up to mid-May,” Antonescu told the journalists on Monday outside his Senate office where he had a meeting on the issue of amending the Constitution.

The day before Antonescu had nevertheless stated that the co-habitation agreement between Premier Victor Ponta and President Traian Basescu cannot go forward, pointing out that compromises are not the way in which USL’s desiderata can be reached, despite the EC’s pressure on the issue of prosecutors. In reply, Ponta stated that he signed the co-habitation agreement with the Head of State while PNL President Crin Antonescu was in the room and that, unlike Antonescu, he assumes that thing since he will not run in next year’s presidential elections.

Politicians’ opinions on USL breakup scenario

PSD Honorary President Ion Iliescu was asked on Monday to comment the statements made by PNL President Crin Antonescu about USL’s possible breakup triggered by tensions surrounding the appointment of prosecutors. He called for seriousness and stated that he does not believe this. PSD Secretary General Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that the dispute taking place within USL over the possible appointment of Codruta Kovesi as head of the DNA will not lead to the breakup of USL, pointing out that “the Social-Democrat families” and the electorate are not preoccupied with this subject but with current problems instead. On the other hand, PDL President Vasile Blaga ruled out the possibility of seeing PDL forming the government with PSD or PNL if USL breaks up. The PDL President considers that the Democrat-Liberals badly need to be in the opposition in order to rebuild themselves. Moreover, Blaga underscored that the Democrat-Liberals do not back USL, nor do they back the Popular Movement.

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