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May 12, 2021

Ponta, Antonescu bury the hatchet

The premier assures USL majority is working whilst the Liberal leader said: “I will not have a new argument with Ponta when he tells we made up”.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Tuesday, in the Parliament, that he reconciled with President of PNL, Crin Antonescu, and that he will take care any other eventual verbal dispute will be kept in private. He said that the majority of the USL demonstrated it was working, given the conduct in the joint plenum of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. “You were left a little behind of the latest events. We made up. I talked to him, he had to go to Switzerland, had a scheduled visit.
We spoke, you saw it very clearly today in the Parliament, the majority of USL works. As it was working very well until now, and as far I am concerned – I am convinced that Crin will do the same – any dispute or misunderstanding we are going to keep it in private”, said the leader of the PSD regarding the statements of the PNL President, according to which, if PSD does no longer want to support his candidacy for presidential elections, to vote for breaking the protocol. “Mr. Antonescu said very clearly he wants to be the candidate of USL. PSD is part of USL and, in my view, USL must finally carry out its project until 2016”, Ponta also said. “We have never violated any accord and there was no problem this time either”, he added.
The Prime Minister resumed his opinions yesterday in an interview to Agerpres, stressing that he wanted the USL project to continue until the end, that is until 2016 [when in Romania there will be parliamentary elections, editor’s note].”I want our political project to continue until 2016 and I’m thinking now about those who voted for us, because we owe them. But, certainly, solidarity and less public scandals can only be to Romania’s advantage and I will not put fuel to the fire, I will always be there to extinguish the flames when passions are too high”, he said. Ponta also stated he is pleased with most of the decisions taken by the government and the governing coalition, saying that ‘USL has worked out well and I can’t see anything coming that big, including during the making of the budget, to endanger the functioning of the government and of the coalition that backs it up in the Parliament’. According to the premier, even if Crin Antonescu loses the support of the PSD in the presidential elections, he will not change his opinion and decide to run himself.
Later on, Ponta said that he had a phone conversation with Crin Antonescu and the Liberal leader told him he also wants USL to work together. Ponta pointed out he would meet Antonescu after PNL President came back from Switzerland and he would come back from the visit to Turkey, scheduled for Thursday.
In his turn, PNL leader Crin Antonescu confirmed the Coalition goes on. “I don’t consider it was a dispute or reconciliation (…) The Coalition goes on, the governing goes on, all USL’s objectives still stand and I hope the confusion time is gone”, Antonescu said for “Gandul” online daily. Antonescu also said he didn’t talk about the presidential candidate with Ponta, but they talk only about the parliamentary agenda. “I agree with the premier, I will not have a new argument with him when he tells we made up. We decided I am the USL candidate (e.n for the presidential elections) and we don’t ask each other about this every day. I didn’t break this protocol not even for a second, I did not refuse or take back my words. I was not the one who had to clarify things, PSD was”, Antonescu added. Yet, Antonescu said yesterday, while in Switzerland, that, “unfortunately there were some things they need to be settled down in public”.
Parliamentary bye-elections in November
On the other hand, USL leaders discussed yesterday to call parliamentary bye-elections for 5 vacant mandates no later than the beginning of November, sources within USL told Mediafax. PNL recurrently asked in the USL meetings to decide on bye-elections, but the Social-Democrats put off any decision. PNL’s stake is they will name three of five candidates for the vacancies. Precisely, Liberals are to propose candidates for Hunedoara, Ilfov and Satu Mare constituencies.

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