Liberal leader Crin Antonescu says no intention to fit into any political party’s machine

Asked if he sees himself as Romania’s President in 2014, PNL president said: “I have no idea, but my life is not depending on that”.
Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Crin Antonescu on Sunday told B1 TV channel that he has no intention to be ‘a President of the PSD or PNL political machine.’ “The PSD base is made up of Romanian citizens. If they want to vote for PSD they will do it, if they don’t want to, they are free not to. Not even PSD can compel them to vote for something. It’s the electorate that really matters. The PSD base has voted Liberal candidates for the USL [ruling coalition], back in 2009 no less than two thirds of the Liberal sympathizers have voted for PSD candidate Mircea Geoana and have now voted for a host of PSD candidates running under the USL umbrella. What bothers me isn’t the personal side, but the mentality behind such a threat, because the foundation of our agreement has been that we should strike an alliance in order to change essential aspects in Romania. (…) If that’s what the PSD or PNL base, or the people in general want, they are free to not give me their vote [in the presidential elections]. I don’t want to be a President of the machine, act for the machine and not even be a candidate for this machine,” Antonescu said.
He underscored that he was and remained a free man. “Free, not in the sense of political commitments, but free in the sense of relations with financial circles, of the relations of influence with intelligence services, even of the influence and power of other international or domestic groups, Masonic groups, banks and so on. I am perfectly aware that in absence of a special relationship with such groups my chance is very small. Yet the big mistake made by those who threaten me is that they assume that my dream in life is to become the President of Romania. That’s not true at all. (…) I was forced into this pattern for several years, they said I was Dinu Patriciu’s man. It was proven that I wasn’t. Then, for three years until recently they cried out loud that I am Voiculescu’s man, another huge stupidity, and who knows, this might go on even now. I am nobody’s man, I have no intention whatsoever to fit into the PSD, PNL or any other political machine,” said Antonescu. Asked if he sees himself as Romania’s President in 2014, PNL leader answered: “I have no idea, but my life is not depending on that”.
Moreover, Antonescu said his decision to run for the presidential elections would not be influenced by other possible candidatures, such as Sorin Oprescu’s or Mugur Isarescu’s. PNL President said an eventual candidature of BNR governor cannot be ignored. “He (editor note Mugur Isarescu) has many advantages for a presidential candidature. I have no signal that he would like to go to the polls or not, but, at the same time, it has no effect on my candidature, on my intentions or on my campaign”, said Antonescu.
The Liberal President also referred to his relationship with President Traian Basescu and to the fact that he has not been invited to the new Economy minister’s investiture at Cotroceni Palace. Antonescu recounted that when Ovidiu Silaghi was proposed as Transportation minister, President Basescu asked him, as PNL president, to come for a discussion. Antonescu asked Basescu back then if there is something wrong with Silaghi, as potential minister, and the head of state answered there was no problem. “The problems came afterwards”, Antonescu added. Asked if this was the reason that made him leave during Basescu’s speech at Ramona Manescu’s investiture, Antonescu said “yes”.
On the other hand, Antonescu pointed out he is not afraid that PSD is gathering members from PPDD, saying Victor Ponta would not choose a “mending” majority. “PPDD members are like pickles, they are good for winter”, said Antonescu.
Lazaroiu: Antonescu won’t be USL or PNL’s candidate for Presidency
The uncertainty of Antonescu’s candidature is also invoked by the presidential aide, Sebastian Lazaroiu. He said Antonescu is not to be USL candidate or PNL’s, as he is not capable of catching Traian Basescu’s voters in the run-off. “Calin Popescu Tariceanu (ex-PNL premier) would be more capable of attracting this electorate”, said Lazaroiu yesterday for RFI. Moreover, the presidential aide thinks PSD will never accept to vote for a candidate that doesn’t belong to PSD. “PSD has not had a head of state since 2004. Why would it vote for Antonescu, who, otherwise, proved to be quite unpredictable?”, Lazaroiu pointed out.

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