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January 24, 2022
POLITICS

Antonescu’s presidential bid as USL candidate questioned



Asked whether he remains in the race for President, the Liberal leader said sarcastically: “Did you dream something last night?”
Democrat Liberal leader Vasile Blaga stated on Saturday while he was in Arad where he attended the party’s county coordination council that PDL will compete in the presidential elections against Victor Ponta, not against PNL President Crin Antonescu, who “is getting ready for four years now.” “When you train too much you enter the pitch exhausted,” Blaga said, according to Mediafax. He pointed out that whoever becomes the party’s presidential candidate will be supported and all PDL members “will fall in line behind him.” “We hope we will select the best and he will convince the whole Romanian right wing, so that we could fight against Ponta,” Blaga added. The PNL President’s candidacy in the presidential elections of 2014 is put into question by PSD Senator Mircea Geoana too, who stated yesterday on Pro TV that Antonescu is at risk of being left without the support of PSD voters, pointing out that he allegedly has already lost a third and his candidacy will have to be tested in the polls, in line with the USL protocol. “And if he enters this logic, in which basically he has had a different position on every initiative of PSD and of the PSD-PNL government in the last month: on the Traffic Code a different position, on issues of taxation a different position, on Rosia Montana a different position, on shale gas a different position, on the reform of the judiciary a different position, even on Kosovo a different position. In fact I cannot notice a line of the electoral front for 2014,” Geoana said. The former PSD President claims that the PNL President is rather interested in winning votes from “the right-wing area” where there is potential in view of the fact that PDL is weakened. “Who doesn’t have the PSD audience has no shot in the presidential elections,” he added.
Geoana however avoided answering the question concerning his plans of entering a presidential race as a PSD candidate in case the USL breaks up, pointing out thAsked, during a brief press opportunity that took place before the inauguration of the new runway of Cluj’s “Avram Iancu” International Airport, whether he is still USL’s presidential candidate, Crin Antonescu answered: “Did anything change? Did you dream something last night?” The journalist who asked him that question tried to tell the Senate Speaker that the idea being circulated is that the USL’s presidential candidate could be changed, but Antonescu gave an angry answer: “Stop circulating it. When I change my official position you will be notified.”
Asked about the statement made by PDL President Vasile Blaga, according to which his party will fight against Victor Ponta, not Crin Antonescu, for the Romanian Presidency, the PNL President did not make any comments. “I won’t state anything about Mr. Blaga. I make statements even about Mr. Sultanescu. In what concerns Blaga: Godspeed to him!” Antonescu answered. Prior to that, the Senate Speaker had been asked to comment the statements made by Dan Sultanescu, the Premier’s advisor, statements according to which Antonescu gives off the impression of taking over the role of the Prime Minister’s opponent from within and that PNL allegedly wanted to boycott Victor Ponta’s visit to Cluj. Antonescu also did not make any comments about Geoana’s statements, pointing out solely that “the ridiculous and the embarrassing” should have a limit.
Predoiu, PDL’s presidential candidate?
The PDL members from the north-east region voted on Saturday in favor of Catalin Predoiu’s bid to be the party’s future presidential candidate. Catalin Predoiu won 87.62 per cent of the votes, followed by Gheorghe Falca (10.38 per cent) and Simona Cretu (1.67 per cent).
Ioan Balan, the PDL’s Vice President for the north-east region, stated that party members from Suceava, Bacau, Botosani, Iasi, Vaslui and Neamt counties took part in the internal elections for the designation of PDL’s presidential candidate, 22,416 voting ballots being distributed. The voter turnout level stood at 63.45 per cent, the largest turnout being registered in Suceava (92.19 per cent), followed by the turnout in Botosani (82 per cent), Vaslui (78.76 per cent), Iasi (77.51 per cent) and Bacau (54.47 per cent). At the opposite end, the lowest turnout was registered in Neamt County – 14.68 per cent. The procedure for establishing PDL’s presidential candidate will continue in the following weeks, with similar elections set to take place in the rest of the regions and in Bucharest.
Falca, PDL Arad’s new president
Arad Mayor Gheorghe Falca was elected president of PDL’s county branch, winning the elections with a 56-vote edge over his opponent Nicolae Iotcu, the president of the Arad County Council. In the speech he gave before the votes were cast, Falca stated that he came to the county’s coordinating council meeting “not with the mind on a day of success,” because it was “a day of pain” given the fact that he could not enjoy a possible victory since the county branch has not seen unity lately. He reiterated the idea that the Romanian right wing should unite. Falca subsequently told the journalists that he would like to be the right wing’s presidential candidate. In his turn, former county branch president Gheorghe Seculici gave his last speech from that position, talking about the last 15 years in which he led PDL Arad. When the results of the vote were presented Seculici asked those present to “meditate” on his message: “We are strong because we are a team and we are united. We will have to remain united.”
Vasile Blaga claims that the party will initiate talks on the unity of the Romanian right wing only after the EP elections, announcing however that he does not accept the dissolving of the party because one cannot build the right wing “by killing its heart, which is PDL.” He added that if these aspects are understood by the potential political partners then PDL will go forward with the talks and the best variant for the Romanian right wing will be found. The PDL President stated that he talked about the right wing’s unity ever since the party’s convention, “but unfortunately some people that tried hard to disintegrate it also talk hypocritically about the right wing’s unity.”at this decision belongs to the party “depending on who has the best chances to win.”

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