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March 25, 2023

Who’s going to be USL’s presidential runner: Antonescu or Ponta?

The Liberal leader Crin Antonescu claims that Victor Ponta would make a strong candidate, noting however that the PM said he is not going to run for the top job.
Inside USL (Social Liberal Union) there are speculations about a possible candidacy of the PSD leader, Prime Minister Victor Ponta at the 2014 presidential elections, despite the fact that the agreement sealed between Social-Democrats and Liberals clearly says that Crin Antonescu is USL’s presidential runner.
Antonescu himself told RTV on Friday that Victor Ponta would make a strong candidate for PSD. Asked who would be the best candidate for president should PSD decide to have its own candidate, Antonescu said: “I would consider Ponta an impressive candidate”. The Liberal leader said that a possible confrontation between himself and Ponta would be “beautiful and civilized” and void of “laments” like “Adrian, we are two communists” (he was referring to Traian Basescu’s remark during the 2000 last TV debate with Adrian Nastase during the presidential campaign).
Antonescu said that a good candidate from the opposition would be the former PDL (Democrat Liberal Party) leader Emil Boc. “Mr Boc is a powerful candidate as against Mr Predoiu”. Asked who, in his view, could become the next PNL president, should he become President of Romania, Antonescu said that the Mayor of Sibiu, Mr. Klaus Iohannis and party’s VP, stands most chances. He explained that should he no longer be president of PNL for any reasons, the job will be taken over by the first VP until the new party elections.
In her turn, the Transportation Minister Ramona Manescu, a PNL member, doesn’t think Ponta would run for president next year, and mentioned that if this scenario comes true, she would vote Antonescu for president.
“I am a Liberal. (…) I have nothing against Victor Ponta. God forbids! I really have a good relation with him and I know that he doesn’t want to be president and he will not run in next year’s elections”, Manescu told PRO TV’s “20 years after” show on Sunday.
Predoiu tops Democrat Liberals’ choices
Catalin Predoiu obtained 86.63 per cent of the Democrat Liberals votes in Bucharest and Ilfov County in the race for the designation of the party’s presidential runner. His main opponent Gheorghe Falca scored only 13.37 per cent of votes. According to a PDL communiqué, the vote turnover was 77.29 per cent. Some party heavyweights admitted they voted Predoiu, such as former minister Sulfina Barbu and Senator Cristian Radulescu, Deputies Costica Canacheu and Florin Geanta. They said that they have been convinced by Predoiu’s arguments during the debate with Gheorghe Falca, last week, in Parliament. MEP Theodor Stolojan said the vote was secret and refused to say who he voted same as Senator Anca Boagiu. The official announcement is expected to be made today, during PDL’s leadership meeting.
In a separate development, the Extraordinary National Council of Forta Civica (Civic Force) designated Saturday ex-Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu as the party’s candidate for president. The nomination was made during a special event at the Parliament. The leader of PMP (People’s Movement Party) Eugen Tomac, the president of the Romanian Ecologist Party Danut Pop, PDL VP Radu F. Alexandru and Karoly Borbely from UDMR expressed their support for Ungureanu’s candidacy at the top job.

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