Other possible contenders: Isarescu, Oprescu, Tariceanu, Geoana, unless USL restored.
Prime Minister Victor Pontabelieves that if the former SocialLiberal Union (USL), recently disbandedfollowing the withdrawalform it of the National LiberalParty (PNL), is not restored intime for this year’s presidentialelection, the left-of-centre forcesmight endorse Mugur Isarescu,Sorin Oprescu or Calin Popescu-Tariceanu for president. TheSocial-Democratic Party (PSD),whose national leader he is, mightopt for him or former leaderMircea Geoana, he says.‘From my point of view, thingsare quite clear as far as the presidentialcandidacies are concerned.The first option is the SocialLiberal Union (USL) gettingrestored and putting forth a jointcandidate with PNL; if this optionfails, and not through our fault,then the second option would beto endorse one of the candidateswanted by the Romanian people,not PSD, or our allies theConservative Party (PC) or theNational Union for Romania’sProgress (UNPR). In the secondcase the list is very short: MugurIsarescu, if he wants to run, SorinOprescu, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu; as far as PSD is concerned,if I look better MirceaGeoana and I could stand achance. Who will the candidate bein the end? The one wanted by theRomanians, and we establish thatafter May 25,’ Ponta said Saturdayat the end of a meeting inBucharest of the Organisation ofSocial-Democratic Women.He added that he wants to remainthe prime minister, as he pledgedto, pointing out that he wants toobserve all that was pledged beforevoters in the 2012 general election.‘If USL is restored, thingswill be very clear: I want us toobserve all that we pledged beforevoters, namely to give the Senatechairmanship to a USL candidatefrom the Liberal area,’ said Ponta.He mentioned that the Powershould include the options of asmany people as possible and asmany outlooks as possible. ‘If wereach the conclusion that therewill be a presidential candidatefrom the left-of-centre stages -Oprescu, I or Geoana – than theprime minister should inevitablyreflect a right-of-centre outlook,’said Ponta.Most PSD members considerPM Ponta is in the running atpresidential elections. PSD MEPCorin Cretu said on Friday duringa press conference in Cluj-Napocathat there are “a lot of party members”who ask Victor Ponta to runfor presidential elections, addingshe is convinced the currentprime-minister can win the electionsin the first round.On the other hand, PSD kepton attacking former partner, PNLPresident Crin Antonescu on presidentialbid. Chamber of DeputiesSpeaker, Valeriu Zgonea on Fridayposted a film on Facebook inwhich he says Antonescu “is anunstable person who abandonshimself to emotional, impulsivegestures”, and thus he cannotaspire to the President position. Inretort, Antonescu refused to comment,only pointing out thatwhatever he said, it would diminishthe effect.