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September 25, 2021

PNL and PDL eye merger and forming ‘a grand centre-right party’

The two parties have decided to back a single candidate for President.

PNL and PDL will work “step by step” toward “forming a grand centre-right party”, democrat-liberal leader Vasile Blaga announced after the talks conducted Wednesday evening between the two parties, mentioning that it is “hard enough to believe” they will succeed before elections.
The democrat-liberal president added that “a merger” is being considered, which will be achieved “in due time”. The leaders of PNL and PDL also mentioned that the Civic Force or the People’s Movement Party can join the new project in time. PDL leader Vasile Blaga also announced that PNL and PDL, in opposition, have decided to back a single candidate for President.  ‘We have decided to back a single candidate for President, whom we shall nominate following vetting. We also decided that as of tomorrow, our parliamentary groups will co-work and our local branches will start cooperating to set up majorities of the two parties,’ Blaga declared after the meeting.
The PDL leader also stated that the liberal and democrat-liberal groups in the two houses of the Parliament will collaborate starting this week, while collaborations throughout the country will start Thursday, in view of forming majorities of the two parties.
In a different move, Blaga said Thursday at ‘Gandul Live’ that the decision over the presidential candidate of the PDL-PNL alliance will have three phases: a sociological research, the election of the candidate by each party and a poll; he nevertheless added that there is no reason for PDL to drop Catalin Predoiu.
In his turn, PNL resigning leader Crin Antonescu said his party and PDL have decided to build together a sound, lasting political project. ‘Following these first talks of our parties’ delegations, we essentially decided to collaborate, to build together a sound, lasting political project for Romania; a project involving a great right-wing party in a close future’, Antonescu said at the Parliament Palace. He specified this project is destined to a future joint governing. ‘A construction for the presidential elections, for the local administration and for the parliamentary elections, for a future governing together. There are fundamental principles and values uniting us. There are programme elements, there is complementarity, and a political will we’ve expressed and confirmed; we verified it together today,’ Antonescu explained. Asked if the party resulting from the merger will abandon the name of PNL, Antonescu answered that the merger will be based on parity and there is no discussion now about giving up the names of the parties. The liberal leader added that all the local alliances between PNL and PSD, which secured majorities, will be broken and others will be made with PDL.
In his turn, the resigning first vice-president of PNL, Klaus Johannis is “pleased” with the fact that “essential conclusions” have been reached in the PNL – PDL talks, respectively that a grand centre-right party that will designate a sole presidential candidate is going to be set, whose name will probably be announced in July. Referring to the possibility of him being the candidate, Johannis mentioned that he wants to be the candidate of “neither X nor Y” and it is still unclear if he wants to run for president at all. On the other hand, when asked if he expected accusations being made against him, Johannis answered ‘There will be many, all reheated’.
Ponta, on the PNL-PDL alliance: They’ve sent Basescu into retirement earlier
Premier Victor Ponta said Thursday, answering a question, that he considers a good thing the founding of the PNL-PDL alliance, because “they sent Mr. Basescu into retirement earlier”. Ponta added that the PNL-PDL crystallizes the political stage. “At least they’ve sent Traian Basescu into retirement. With this respect, I believe this alliance is welcome. They just divorced us and they married PDL, what a playful heart, this Mr. Antonescu,” Ponta commented on the forming of the centre-right alliance.
The PSD leader also mentioned that, eventually, the right-wing alliance is “a move meant to save Crin Antonescu and Vasile Blaga” from resigning. He considers that Antonescu can still change his mind about forming an alliance with PDL, as last year Antonescu was praising him (Ponta) so much that he was embarrassed. “Now I’ve learned my lesson; nothing is impossible about Mr. Antonescu, he can say anything tomorrow, that Blaga is a rogue and a bandit,” Ponta added.
According to the prime minister, part of the liberals will stand alongside PSD and he does not fear this alliance. “Of course, the battle for the second round (of the presidential elections) will be difficult, but our candidate will certainly qualify in the first round,” Ponta assured.

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