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Bucharest
March 7, 2021
POLITICS

A few scenarios on the runoff battle for Presidency

By    Georgiana Vlad
Nine O’Clock
Political analyst Cozmin Gusa (photo), invited on Wednesday evening at the TV show “Jocuri de putere” at the station Realitatea TV provided several scenarios on the struggle of the second round in the elections for Cotroceni, with or without presidential candidate Klaus Iohannis.
Which of the candidates is immaculate?
“I came to this show remembering that, ten years ago, after Basescu won the elections, my career plan was to become President in 2014. In 2004, I created the strategy for his campaign and I honestly believed that Basescu was able to do great things. After working ten years besides President Basescu, I thought I would be a great President for Romania; therefore I came to this show. I don’t want to seem arrogant while discussing possible winners, I might be right or wrong on some of them.
In this game, there are people whom I perceive as weak, but motivated by strong feelings, as well as people whom I perceive as strong, but empty inside, enforced merely by their parties or respective institutions because they have neither aspirations, nor potential”, Cosmin Gusa declared.
The politician stated that, were Johannis to remain in the runoff, it would be interesting to see who will he join forces with him in order to confront Ponta and his PSD machinery. “If we lose Iohannis in the campaign, the battle on the electoral capital Iohannis would leave behind is given by a proactive attitude and by collaboration against Ponta, against local barons, against the left wing that would define the political options of the undecided. There are merely a few candidates able to enter the battle in the scenario I am talking about. Basically, I am thinking about Udrea, Tariceanu, Macovei and Melescanu”, Gusa continued. “We are discussing an ACL structure that includes PDL – PNL and a cloud around ACL, waiting to save Romania of the threat of the left-wing. It will be a harsh battle. Things would go two ways, and I mean that PDL would redirect forces towards Monica Macovei, to some extent, and to Elena Udrea, Blaga’s nemesis, to a greater extent.” On the other hand, Cosmin Gusa added, if, until the last few days, Tariceanu had a huge opportunity in the case of Iohannis’ withdrawal, Melescanu’s appearance creates a candidate of a high profile, obviously superior to Tariceanu, therefore, if we were to choose among the two of them, votes would go to Melescanu in an undisputed majority”.
What are Iohannis’ weak points?
Posed a question by the host of the show “Jocuri de putere” regarding Iohannis’ weak points, Gusa replied: “Johannis lacks a candidate such as Ioan Rus for the position of PM. A person who would be trustworthy as someone who could be able to implement a German program in the Romanian economy. Klaus Iohannis is saying some great things, but he would need a guy like Rus, to say: ‘This is the way I will do things, after I win the elections’.” Gusa appreciated that “Predoiu is far from Ioan Rus in terms of credibility regarding his ability to put things in practice” and that “Blaga has a closeness to the ‘German’ (an informal hint to Iohannis’ ethnicity, editor’s note), but lacks precision”.
“Blaga has a thing nobody can deny: the ability to manage an electoral campaign; yet, this time he showed insecurity, they lost control upon the media, they lost control upon their own strategies. I think it is a matter of chemistry. Iohannis is a different type of person; he is too serious, he never laughs at jokes”.
Moreover, Gusa thinks that Klaus Iohannis “has a weak campaign, he is weakly counseled and no one of the people around him is familiar with voters’ attracting procedures.” “They have no strategy; you cannot make a sophisticated campaign without a strategy. It is not enough for you to declare that Merkel knows you if you resume to saying it and it is not quoted by Romanian press. In Ponta’s case, one can see the messages being multiplied. Today’s press is complicated. They don’t understand how today’s press is working, they don’t understand how a message gets through to people, they don’t realise the importance of a Facebook or a Twitter account. What kind of amateur campaign is this?”
A scenario that would save Vasile Blaga
Political analyst Cozmin Gusa thinks that Teodor Melescanu would be the only candidate to save Blaga from the opprobrium of his party and, in this case, votes would be less divided. “Melescanu’s chances for runoff would increase tremendously. If Melescanu is unable to be the sole candidate in Iohannis’ absence, it is difficult to decide what happens; it would require more complicated calculations. Perhaps Udrea, Tariceanu or Melescanu could get into the second round”, Gusa declared.
Melescanu is Ponta’s most significant adversary
Gusa further outlined that there were three candidates able to remain in the second round and that Melescanu has the greatest chances to win against Ponta. Despite being Ponta’s nightmare, Udrea’s chances are smaller than those of Melescanu. Perhaps Tariceanu could compete with the former Foreign Affairs Minister. “Melescanu would be successful in a confrontation against local barons and their representatives; in other circumstances, his candidacy enters another context. The barons’ representative has issues in attracting his baron-controlled voters. Others desperately hope that Ponta would save them. Ponta will save no baron if he is elected President. Melescanu should be the sole candidate if Iohannis quits, Udrea could challenge him. Melescanu is struggling for PNL electorate. So, if Iohannis withdraws, Melescanu could be the candidate to save Blaga. We do not know if he has funds to purchase campaign space, he is not involved in any business”.
Who is to overtake PSD?
Cozmin Gusa also expressed his opinions on Victor Ponta’s possible successors to the PSD leadership. “Gabriel Oprea belongs to UNPR and will not be accepted by PSD. Ioan Rus has a great chance. Dragnea also has a chance; nonetheless, he comes as a by-product by barons, and the internal filter of PSD eliminates barons, not to mention possible foreign issues with the USA. If Ponta wins the elections, he must abandon his position as head of PSD. That will be also a huge chance for the next PM, which could be George Maior”, Gusa concluded.

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