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February 3, 2023

PSD and ACL teams fail to reach agreement on presidential debate: “We agree that…we don’t agree”

The campaign teams of PSD and ACL have not reached an agreement about the organization of debates involving Victor Ponta and Klaus Johannis prior to the second round of presidential elections.

PSD Executive Chairman Dragnea said, at the end of the meeting, that the Social Democrats tried to convince the people at ACL that “4 is greater than 1”, referring  to the four proposed TV show by PSD for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at B1, Realitatea TV, Romania TV and Antena 3.

“They insisted with a single debate,” said Dragnea. Campaign teams of the ACL and PSD met Friday at the Liberal headquarters in Kiseleff to discuss questions related to the organization of debates. Dragnea was accompanied by spokesman PSD, Gabriela Firea, Gabriela Podaşcă MP. From the ACL the discussions were attended by PNL and PDL spokespersons, Alina Gorghiu, and Adriana Săftoiu, Eduard Hellvig and Dan Mihalache.

ACL campaign team of presidential candidate, Klaus Johannis, sent Thursday evening, an invitation to PSD campaign team to take part in negotiations Friday about organizing an election debate between the remaining candidates in the presidential race. PSD spokesman, Gabriela Firea, said Friday morning to Mediafax that  PSD confirmed for Friday, 13.30 the participation at the meeting with Johannis campaign staff to establish debate between the two candidates. Executive Chairman of the PSD, Dragnea, said Thursday that he and Victor Ponta still want to be held four televised debates hosted by four television news on four themes previously announced, rejecting thus the proposals of Johannis . “We want four debates. Mr. Johannis has a problem with spaces, is he going by the rules of feng shui? A television studio is not good? I do not understand these things, “said Dragnea.

He showed that any Romanian citizen must have all conditions to know more about the ability and skill someone needs to be voted as the  president of Romania, and the four televised debates on topics pertaining to presidential activity can outline this need. “And then four debates is a four times greater than one debate, is very clear. We want to be four debates for the possibility that citizens have to know exactly what Victor Ponta knows, what Victor Ponta is able to do, what Klaus Johannis knows, what  Klaus Johannis is able to do. In four televised debates Romanians will know very well whom to vote. One debate that is eventually made into the style of a show, does not help the country, “argued Dragnea.

He said that these four debates can shape a rational voting, which would be in the interest of the alliance that supports Victor Ponta, not an emotional vote, as would those who support Klaus Johannis. “On the other hand, for us is very clear: Klaus Johannis flees debate. (…) But what is neutral? One debate is not enough, and if we say that we agree somewhere, the same evening he might say it is not good there anymore, and that he learned that in fact that place is no longer neutral. Let’s be serious, “said Dragnea.

He said that he does not agree with the idea that the four debates proposed by PSD to four television news would restrict access to them to other media outlets. Klaus Johannis said, referring to the TV debates proposed by Victor Ponta, he could not accept such an infatuation that the premier confuses an university with the community center and if Ponta does not accept the debate at the University of Timisoara, then they  can go to college where Ponta had his doctorate . Asked Thursday in a press conference in Cluj-Napoca, if he agreed with Victor Ponta to participate in a debate and why it would be in Timisoara, and not in Cluj, Klaus Johannis said that Ponta and his team have established be four debates without negotiating with his staff.

Johannis said he cannot accept “such an attitude of infatuation from a candidate.” “It would be very good also Cluj. The candidate Victor Ponta and his team sat down and said:” We run the country, what the hell, we stand after that German? No, that’s impossible”. “They established that there must be held four debates on televisions, at x and y hours. This is a prime minister’s infatuation … so it is not a democracy, we should have had negotiate, there’s no mess there, there’s a debate in front of a nation. It did not seem fair to me and I cannot accept such an attitude of infatuation from a candidate. I had an invitation from the West University of Timişoara, it would be a great place, a place. But Ponta confuses the University  with the rural  cultural center where he took his PhD … If unwilling West University of Timişoara, we can go to UBB, to the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Law, where he received his doctorate. I hope we make a public debate, I’ll take care to have such a debate ” Johannis said. He said he imagines a debate on a public platform, accessible to absolutely everyone, “whether working for the “Pontist” news television news  or for the most anti-Johannis place.” “To be the same opportunities,” concluded Johannis. Victor Ponta invited Iohannis to the TV shows to be attended by him, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at B1, Reality TV, TV and Antena 3 Romania.

In response, Johannis said that “it is absolutely necessary for this debate to take place somewhere where all media  have equal access, where absolutely all the conditions are such met that it cannot be suspected that a candidate or another have illegitimate advantage” . Johannis asked Ponta campaign team to mandate his campaign team to negotiate with members of his staff “to determine as  fast as possible the conditions of the real debate”, saying that “the only correct version” is a debate organized on neutral ground. In a press release Tuesday Johannis asked Ponta “to give up immediately to such tricks and also to have the courage to take a proper confrontation of ideas” in which no candidate starts with “an illegitimate advantage “. The rector of West University in Timisoara, Marilen Pirtea, released on Tuesday, an invitation to Victor Ponta and Johannis to participate in a public debate in the Aula Magna of the University, at a date to be determined if they confirmed participation. Klaus Johannis said he would seem “an exceptionally good thing that this planned meeting to take place in Timisoara”, while Dragnea said that PSD will not accept. “Maybe they want to be a debate organized and moderated by an undercover officer, as in 2009. We do not accept this thing,” said Dragnea.



Ponta: “The electors should not vote a hologram or a form without essence”


The presidential hopeful of the PSD (Social Democratic Party) – UNPR (the National Union for Romania’s Progress) – PC (the Conservative Party) alliance, Victor Ponta said on Friday in Suceava (north-east of Bucharest) he is sure ACL’s candidate Klaus Iohannis will accept to attend the four public debates to be organized by four TV stations, because the electors should not vote “a hologram” or “a form without essence”, reports Agerpres.

“I’m absolutely sure that Mr. Iohannis will eventually accept to attend the four debates, because it’s always important that the citizens of Romania do no vote a hologram, a form without essence one never knows what he/she is thinking,” Ponta said.

He reiterated that he will attend next week all the four debates broadcast at Romania TV, Realitatea TV, B1 TV and Antena 3 TV stations; he added he is sure Iohannis will attend at least one or two debates.

“I am sure that Mr. Iohannis will attend, if not all four, at least one or two debates. He cannot stay hidden very long. He must reveal his plans for Romania, even if he is not elected president, he is a candidate in the runoff,” Ponta added.



Iohannis: “ I am ready to meet Ponta anytime and look him in the eye”


Candidate in the November 16 presidential runoff election of the Christian Liberal Alliance (ACL) Klaus Iohannis told the attendees of his first runoff campaign rally on Friday in Braila that he is ready to meet runoff rival Victor Ponta any time and look him in the eye because he has a message to convey to him.

‘Mr Ponta, who does not want to meet me, I do not know why, goes everywhere claiming that it is me who does not want to meet him. Mr Ponta does not want to meet me, but I want to look him in the eye and say Mr Ponta you do not have the foggiest about how to govern a country, so how come you want to become a president?’ said Iohannis.

He also said that in the first round campaigns ‘venom and lies’ were spewed at him. ‘You were told lies that I want to cut pensions. That is a big lie. I want to become Romania’s president to get a government that will make the economy, pensions and wages grow again,’ said Iohannis.

Referring to the future prime minister Ponta announced, namely Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the ACL candidate said he could hardly wait to see Tariceanu implementing the measures dictated by the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

ACL co-chair Vasile Blaga said the first runoff campaign rally was held in Braila, because ‘Iohannis wanted to start electioneering here out of his respect for the Braila people.’

‘We do not have to choose between two people – Ponta and Iohannis – but between two ways of thinking politics, between two ways of guarding over the future of Romania,’ said Blaga.

ACL First Deputy Chair Alina Gorghiu said Friday that if PSD does not want a presidential debate between Iohannis and Ponta, a formula will be found to put pressure on Ponta to accept the debate. PSD Executive Chairman Liviu Dragnea said Friday, after talks with the ACL campaign, that Iohannis does not want to take part in the four televised debates to be held by four different news channels.


IPP offers to mediate on the deadlock …


The Institute for Public Policies (IPP) has announced it is offering to mediate talks between the campaigns of the two presidential candidates in the November 16 runoff election, supporting any formula agreed upon by the parties so that at least one televised debate may happen in the 2014 presidential campaigning, reports Agerpres.
‘We confirm that last evening and this morning the IPP director and the two campaigns (who also attended today’s negations between the alliance of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) and the Conservative Party (PC) and the Christian Liberal Alliance (ACL)) exchanged messages and we are still voicing our readiness to continue them,’ IPP says in a press release issued on Friday.

Noticing the impasse reached by the two campaigns after today’s meeting, IPP resume its two important requests already mentioned in its communication with the two campaigns: the essential principle should be observed of both parties focusing on the final aim, which is both candidates taking part at least in one debate but not on diverging themes that would only set them further aside from fining a compromises.

IPP’s second request is the parties accepting that efficient negotiation entails a mediator at the negotiating table. IPP says it invited the two teams for additional rounds of talks this evening.

IPP says it continues to be dedicated to the objective of providing a chance to the Romanian voters of watching at least one face-to-face meeting of the two candidates in the presidential runoff election – Victor Ponta of the PSD-UNPR-PC Alliance and Klaus Iohannis of ACL, being ready to support any formula for the debate(s) agreed upon by the two parties.


Basescu: Ponta-Iohannis TV debate to take place at Cotroceni Palace


President Traian Basescu proposed on Saturday, via a press release, the debate between candidates in presidential elections Victor Ponta and Klaus Iohannis to take place at Cotroceni Palace. According to the release, Băsescu “took note of the fact that the two candidates and their campaign teams “cannot agree on a neutral place” in which organize the discussion / debate of the candidates for president of Romania.

The President stated that he is convinced that “discussions are essential for democracy and for the good information of voters, but also that the debate / discussion is desired by the two candidates.”

Basescu proposes that the venue of the debate to be the Union Hall or the Performance Hall of the Palace Cotroceni and that “the moderator or moderators of the debate / discussion will be agreed by the two candidates.”

In addition, the Presidency stated in its release  that in the “preparatory period, but also during the discussion / debate, the incumbent Romanian President Traian Basescu will avoid to be present at Cotroceni Palace.

“The Presidential Administration announces that “the takeover by televisions of the  debate / debates can be made by optical fiber, in excellent technical and equal conditions for all national and local broadcasters who would be interested to broadcast”. “We note that currently Cotroceni Palace can provide signal for at least 30 televisions, and if required, we can immediately create additional facilities. The capacity of the two proposed rooms allows the participation of about  50-70 supporters of each candidate, “the communique says.

According to the Presidency, the availability of the two spaces (Union Hall and the auditorium) will be provided during the period from 10 to 14 November 2014; in addition, technical support for all interested televisions, will be provided by the Romanian Television (cameras and operators) and the Special Telecommunications Service (TV signal) for carrying out the transmission. “Presidential Administration, the Romanian Television and Special Telecommunications Service guarantee full neutrality of administrative organization of the debate and of TV transmission through equal treatment of candidates, their supporters, televisions and radios throughout the debate / discussion,” the press release of the Presidential Administration also informs.


Iohannis: Everything could be negotiated


Christian Liberal Alliance ‘s (ACL) candidate in the presidential elections Klaus Iohannis on Saturday refused to say either “yes” or “no” to incumbent President Traian Basescu’s proposal to participate in a debate against his counter-candidate in the runoff, PSD-UNPR-PC’s Victor Ponta, to be hosted at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

The Liberal only said that ‘everything could be negotiated” and that his team will continue negotiations about the venue for the organisation of a debate between the two presidential hopeful that remained in the race.

“As far as I see it a debate can take place anywhere there is a public platform, independent, accessible, for the two candidates and all of the mass media. Everything could be negotiated, provided that these conditions are met. I will ask my team to continue with the negotiations,” said the Liberal.


PSD’s Firea: What Basescu wants “is not a real debate, but a circus meant to help Iohannis escape a direct confrontation with Ponta”


What President Traian Basescu wants is not a “real”debate, but a “circus” meant to help Klaus Iohannis “escape a direct confrontation with Victor Ponta,” said the PSD (Social Democratic Party) spokesperson Gabriela Firea in a release on Saturday sent to AGERPRES.

“As we are already used to after all these ten years, Basescu proves again that his main concern is always how to stage cheap and sterile shows. He doesn’t want a real presidential debate, but a circus to make any serious talk about Romania’s future meaningless and help Iohannis at the same time avoid a direct confrontation with Victor Ponta. It is quite regrettable that this is the manner in which the Basescu-Iohannis team decided that it should try to win the electoral battle,” said Firea.

President Traian Basescu on Saturday came out with a proposal for the two presidential candidates left to compete in the presidential runoff, namely Victor Ponta and Klaus Iohannis, should hold their debate at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.







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