After being completely absent from the public space throughout the campaign for the election of Romania’s new president, the former PNL leader reappeared to discuss the results of the elections, his political future and that of PNL.
Before the elections, Antonescu had declared that he would explain the reasons of his silence after the voting was over. “I do not wish to say more, because, just as I mentioned, I did not intervene in these elections, to the surprise of some and to the annoyance of others. I will explain, maybe, after the elections are finished”, the former PNL had previously declared.
In the PNL meeting on Tuesday, Liberal Senator Mircea Ionescu Quintus pointed out that Antonescu “could have chances” to win the presidency of the new PNL if he would apply.
Antonescu was featured on Tuesday evening in a show on Realitatea TV, in his first public appearance after the elections and after an electoral campaign during which he was considered one of the major absents. During the show, he discussed Victor Ponta’s political future, as well as his own, denying any interest in returning to the PNL leadership.
Before, in an exclusive interview for the paper Gandul, Crin Antonescu admitted that he did not believe Klaus Iohannis would win the presidential elections and that he did not get involved in the Liberal candidate’s campaign because he trusted neither the people surrounding Iohannis, nor the campaign itself.
Yet, he declared he was extremely happy for Iohannis’ victory and that he had called the newly elected President to congratulate him.
“I am happy that Iohannis won, especially considering what these votes that made him president mean. I am glad for this initiative I had, it was not really well-received by the party at that time and yet, I proved that I had a good instinct. So, there, from that action, a new version, an alternative for the grand public appeared and the fact that it was not me who ran for president is completely irrelevant”, the former PNL leader declared for Realitatea TV.
He also announced that he did not intend to overtake top management activity in PNL. “I resigned without hesitation from various positions when I considered it was the case, based on a certain state of things and the priorities of certain values. Therefore, even if the massive voting of last Sunday cannot give any solutions, it provides a certain spirit, it grants a chance I can acknowledge even if, as I outlined, I do not intend to restart top political activity”.
Moreover, in the interview for Gandul, the former Liberal leader outlined as well his lack of interest in returning as a party leader.
“I am in no way interested in returning to the leadership of PNL. I have pointed it out, when I quit this position, and I remind it to you now: I did it after mature and responsible consideration, it was not a rushed decision and, therefore, I have no reason to change it. It does not mean that I am not interested by the destiny of the party I belong to or by the destiny of the right-wing in general”, Antonescu declared for Gandul.
“What do I think about the future of PNL? It is really important that this party would have its attention focused on winning the battle on identity. I have said it before and I do not intend to revisit this decision: I do not intend to return to the leadership of the party. Why? Because it is a simple thing. Nobody kicked me out from the top of PNL; nobody conditioned my position of an electoral result. If I would have wanted to lead PNL, I would have stood there”, Antonescu gave a wider explanation for his position at Realitatea TV.
Moreover, Antonescu said that, in his opinion, it was time that the party would be led by politically experienced people who are not well-known public figures.
“I do not intend to return and I think that the time has come for new faces. It is not exhaustion; yet, people’s energy may be consumed in more pleasant ways than politics. As a PNL president, I had something that resembled an obsession on the fact that people from civil society must be brought into the political class. I did not miss Iohannis. There were Ministers, MPs and I think that this process must continue. For the leadership of the party, I think that they should test people who have long careers in politics, plenty of political experience, are familiar with the situation, yet are not well-known political figures”, Antonescu pointed out.
“Ponta has committed political suicide”
The former PNL leader declared that Victor Ponta is a politically crushed person, because he now carries the blame for all the weak points of the government, as well as Traian Basescu’s mistakes.
The relentless desire to become Romania’s president at any price turned the PSD – UNPR – PC candidate in the symbol of all evil made by politicians, so it was really easy for Klaus Iohannis to defeat him in the race for the Cotroceni Palace, Antonescu considered.
“In order to stay on top at any price, Ponta did many things. In order to win the presidential elections at any price, the people surrounding him destroyed many things: USL was one of them. They ended up by destroying Ponta himself as a political figure. (…)
He is obviously destroyed. I do not know whether he has any chance of recovery and, ultimately, it depends on Mr. Ponta and on the circumstances, yet, think of this: from a peak of ascension and power and from so many people’s conviction that he would gain all the authority, he ended up by being blamed for all the bad things in Romania’s political system, including Traian Basescu’s mistakes”, Antonescu stated on Realitatea TV.