The members of the Conservative Party (PC) seem keen on acting on their party slogan, ‘Change begins now’, and join forces in an open war over power, divided into two camps. One supports Daniel Constantin, currently engaged in a conflict with PC Honorary President Dan Voiculescu who’s now serving a prison sentence, and the other one backs Cristian Popescu Piedone. The MPs supporting Constantin having sent out pretty clear position message, recently they have received an internal threat message while they were having a meeting up in the mountains, where they had been invited by their leader. ‘Microphones have been planted in the Pestera hotel these last few days. It seems that Daniel Constantin and Victor Ponta’s friendship is paying off. In all good intention, I am telling you that recordings may be subsequently used against you’, was the message sent to the PC MPs.
Piedone stands a big chance to become party president
The scandal burst up in PC about two weeks ago, amidst statements made by party President and Minister of Agriculture Daniel Constantin regarding the privatisation of ICA – the subject of the judicial case where PC Honorary President Dan Voiculescu was convicted. The latter sent a message from orison that the current PC president, a person who had been very close to him, was on the list of people ‘to be judged by God in 2015’.
Following that, ahead of the party congress in the Spring, several PC members set up a dissident wing led by Bucharest District 4 Mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone (photo) who wants to unseat Daniel Constantin.
The stakes are quite major with a view to the congress. Piedone could run in the next local election to become mayor of Bucharest and he will also have a good chance to win thanks to his popularity. A victory in the local election could, in turn, make him a ‘locomotive’ in the parliamentary election which would grow his party’s score and, by that, the number of seats in the next Parliament.
‘If the meeting at Pestera had been organised by Piedone, he should have hired an entire train, as he has many fans in the party and in society’, Felix Tache, PC member and Bucharest City Councillor, states in a press release. ‘I, Felix Tache, support Cristian Popescu Piedone for party president and I believe that he can free us from the label of ‘key-chain’ party or ‘immoral solution’. I strongly believe Piedone is able to take the party to a score of over 5% in the next election without needing any kind of alliance’, Tache, one of the promoters of the ‘Piedone group’, said.
Ilie Năstase: ‘He knows how to mobilise people and is very good in what he does as a mayor’
Among the persons who announced their support for Piedone there is also Senator Ilie Nastase. The former tennis player who filled the Parliament seat vacated by Dan Voiculescu says the mayor of District 4 helped him a lot with his campaign. ‘If Piedone runs, of course I will support him. He is a man who organises himself very well, knows how to mobilise people and is very good in what he does as a mayor. (…) He has experience – this is what I can see – and also has a very good team at the mayor’s office. He moves well’, Senator Ilie Nastase said.
Another PC member who has announced his endorsement of the mayor of District 4 is the Vice President of the Conservative Party who is backed by several organisations in Transylvania. Serban Radulescu demands that a congress be organised to replace Daniel Constantin with Cristian Popescu Piedone.
‘Changes are needed in the party and they can only be made by a congress where we can decide on our allies and identity. So far, the current leaders have not done anything, we have been towed by one or another party. It is clear that the person who has demonstrated he is a force, a powerful leader, a credible leader who ahs won all elections in District 4, is Cristian Popescu Piedone. A congress is inevitable and I see in Piedone the man who can lead and revitalise the party. There is not so much time left until the local election. I believe the party is disorientated and a change must occur without delay. We must have a congress before March’, PC Vice-President Serban Radulescu says.
Conservatives abroad have joined the movement
‘The PC organisations in the Diaspora support Mr. Cristian Popescu Piedone’s candidacy for president of the party and want a congress to be held as soon as possible’, says the leader of PC Diaspora, Avram Gal.