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August 9, 2022

Crin Antonescu confirms withdrawal from politics by the end of his term as a member of the Parliament

Senator Crin Antonescu, former President of the National Liberal Party (PNL) declared on Sunday evening, at the show “The Last Word” on B1TV, that, by the end of his term as a member of the Parliament, he is very likely to withdraw from politics.

Senator  Crin Antonescu, former President of the National Liberal Party (PNL) declared on Sunday evening, at the show “The Last Word” on B1TV, that he might quit politics by the end of his term as a member of the Parliament.

“I am very content with the decisions I have reached, as far as my withdrawal from a leading position by an exclusive act of free will is concerned. I have a term in the Parliament I am going to complete, out of respect for my voters, but under no circumstances do I intend to return to top political activity in the present political whirlpool. It is very likely that I will quit politics alltogether at the end of this term”, Antonescu declared.

“Nothing happened overnight, there were many things that happened throughout the years. In Romanian politics, there is a massive amount of dirt, aggressiveness, lack of culture and immorality. And there comes a time when you feel you have had enough. If your purposes are untouchable, what is there left to do? The results of these choices, some people’s involvements and behaviours prevailed. At a time many of the people you have supported end up under arrest, you are faced with the situation of reevaluating yourself as a leader. And so do you when you are not understood”, the former PNL leader also declared.

Asked what he would do after he would cease any political activity, Antonescu replied. “I would like to return to teaching, to write. There are so many books left unread; perhaps there is one left unwritten. There are many marvelous things outside politics in this world.”


Antonescu also quits the Presidency of the Parliament Committee for the Revision of the Constitution


The PNL Senator also announced on Sunday that he would quit the position of President of the Parliament Committee for the Revision of the Constitution.

He declared that he did not consider himself “suitable” to continue his activity in this Committee from the position of President, Gandul reported.

Antonescu also mentioned that no change was discussed regarding this function, either by PNL or by PSD, but it was his decision to quit this position.

“I notified Alina Gorghiu, PNL Co-Chairman, as well as Mr. Ponta and Mr. Chelaru who asked me additional questions on my decision, that I do not see it fit to continue my activity at the Committee for the Revision of the Constitution from the position of President. First of all, because I was granted this position under the circumstances of another majority, the majority represented by USL after the elections, and second, because, as the perspective of opinions reveals itself to me at this time, I think that my vision on certain chapters of the Constitution is not shared by the people who had formed a majority during 2012 – 2013”, the former PNL Chairman declared.


PSD members may confidently vote for Mr. Hellvig if they want a civilian leader of SRI


Former PNL President Crin Antonescu also declared during a phone intervention at the “Panic Button” show, broadcasted by B1TV, that he knew very well Eduard Hellvig, Klaus Iohannis’ proposal for SRI director, and that it is a nomination he would most confidently vote for.

“I think that Mr. Iohannis’ proposal is excellent and well deserved. I know Mr. Hellvig well, for many years and I think that this is a proposal I will vote for trustfully as a member of a Parliament. (…) I find it hard to predict whether there will be a majority or not. I am not really at the centre of these discussions, political negotiations, I do not know what would happen, but I suppose that, once the President has made the proposal, he has also made certain estimations and I think it is a proposal that has a huge chance to be accepted, considering that we are talking about a man who was present at the top of politics in the last few years. I can imagine that PSD members do not necessarily love Mr. Hellvig, but, beyond that, he is a known man, his convictions, principles, manners of acting are known and I think that, if PSD members are also looking for a civilian leader at SRI, a person of remarkable culture and democratic political mentality, he is truly a man they can confidently vote for”, Crin Antonescu declared.


Romania will be Iohannis’ ‘de facto’ presidential regime in the next years


Ex-PNL President Crin Antonescu said Sunday night that, in the following years, Romania would be Klaus Iohannis’ ‘de facto’ presidential regime, and noted the necessity of ‘a reconstruction of the political establishment’, as well as a change of the current Victor Ponta Government.

‘Among the few things Iohannis said during his campaign there were two that are very important. If anyone did not believe him, that’s their business. Mr. Iohannis said <I am running and I want to be president in order to change the manner of doing politics in Romania> (…) The second thing – due to his life experience and nature of personality, Mr. Iohannis is a down-to-earth and calm person, who does things step by step, with an extraordinary tenacity and force. Klaus Iohannis, also considering the context, will be an extremely powerful president of Romania. Romania will de facto be a presidential regime in the coming years. What I would like – I don’t know yet, but I see no reasons to be pessimistic for now – is for the power given to Iohannis by the historic circumstances of these years to be used in he right direction, for rebuilding the political establishment. However, this process will have to be done by political, civil forces, by the society and not by DNA or SRI, for that is not their business’, Crin Antonescu said during a B1 TV programme.

The former President, Senator Crin Antonescu, stressed that it was not the role of DNA and SRI to reform the political establishment and that it is not the fault of the intelligence services that the current political community is weak.

He noted that the reform must come from within politics and that the rattle of handcuffs does not necessarily mean rule of law.

‘The services are not to blame for having too much power. It only means that we have a weak, ill civil society and political body, unable to provide a balance. The services’ trend is to gain more and more power, but the restraint must be put by equally powerful and credible politicians. It is not the services’ fault that the rattle of handcuffs ahs been associated with the rule of law. (…) At this moment, the services, SRI which is the strongest service, are facing a devastated political stage, and that is not its fault. (…) It is not SRI’s duty to reform the political establishment or to set equilibriums. No. It is DNA’s job to bring to justice those they suspect of being guilty. However, the political community cannot be reformed either by DNA or SRI, or with handcuffs. That is not their job’, Crin Antonescu said on B1 TV.

The former leader of PNL also spoke of the way in which the current Victor Ponta Government could be dismissed. According to him, such thing would require a series of compromises for setting up a new parliamentary majority.

‘It is impossible whilst applying a perfectly rigid rule – actually elementary – that those who have defected may not come back. You cannot do that – which, in fact, is desirable – and obtain a new government at the same time. So those who want a new government, a pro-presidential government that would work with President Klaus Iohannis, will need to understand that those compromises are absolutely necessary’, Antonescu also said.

‘I believe it would be good to have a change of government. It is very important for a new government to be made up in such a way as to be better than this one. I don’t think the Victor Ponta Government has been as difficult as some may think, and it is not the odious government described by some either. It just has to be changed because this is what is now required by the trend set by the presidential election. In my opinion, it would have been better for Ponta, on the long term, to quit right after the election’, the PNL senator further said.


I didn’t back Iohannis in the electoral campaign for three reasons


Liberal Senator Crin Antonescu, the former leader of the National Liberal Party cited three reasons on Sunday for which he had not backed the party’s presidential candidate Klaus Iohannis in last November’s polls, with one of them being related to Iohannis’s project.

‘For me, to back someone in 2014/…/, after all I’ve seen and lived in Romanian politics, after all the great disappointments that I had, to back someone for president of Romania /…/ was not enough and will never be enough that we are fellow party-men, or friends. I need more, I needed a project that I did not know and which Klaus Iohannis didn’t even have the time to make known to me any more. A somewhat more detailed project than what was publicly announced in an electoral campaign. That is, beyond the idea of the properly done work (Iohannis’s electoral slogan – editor’s note), I need to know more, namely what work and what does properly done mean’, Antonescu told a B1 TV news channel broadcast.

The second reason relates the lack of a scenario regarding the involvement in the electoral campaign. ‘There is an idea in a campaign. I think I do not lack modesty when I say my involvement in candidate Klaus Iohannis’s 2014 campaign could not have been done no matter how /…/ There was no such scenario, I did not have too much compatibility with many lines in this campaign’, he argued.

The third reason is ‘a human one’, relating ‘the inadequate and bizarre behaviour of several people at those moments, close to those moments’, Antonescu stressed, adding ‘however, I harbour no resentment either towards Iohannis or towards others’.

According to the former Liberal leader, President Iohannis’s route is normal, very good and predictable. ‘If someone expects Mr Klaus Iohannis to merely cut ribbons, to quarrel with nobody, they are wrong./…/ He said two extremely weighty things in the electoral campaign: ?I candidate and I want to be president so as to change the way of making politics in Romania’. This is an overwhelming statement. Then, Klaus Iohannis is by his experience of life and his nature a calm man, who does things as he said, step by step, but with an uncommon tenacity and force. Given the circumstances as well, Klaus Iohannis will be an extremely powerful president of Romania’, he underscored.

Antonescu voiced hope that Iohannis would be a more powerful president than his predecessor Traian Basescu, ‘for the very reason that he will be less controversial and more fair’.

‘I have never thought and no true Liberal thinks so and no man can mistake the rule of law for handcuff-rattling or for the mega-authority of some force institutions. The rule of law in the solidly democratic systems means the balance of the state powers and the individual guarantees against the force institutions. /…/ The (secret) services are not to blame for having too much power. When the (secret) services have too much power, it means we have weak politicians and a weak civil society’, Antonescu argued.


With Ponta President, Basescu regime would have continued


Should Social Democrat Victor Ponta have been elected president, a lot of the former president Traian Basescu’s regime would have continued, Liberal Senator Crin Antonescu asserted on Sunday night at B1 TV.

Antonescu, a onetime presidential hopeful and political ally of incumbent Prime Minister Victor Ponta, says an electoral pact between Ponta, presidential candidate Elena Udrea and her supporter Basescu was plausible. ‘The conditions were met. I cannot say here whether it existed or not. I have said at some point a thing I’m convinced of, namely that despite the political fight and the probably sincere adversity between Traian Basescu and Victor Ponta – who have some very strong reasons for hating each other – but if Mr. Ponta became president, a lot of the operation of Traian Basescu’s regime would have continued. The great hope I was given by the fact that Mr. Ponta did not become president was this would not happen, and this is the hope I nurture. (…) I think despite the assurances given by Mr. Ponta, it would have been more than probable that Mr. [former Romanian Intelligence Service Director George] Maior became the prime minister instead of Mr. [Senate Chair Calin Popescu] Tariceanu,’ Antonescu declared.

The former head of the National Liberal Party (PML) also sees some assertions of Elena Udrea as plausible; she had claimed that the issue of nominating leading prosecutors had been settled at Ponta’s home. ‘There’s no way I could know that. Unfortunately, it seems plausible. I cannot say it’s true; Mr. Ponta obviously did not mention to me such a talk; I have never discussed with Mrs. Udrea. We [Antonescu and Ponta, formerly allies in the Social Liberal Union of PNL and the Social Democrat Party, PSD] have talked on this matter, and these talks have been almost public. You know very well this was one of our misunderstandings. But him talking, negotiating this issue with Mrs. Udrea in the aforementioned place, which I know despite never being there together with both Mrs. Udrea and Mr. Ponta – this I cannot know. Unfortunately, however, I must say it seems plausible – which does not mean any process of intentions,’ Antonescu detailed.

Asked whether he felt any action to prevent him for running for president – as once promised by the USL – as Basescu guaranteed in 2012 that Antonescu ‘will never be President’, the senator denied. ‘I have not felt any other actions besides Mr. Basescu’s political ones. I have not taken his words seriously back then, nor do I now, because Mr. Basescu has promised lots of things to lots of people. Besides what he promised to Romanians and failed to honour his words, he also promised Mr. Ponta would never be the prime minister. I do not know and I do not think it would be fair to mention any occult, concealed, non-democratic, illegal action against me by any [secret] service, by anyone in the judiciary system or by Mr. Basescu personally. I am talking about a political war fought with political weapons, including misleading articles published by foreign media on the occasion of the referendum [of 2012 to dismiss President Basescu], through influencing agencies. But not more than that,’ Antonescu mentioned.

He reasserted his strong opposition to the cohabitation protocol signed by USL with Basescu. ‘Of course I was there; I have insisted there, too, in every possible way, that it shouldn’t be signed. Mr. Basescu insisted until I left, in a way you can imagine in terms of tenacity, for me signing it some way. I did not sign. (…) They [Basescu and Ponta] had some talks at some point on certain paragraphs of the text. I was no longer present at this part of the talks, because it was superfluous. In that room there were President Basescu, Prime Minister Ponta, Mr. [PSD vice leader Liviu] Dragnea and myself. I have considered signing such a document unacceptable and absolutely useless,’ Antonescu maintained.







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