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December 1, 2021

From party chairmen to prison convicts: leaders behind bars

From the peak of the party to a prison cell: this is the route followed by four ex-Presidents of political parties in Romania. The last who has joined this exquisite group is Dan Diaconescu (photo).  The former Head of PP-DD was granted a prison sentence of five years and a half for blackmail. He is thus in the exclusive company of Adrian Nastase, former PSD President, who had spent almost two years in the penitentiary and the founder of the Conservative Party (PC), Dan Voiculescu, who is in jail since last August. Another glorious figure on the list of leaders behind bar is Elena Udrea, former Popular Movement Party (PMP) president, presently placed for the second time under preventive arrest.

Dan Diaconescu managed to bring the party he had founded 68 seats in the Parliament, less than a year after founding the party.

“All your wishes will be fulfilled after we overtake the power”, Dan Diaconescu had promised the nation a year ago.

Nonetheless, the five year and a half jail sentence he recently gained for blackmail seems to stand in the way of his political agenda.

“They closed my TV stations, they terminated my party and now they are trying to finish me off as well”, Diaconescu declared before being placed behind bars.

Elena Udrea had held the highest position in the Popular Movement Party (PMP) for half of a year. She had great plans at the time she was elected the leader of the political party.

“I promise you we will make a difference at the presidential elections this autumn”, she had declared in June 2014.

She resigned after the start of the lawsuit against her. Now, she is under preventive arrest for the second time.

“You can handcuff Elena Udrea, but you cannot handcuff the truth”, she had declared on February 11.

In the absence of their former leaders, PP-DD and PMP are reinventing themselves. The Deputies of the two parties merged in a group in the Parliament. They gave the group a brand new name: The Group of Populars and Democrats.

Yet, Romania’s first party leader to end his seemingly endless career of tremendous power behind bars is Adrian Nastase, former Head of the Social Democrat Party (PSD).

“People must confide in us that we have solutions to apply so that our political leadership would make sense”, Nastase declared in November 2010.

Adrian Nastase has been the President of PSD for over four years. He left the highest position in the party after losing the presidential elections in 2004. He was convicted twice, for two different files, and spent almost two years in jail.

“For 14 years, the Conservative Party is a politically party. We are a highly qualified party, as any other party should probably be”, Dan Voiculescu, the founder of the Conservative Party (PC) declared in April 2014.

This was the opinion the founder and president of PC expressed no more than four months before he was granted the final sentence in the file of fraudulent privatisation of the Food Research Institute. All his plans of glory were canceled after he was sentenced to ten years in prison for money laundering.



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