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January 23, 2022

Crin Antonescu: ‘Victor Ponta should have resigned when he was defeated in presidential election’

Ex-PNL President Crin Antonescu spoke in a recent  interview for B1 TV about the leader of PSD, PM Victor Ponta, whom he finds the main responsible person for the failure of USL and whom he blames for the non-assumption of a position on important subjects such as the amendments to the Criminal Code.

‘For me, Victor Ponta has the main responsibility for the big failure of the Social-Liberal Union, but, at a human level, that does not bring me any bad feelings regarding Victor Ponta. He blew up an extraordinary project. But I am not holding a grudge against him over that’, Antonescu said on B1 TV.

He further noted that Ponta avoids saying how he feels about important things, such as the modification of the Criminal Code, and said that the ‘trickery’ was beginning to become a characteristic of the PM at key-moments, which prevents him from climbing politically.

‘The correct attitude of the main political leader – except the president – the head of he biggest parliamentary party and prime-minister of the government should be clear: <I support the changing of the Criminal Code> – especially as one who participated in the committing of responsibility, he was a member of the government when this Criminal Code was produced. <We should change it or we shouldn’t>. This trickery is beginning to become a characteristic of Victor Ponta at key-moments and I think this is the main thing that prevents him from climbing a step up’, Antonescu said. He also said that his former ruling partner, Premier Victor Ponta, should have resigned after being defeated in the presidential election.

‘Victor Ponta should have resigned when he was defeated in the presidential election, even if the following day, if the party supported him and if he had the majority, could still go to Cotroceni claiming the PM’s mandate. But these are symbolic actions’, he said.


On Klaus Iohannis’ candidacy: ‘I admit I wasn’t very happy’


During the interview, Crin Antonescu spoke about President Klaus Iohannis’ election campaign. Antonescu said he wasn’t very happy with the manner in which Iohannis chose to run for president. The senator who said he would withdraw from politics at the end of his term also said recounted how Iohannis suddenly changed his mind. If before the European election campaign Klaus Iohannis was against the idea of him standing for election as president, after Antonescu’s departure from PNL, the ex-mayor’s position suddenly became evasive’, Antonescu says.

‘Right after the beginning of the campaign for the European parliamentary election I talked to Klaus Iohannis and asked him – it was just the two of us – if we could consider the possibility of his candidacy for president’, Antonescu said. He added that Iohannis said ‘No’.

‘My relations with Klaus Iohannis have not been that many and not very intense all these years, but they have been very clear, crystal clear actually! He was not the kind of person one would feel the need to ask the same thing seven times’, the ex-PNL leader further explained.

However, after he stepped down as the head of the party, Crin Antonescu asked Iohannis again if he would consider running in the election for president. ‘This time he gave me an evasive answer. I admit I wasn’t very happy’, Antonescu said.


‘Withdrawal in a way means that one has said what they had to say’


The former PNL president and presidential candidate also explained that a withdrawal was also a sign of his exigency. Crin Antonescu stressed that he had not entered politics ‘with the thought of finishing my career, life and experience in politics’, and that ‘an withdrawal in a way also means that one has said what they had to say, who understood it understood it, who didn’t, didn’t’. Antonescu said that, after PNL’s failure in the European elections in May 2014, when the set target of 25-20% was not reached, other party leaders should have also resigned.

‘There was no plot because no one suggested to me or asked me to make such a commitment and self-imposed that conduct. Don’t ask me why others did not resign as well. I can only answer for my actions and, anyway, it seemed normal that the number one should take the number one responsibility’, Antonescu said. He also added: I do not miss anything. I think Victor Ponta blew up an extraordinary project and Klaus Iohannis had the very straightforward way of direct communication. That saddens me, but I am far from holding a grudge’.


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