The Liberal Reforming Party (PLR) and the Conservative Party (PC) have completed their merger negotiations, PLR President and Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu announced on Thursday. The new Liberal party will be called the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), he mentioned.
The Senate Speaker stated that the new party will “unequivocally be a centre-right liberal party” that seeks to be an alternative to the traditional parties that dominate the European political stage. He announced that the new party will be a member of the Liberal European family.
“The new party will be called ALDE, meaning the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats. The new party will be a member of the European Liberal family. Our liberal colleagues are up-to-date with the negotiations between us, we’ve informed them throughout this period about the negotiations we’ve had, they are very glad to welcome us to their family,” the PLR President said, adding that he will attend the June 24 meeting of European Liberal leaders in Brussels.
“Our idea was to create a credible centre force, a civic force we would say, that should represent the middle class, the entrepreneurs, even those in the public service,” the PLR President said.
“We want to represent particularly those Romanians who believe in individual freedom,” Tariceanu said, accusing PNL of giving up the liberal traditions and siding with “repressive institutions.”
He also announced that the party will run in the future elections on its own, without forming any alliance, emphasizing that it has “territorial branches.”
The new party’s logo generated delight among liberal European colleagues, Tariceanu claims. “The logo is only partially similar to ALDE’s. At European level it has two characters holding hands and representing solidarity, while our symbol is very widespread in the liberal world, namely a bird in flight,” Tariceanu explained.
A PLR-PC merger congress will take place on Friday, considering that all talks have ended and the main principle on whose basis the merger will take place and the political ideas that will be promoted by the new party have been established. PC and PLR currently form joint groups within the Senate and the Lower Chamber.
The merger has generated waves of discontent within the Conservative Party. In an extremely harshly-worded letter addressed to PC President Daniel Constantin, MEP Maria Grapini suggested she will leave the party. The MEP, who is PC Vice President and leader of the party’s Timis branch, accused the Agriculture Minister of stealing Dan Voiculescu’s party in order to dissolve it through the merger with Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s party.
Senator Cristiana Anghel questioned the future of the new party. “The decision was taken at the level of leadership structures. We were not told anything. I don’t see the point of this alliance. In politics 1 per cent plus 1 per cent is not 2 per cent. We will score below 1 per cent in the elections,” Anghel stated.
Disappointed with the merger decision, a group of Senators headed by Senator Alfred Mihai Laurentiu has laid the basis of a new party – the Humanist Power – Social Liberal Party (PPU-SL).
Ludovic Orban, PNL: “Two of Victor Ponta’s profiteers”
PNL First Vice President Ludovic Orban stated on Thursday, referring to the merger between PC and PLR, that this is about “two of Victor Ponta’s profiteers who no longer profit separately but jointly,” pointing out that these are two parties that never faced the electorate and were PSD’s “hand luggage.”
“A match made in hell. Two of Victor Ponta’s profiteers, irrespective of their name, no longer profit separately but will profit jointly around Ponta. (…) Two profiteers no longer profit separately but will do so as one. Zero plus zero is still zero even if it’s zero point zero,” Orban said when asked about the merger between PLR and PC, Mediafax informs.
The PNL leader pointed out that PC and PLR are two parties that never faced the electorate and the moment PSD will “ditch” these “fellow travellers” is not far away.
“I believe the moment when PSD, unable to satisfy the pretensions of its own members, will ditch these fellow travellers and will allow them to break their neck on their own, irrespective of how much they profited around Victor Ponta, is not far away,” Orban said.