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June 25, 2022

Crin Antonescu on the referendum held in 2012 to oust Basescu: I am carrying the memory of a political act completed with good intentions

Crin Antonescu partially agrees with Victor Ponta, three years after the referendum for Traian Basescu’s dismissal. The former Co-President of the Social Liberal Union (USL) declared that he did not understand what price Victor Ponta was paying for the “bravery” of having attempted to dismiss the ex-President of the state. Moreover, Crin Antonescu criticized Victor Ponta and suggested he should resign, if he was unable to make “democracy” in a country where he is the Prime Minister.

Crin Antonescu declared for TV station Digi24 that he disagreed with PM Victor Ponta’s statement, made on Tuesday, that both Ponta and Antonescu are paying right now the price for the “bravery” of having attempted to dismiss Traian Basescu on July 29, 2012.

“As far as I am concerned, I never brought up, when I quit the presidency of PNL, that I paid any other price than the fact that the party I had led failed to reach certain results, failed to prove a certain force, required in order to continue a political project. As I had been the leader of this party, I assumed, even on my own, the consequences”, former USL Co-President Crin Antonescu declared for Digi24.

“I do not know what price is Mr. Ponta referring to and I cannot talk in Mr. Ponta’s name”, Antonescu outlined.

About the referendum held three years ago, Crin Antonescu declared that he was carrying “the memory of a political act I had completed with good intentions and maximum democratic fairness, but most of all, it is for me the painful memory of a moment in Romania’s history, when the most essential thing in a democracy – the democratically expressed will of the citizens – was canceled and ignored.”

“It is a mixed memory, but this regret is stronger, in my point of view”, Antonescu emphasised.

Asked whether that was an unfair moment for Romania, Crin Antonescu gave a positive answer and continued by saying that “it is tough to correct, it takes a pretty long period and, first of all, we are trying to reestablish the truth about these things.”

“Finally, what is the worst? It is the worst that, perhaps, many of the eight million and a half persons who had cast their vote – seven million and a half had voted a certain direction – experienced the feeling that their vote did not matter, that they are not the ones taking the major decisions concerning the faith of a country. This thing can be fixed by giving them a feeling, about anything that happens on the public, political stage, that their vote is decisive. I do not think that we are indeed, seriously – or better to say, that the present political leaders of today’s Romania, because I am no longer one of them – committed to this direction. But, definitely, this is the path to follow”, Crin Antonescu pointed out.

The ex-PNL leader declared that “concerning the essential fact in the respective decision, his perspective about that moment had not changed “even a tiny bit” after these three years, and he added that “the legitimate and well deserved dismissal of a person such as Traian Basescu was compulsory”. Moreover, he expressed the hope that people who disagreed by that time with the President’s dismissal would see “what the Basescu regime really meant and why this decision was appropriate.”

Crin Antonescu mentioned he had no bad feelings for Victor Ponta, but “I had no other choice than separation, because we have a fundamental issue. I can agree with Ponta, and I do agree, it is just that I am not Romania’s Prime Minister.”

Crin Antonescu thus criticised Victor Ponta for having declared there was no democracy in the country he was the Head of the Government.

“Logically and politically, it is an unacceptable situation that a person holding such position of power and decision in a state would say that there was no democracy and fairness in that state. This is the drama and the ridiculous situation, as far as Victor Ponta is concerned politically. He should do something every day to make these things possible. If he is unable to do so, perhaps he should leave his position”, Crin Antonescu further declared.

The former USL leader outlined there was nothing they could have done differently at that time and that he did not consider he was guilty of anything, referring to the excerpt of Victor Ponta’s Facebook post: “At that time, Crin Antonescu and I have been the leaders of that outstanding phenomenon – we have the merit of having represented it and the guilt of not having completed people’s will!”

“We could not impose a decision of the Parliament or any other kind of decision, over the one reached by the Constitutional Court”, he added, referring to the fact that CCR had invalidated the referendum.

Nonetheless, when discussing what happened after the referendum, as USL failed to honour their promises, Antonescu assumed responsibility for some of the blame.


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