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March 21, 2023

PNL’s Teodor Atanasiu: “PSD is selling MP seats through protocol with UNPR”

PNL First Vice President Teodor Atanasiu claims that the Social Democrat Party, through the protocol signed with UNPR, “is selling” seats in the future Parliament in order to avoid two-round local elections.

“The collaboration protocol that PSD and UNPR signed today is proving once more (…) that PSD fears two-round local elections. Just in order to secure a majority that would reject in Parliament the draft law on two-round mayoral elections, PSD ensures the presence in the future Parliament of a party that otherwise would not have made it across the electoral threshold. UNPR is not offering anything to PSD, except the upholding of the one-round election system,” Atanasiu said in a communiqué.

The Liberal states that PSD does not support two-round mayoral elections because it believes it would stand to lose from this system, and for UNPR this topic was “a bargaining tool and a tool to ensure its political existence.”

“Both parties had no problem defying common sense and democratic rules when they transferred hundreds of mayors through the famous ordinance made by Ponta & Dragnea in order to ensure their victory in the presidential elections. In this year’s local elections they will have the same unpleasant surprise they had in November 2014, because the electorate will sanction them,” Atanasiu added for Agerpres.

The Liberal emphasised that PNL will continue its efforts in Parliament in order to adopt the legislation on the two-round mayoral election system.

He points out that at the consultations with Premier Dacian Ciolos most of the other parties stated they agree with the principle but not with the timing.

“Hypocrisy unmasked once again by the collaboration protocol that PSD and UNPR signed. If something is right for democracy six months, one year or four years from now, it means it is right today too,” Atanasiu concluded.

PSD and UNPR strike deal for local elections

Social Democratic Party (PSD) and National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) Presidents Liviu Dragnea and Gabriel Oprea signed on Thursday a protocol on cooperating in the upcoming local elections, on single round voting and candidacy on joint lists in the parliamentary elections this autumn, the latter being dependent on the outcome of local elections.

“I’ve had a very serious and honest relation with PSD. I agreed with President Dragnea that, also depending on our local election results, we will have joint lists in the parliamentary elections,” Gabriel Oprea stated.

Liviu Dragnea stressed that the document does not provide eligible spots, not even for his party.

“We both reached the conclusion that if we want to make a serious agreement, given that the two parties have had a very good relationship, UNPR has been an honest and loyal partner, there is no point in taking chances. After the local elections we will analyse, (…) we will assess our chances and, based on several criteria, we will make a decision. Neither PSD nor UNPR has a number of eligible votes,” the PSD President stated.

Answering a question, Dragnea said there was not any “bizarre law” in the Senate’s plenum that referred to the existence of a third round of elections.

He stated that PSD and UNPR will assess, after the local elections, the possibility of continuing the “optimum conditions” for jointly participating in the parliamentary elections.

“There are no other documents, there aren’t any other agreements between me and Mr. Oprea. Any agreements made outside official documents fell through. The protocol is very clear,” he added.

In what regards the possibility of concluding a PSD-UNPR alliance in Bucharest, Dragnea pointed out that there was a possibility to do that in any constituency, as per the newly signed agreement. “This is what the protocol does, it gives the possibility to all PSD and UNPR local branches, subject to specific conditions, to make the best decision so as to maximise their chances in the elections,” Dragnea explained.

Asked whether apart from the protocol presented there are others that have not been disclosed for the time being, Liviu Dragnea answered negatively, pointing out such protocols exist “only in leaks.”

“There are no other agreements between me and Mr. Oprea, between my colleagues and Mr. Oprea’s colleagues, because any agreements that may have been in fashion in Romania, made outside official documents, fell through. And there can be no other agreements, because the protocol is very clear and encompassing,” he said.

Asked whether he will sign the protocol with ALDE too, Dragnea said that there are talks in this sense, that he had a discussion “with ALDE colleagues last week.”

“In this sense, we have already adopted a decision within the Executive Committee. In the following days we will meet and I believe that, in the context of this parliamentary majority that has worked for several years – PSD, UNPR and ALDE –, in the upcoming period there are chances for us to sign a collaboration protocol with ALDE.”

Asked whether PSD and UNPR will continue to function as before, as a parliamentary majority, Dragnea said:

“My opinion is that PSD, UNPR and ALDE will function as before, in an optimum collaboration until the end of this 2016 mandate.” UNPR chair Gabriel Oprea agreed, adding “certainly, yes”.

In what concerns the possibility that PSD and ALDE could take part on joint lists in the parliamentary elections, Liviu Dragnea stated that he does not want to express an opinion as long as no final discussion on the possibility of signing a protocol has taken place. “I am very interested in signing with ALDE a collaboration protocol for the local elections. For parliamentary elections, I don’t believe so, I don’t know,” he added.

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