Six UNPR Lower Chamber lawmakers have decided to join the Social Democrats. The six politicians that left UNPR for PSD are: Stefan Dalca, Adrian Diaconu, Liviu Codarla, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Ion Pargaru and Liliana Minca.
UNPR Interim President Neculai Ontanu states that he has information according to which PSD is trying to recruit UNPR MPs.
“We have lowered our trust (in PSD – editor’s note) as a result of Mr. Dragnea’s statements, completely unfair statements that I believe Mr. Dragnea himself regrets, according to which he is trying to recruit MPs from UNPR. No UNPR MP is leaving for PSD, they are all staying within UNPR,” Ontanu stated after Gabriel Oprea resigned.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that he did not understand “much” from UNPR’s statements about the possible backing of two-round mayoral elections, adding that PSD has started to question the relationship with the party previously led by Gabriel Oprea.
The PSD leader pointed out that his first reaction after Gabriel Oprea – “a steadfast man, who maintained balance” – resigned was to state that the protocol with UNPR remains in force, pointing out that he now wonders whether that may have been the wrong reaction, according to ziare.com.
“We too are starting to have doubts,” the PSD leader added, insisting that PSD will have “no public reaction” against UNPR. “PSD did absolutely nothing against UNPR,” the PSD President claimed, emphasising that “in all alliances, PSD was the party betrayed,” Dragnea said.
He characterized the statements of UNPR representatives as “maybe natural unrest,” bearing in mind the fight for that party’s leadership.
Dragnea stated that several UNPR leaders told him that the party meeting that followed Gabriel Oprea’s resignation was “relatively heated,” which made him conclude that Ontanu was probably “very strained.”
Neculai Ontanu: “I haven’t negotiated my departure from UNPR”
UNPR Interim President Neculai Ontanu claims that he did not negotiate his departure from UNPR to PSD. The statement came after press allegations according to which the District 2 Mayor is discussing with the Social Democrat leader his possible defection to PSD.
“I want to clarify unequivocally: I did not and will not negotiate my departure from UNPR. I did not negotiate with Liviu Dragnea my transfer to PSD. At this moment I am UNPR president ad interim and my and Valeriu Steriu’s effort is focusing on the electoral campaign,” Ontanu pointed out in a communiqué.
UNPR’s interim president believes that these speculations are part of a media attack directed against his party. “I notice that at this moment UNPR is subjected to a media assault from malevolent persons that want to induce a state of disorder within the party. I inform all of UNPR’s detractors that their action will fail and I encourage them, in a friendly manner, to mind their business,” Ontanu stated.
In case the leaders of the two parties decide to uphold their electoral alliance protocol, PSD will back Ontanu’s bid for Bucharest’s District 2 Mayoralty, while UNPR will back PSD’s candidate for the Bucharest City Hall. If the alliance falls through, both PSD and UNPR have candidates ready to run in all districts and for the Bucharest City Hall. UNPR’s Ilie Nastase is the one who has announced his intention to run for the Bucharest City Hall.
Several days ago, PSD Vice President Gabriela Firea, leader of PSD Bucharest and the party’s potential candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, had a meeting with Neculai Ontanu. “At that meeting, Ontanu told Gabriela Firea that without District 2 and without UNPR, PSD cannot win the elections for the Bucharest City Hall,” political sources told news.ro.
Alliance talks continue
UNPR Interim President Neculai Ontanu and UNPR’s campaign chief Valeriu Steriu had a working meeting with PSD President Liviu Dragnea and PSD’s campaign chief Marian Neacsu. The meeting focused on the alliance between the two parties and their collaboration in the local elections, a communiqué informs.
“The meeting tackled the situation of the Centre Left Alliance formed by PSD and UNPR, as well as the terms of the two parties’ collaboration in the local elections,” the communiqué reads.
According to the aforementioned source, “UNPR leaders Neculai Ontanu and Valeriu Steriu deemed the meeting useful and necessary” and “they agreed to hold similar meetings in the following period.”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that PSD is open to talks and wants the protocol with UNPR “to stand,” pointing out that following the recent statements coming from UNPR the Social Democrats also “have doubts.”
Dragnea stated on ‘Adevarul Live’ that PSD did nothing against UNPR after Gabriel Oprea resigned from the office of UNPR President, reaffirming the validity of the bilateral protocol, but that he has lately heard “bellicose statements.”
PSD conducts another survey to nominate candidates for Bucharest City Hall and districts
Senator Gabriela Firea, PSD Vice President (photo), stated on Thursday in an interview for DC News that the party’s National Executive Committee will nominate, next Wednesday, the party’s candidates for the Bucharest City Hall and district mayoralties, based on a new survey ordered by PSD President Liviu Dragnea. The survey will be completed at the end of this week.
“Mr. Liviu Dragnea wanted another survey, it will be ready this weekend. The Executive Committee is scheduled next week, on Wednesday, and a political decision will be taken based on it,” Firea stated on DC News.
“I am the first option, but there are others too,” Firea said, without naming names.
Dragnea stated on Wednesday that Senator Serban Nicolae and former Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici are those who also expressed the wish to be nominated.
Asked about the candidacies for district mayoralties, Firea stated that the party is in the situation in which it has to rethink its strategy.
Firea also stated that in case she is nominated, in the elections campaign she will not “hit” her contender Ludovic Orban (PNL), with whom she has “a relationship of friendship” dating back from the time she was an anchorwoman and the Liberal was the permanent guest on her show.
“I will keep my promise and I will not hit him. I don’t know whether Ludovic will keep his word,” she said.
Firea also stated that in Bucharest PSD wants to conclude a political alliance with ALDE, a party that “scores very well in opinion polls in Bucharest, especially in District 1.”
“I believe Mr. Tariceanu is seen as a pure-bred Liberal,” Senator Firea, Vice President of PSD and President of the PSD Bucharest branch, added.
She summed-up the candidate nomination situation in the following way. In District 1, the desire is to back an ALDE candidate. In District 2, if PSD does not conclude the alliance with UNPR it will not back Ontanu and will nominate its own candidate instead. In District 4, Daniel Baluta is the party’s current candidate. Solutions are sought for District 5; and in District 6, Gabriel Mutu could be the PSD candidate.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that Senator Gabriela Firea has “a very significant chance” to become the party’s candidate in the race for the Bucharest City Hall, but pointed out that other Social Democrats – Senators Eugen Teodorovici and Serban Nicolae – want to obtain the party’s nomination too.
“Gabriela Firea has a very significant chance. We estimate that next week we will convene the National Executive Committee, because that is what the statute requires in order to validate candidacies, both for the Bucharest City Hall and for District Mayoralties. In my opinion, Gabriela Firea has the top shot, but there are other colleagues who want this nomination too and there will be an open, transparent and very honest discussion about the real chances,” Dragnea said in an interview for ‘Adevarul Live,’ when asked what Firea’s chances of becoming PSD’s candidate in the race for the Bucharest City Hall are.
He added that two more Social Democrats have announced that they want to enter the race for the Bucharest City Hall – Eugen Teodorovici and Serban Nicolae.
According to Dragnea, until the National Executive Committee is convened another sociological survey will be conducted, analyzed, and a final decision will be taken on its basis.
The PSD President pointed out he proposed some colleagues that “were members of an efficient Government” to enter the electoral race, colleagues that could have presented “a governance project,” but they declined the “offers.”
In what concerns the possibility of backing a candidate from outside the party, the Social Democrats’ president said that the idea was taken into account but, in his point of view, an independent cannot implement his projects unless the General Council backs him.