Marian Munteanu, the National Liberal Party’s (PNL) candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, stated on Tuesday evening that he is yet to join PNL, stating that he will do so “when needed” and that the Liberals will also hold talks with the alliance he is a member of and with other Bucharest-based associations.
I will sign my PNL membership application form “exactly when needed”
“Along with my generation I had a firm adhesion to Romanian democracy and values. (…) The formal affiliation will be undertaken when needed. I know there are some technical issues,” Marian Munteanu pointed out, stating that PNL will have a meeting with his alliance and with other Bucharest-based associations. He made the statement after journalists asked him whether he has signed the PNL membership application form.
Asked whether the Liberals “took him by surprise,” Munteanu answered negatively, pointing out that with his alliance and other associations he had already started a process of consultation with various candidates in order to see what are the best solutions for Bucharest and not only for Bucharest.
“No, personally I was thinking with our alliance and with other associations, we had even started a series of consultations with various candidates in order to see what are the best solutions not only for Bucharest, because we as civil society have this type of collaborations, but also in very many cities. This democratic game, in a fairly strange way, was somehow blocked or stopped by the events that occurred,” the former leader of students answered.
He claimed that a candidacy is the last thing he would have accepted, stating that he would have preferred to back a candidate instead, however he does not shy away from “lending a hand” when needed.
“It would have been the last thing I would have accepted. I would have preferred to back another candidate; but you should know I’m not shying away from lending a hand when needed. I consider this to be a civic duty too,” Marian Munteanu concluded.
PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated on Tuesday that Marian Munteanu will join PNL: “He will be a member of PNL. You cannot run otherwise the moment you file a candidacy.”
“It’s an honour for me, I’m profoundly linked to Bucharesters”
Marian Munteanu, PNL’s nominated candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, also stated on Tuesday that the Liberals showed “unprecedented” openness toward civil society by backing him in the electoral race, stating that he is “profoundly linked to Bucharesters.”
“The simple fact that my name is invoked in this discussion is an honour for me. I have special respect I always had for PNL, a great party in the history of our country and I see this possibility as openness toward civil society so far unprecedented in recent political history. I see the start of a solid partnership between a party, maybe others will join PNL too, and civil society organisations, one that would lead to a real renewal of our public life. It’s an act of courage, an act of responsibility,” Marian Munteanu stated at PNL’s National Standing Bureau (BPN) meeting.
He pointed out he is “profoundly linked to Bucharesters.”
“I confess that I am profoundly linked to Bucharesters, since forever. In this city I experienced probably the most unsettling moments of my life, together with Bucharesters,” Marian Munteanu said.
He emphasised he wants to find a solution to stop society’s return to the dangerous areas of the past.
“I want to help as much as I can in finding a solution in order to stop the dangerous resurgence of our society toward possible areas of the past. Consequently, I have all openness toward finding the most suitable formula in order for the active civil society, the people that mean well for Bucharest, to be able to be represented in this context and, of course, I trust you will find, as politicians, leaders of PNL, the best solution to open this partnership even more, in formulas that would lead to the best representation of Bucharesters’ interests and the interests of citizens in general. Thank you and God bless,” Munteanu concluded.
Ionescu Quintus: My abstention was against PNL’s leadership, not against Munteanu who is a legend of Bucharest
PNL Honorary President Mircea Ionescu Quintus stated on Tuesday that his abstention at the vote that validated Marian Munteanu’s candidacy was “against the leadership,” because Liberals should have had a backup plan, not against the former leader of students.
“It was not an abstention against Marian Munteanu, whom I know and who is, in my opinion, a legend of Bucharest, I abstained against the leadership of the party whose member I am, because we were not prepared for this shock. We were taken by surprise, this solution was found, but a politician should always have a backup plan. We didn’t,” PNL’s Honorary President explained when asked why he abstained at the vote that took place within PNL’s BPN.
Asked whether backing Marian Munteanu for the Bucharest City Hall is a good option, Quintus stated that “one couldn’t find a better option.”
On the other hand, PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu had claimed that the vote within the BPN was unanimous.
“It was a unanimous vote in favour of Mr. Marian Munteanu’s candidacy, from President Mircea Ionescu Quintus down to the last member of this BPN. We presented assertions, arguments, suggestions, proposals. All these things will materialize in a strategy for Bucharest,” Alina Gorghiu stated. She pointed out that PNL Bucharest will start collecting signatures on Wednesday.
Predoiu: Marian Munteanu, best fighter in battle with PSD. Will tap undecided voters too
PNL Bucharest President Catalin Predoiu presented during the PNL leadership’s meeting on Tuesday the arguments in favour of backing Marian Munteanu’s bid for the Bucharest City Hall, stating that the former leader of students is the best candidate that the Liberals can line up in the battle with PSD.
“Yesterday’s events have dramatically changed the way in which the PNL Bucharest party branch has to perform against the backdrop of local elections. If until yesterday there was no kind of preoccupation with the way we continue the campaign, yesterday, given the withdrawal of our candidate, we were faced with very important decisions. Up until yesterday, neither my colleagues nor I had any other options other than staking on a political solution for this candidacy. Unfortunately, yesterday’s event brought back under consideration a real problem at the society’s level, namely the credibility fracture between the public, the electorate, and the political environment in general. It brought back under consideration the need to give an answer to the requests formulated by the electorate, expressed in the street on numerous occasions,” Predoiu stated at PNL’s BPN meeting, before asking Marian Munteanu to take to the rostrum.
Predoiu stated that the “dramatic moment” – Orban’s decision to bow out of the race for the Bucharest City Hall – made the Liberals choose a candidate from civil society.
“The political solution had several variants, PNL had at its disposal people that could have taken responsibilities at any time, but we saw fit, alongside our colleagues, to mark this dramatic moment through a radical change of option and to go with the solution of a candidate from civil society. (…) Following an analysis, the unanimous conclusion reached was that Mr. Marian Munteanu has all the qualities to give this answer to the electorate, on behalf of our party. Qualities that have to do with both personal credibility, vocation for the values of civil society, and with the very important fact that for us Mr. Marian Munteanu is a symbol of the anti-communist struggle,” Predoiu added. Predoiu had refused to enter the race for the Bucharest City Hall.
The Liberal underscored that Marian Munteanu is PNL’s best fighter in the battle with PSD, stating that he can capitalise on not only the party’s electorate but also on undecided voters.
“He is an avowed opponent of communism. He is the best fighter we can line up in the battle with PSD. I believe Mr. Marian Munteanu can tap not only the votes that traditionally go toward PNL but also on an important part of the votes of undecided citizens who still have reservations toward political parties but who undoubtedly have democratic options,” Predoiu concluded.
“I don’t want to assume undue merits”
PNL Bucharest interim president Catalin Predoiu made more statements on Wednesday, against the backdrop of the dissatisfaction shown and criticism expressed by some PNL members in what concerns the party’s nomination of Marian Munteanu, the latter being accused by many for his pro-legionnaire and anti-European opinions. Predoiu claims that a first effect of his nomination is PSD’s disarray.
“Ever since the start of the talks we believed that a candidate from the civil society would be the best answer that PNL can give to the street displeased with politics. (…) I indeed proposed the civil society solution but I don’t want to assume undue merits. It’s good that a solution matching the street’s demands was found so rapidly, we are running against the clock in the battle with PSD. The disarray PSD has entered is already a first effect of this nomination,” Predoiu wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
He pointed out that Marian Munteanu was close to PNL before the nomination, pointing out that he had accepted to be part of former candidate Ludovic Orban’s support committee, on behalf of civil society.
“The PNL Bucharest party branch will continue the campaign in the districts and will organise in the shortest of times PNL candidate Marian Munteanu’s campaign. It’s important to come up with a concrete programme of solutions for Bucharest, and, on a general plane, to push the political game forward on the democratic and Euroatlantic line, values that have brought to Romania as much good as could have been brought after 1990,” Predoiu said.
Cristian Preda: “What PNL did is a mockery”
MEP Cristian Preda is criticizing Marian Munteanu’s nomination as the PNL candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, and he names it “a mockery”, while he is expressing his regret that he didn’t register himself as an independent in the competition for Bucharest.
“In 2012, when the right side of the political framework was divided, it promoted S. Prigoană (PDL candidate) and S. Oprescu (proposed by PNL and its’ allies from USL). Now, the unified right proposes Marian Munteanu. I feel insulted by the idea that Marian Munteanu is presented as a liberal. I wrote hundreds of pages about liberalism and I realize they have a null echo inside PNL. On the other hand, I regret I didn’t follow the advices given to me few months ago, in order to present myself as an independent candidate for the Bucharest City Hall. I was sure that PNL will present a very strong and credible candidate. But I was so wrong. What they did is a mockery”, Cristian Preda wrote on Facebook.
Busoi: „With Marian Munteanu as a candidate, PNL proves that it is doing what the civil society is expecting from it”
PNL First Vice-President Cristian Busoi stated, on Tuesday, that by nominating Marian Munteanu as a candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, PNL is doing what the civil society is expecting the party to do, saying also that his comeback in the election race wasn’t subject of any discussion.
“With Marian Munteanu as a candidate, PNL clearly proves that it is doing what civil society is expecting it to do. PNL has always noticed what people in Bucharest asked: after Ponta Government’s resignation, PNL gave up the governance and supported a non-political Government, to prove that it’s listening the voice of the people protesting in the street; now, that doubts and accusations had appeared , PNL candidate withdraws with no hesitation, in order not to cause moral issues, proving that PNL does what people in Bucharest are expecting it to do and that it’s considering the integrity criteria , even it means a loss for the party”, Busoi stated, according to a press release.
The Liberal, who was the PNL first nominated candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, also said that there weren’t any discussion related to his comeback in the election race, after Ludovic Orban’s withdrawal.
“It is without doubt a difficult situation, both politically, for PNL, and humanly, for Ludovic Orban, but also for us, as colleagues who know Ludovic. It’s worthy to be highlighted that Ludovic Orban and PNL did not pose into a victim and they didn’t play the innocence and hypocrisy show which is PSD playing in front of the Justice, but instead of this, he took the most clear and honest decision not to create any doubt against PNL (…) I would like to mention one thing, in order to stop rumors launched by people who wish to divide PNL. I haven’t discussed anything with anybody and there was not any discussion inside PNL related to my comeback as a candidate in the campaign for the City Hall. I take all my decisions after a reasonable thinking and I am not coming back to say “Let’s go!” if I said “That’s it”, and I took the decision to support PNL candidate for the City Hall”, Cristian Busoi also stated.
Paleologu: “It’s a pyramidal stupidity. PNL goes through a total drift.”
PNL MP Theodor Paleologu announced he will not support the candidacy of Marian Munteanu at Bucharest City Hall, criticizing the Liberals’ decision from Tuesday in very hard words, saying it is a “pyramidal stupidity”.
“I will not support Marian Munteanu as the PNL candidate for Bucharest City Hall. It’s a pyramidal stupidity, a sign showing that the party goes through a total moral, political and ideological drift”, the Liberal wrote on Facebook.
Firea: “PSD strategy does not change in any matter”
PSD candidate to Bucharest City Hall, Gabriela Firea, stated on Tuesday that the party’s strategy doesn’t change in any matter, after PNL decision to nominate Marian Munteanu as a candidate for Bucharest, and that she is waiting for debates on administration, and not on politics.
“I welcome PNL decision to nominate their own candidate for the position of the Mayor of Bucharest in the person of Mr. Marian Munteanu, and I look forward to find out his projects for Bucharest. I am convinced we will get the chance to face our solutions to the people’s problems, and I also believe that Mr. Marian Munteanu will agree to talk about administration, and not politics, in this campaign”, Firea stated, according to a press release.
She further said that PSD has a local government program which will be suggested to the Bucharest people. “I do not candidate against some people, but for Bucharest. Therefore, I will continue to focus on those issues that residents of the Capital wish to be resolved as soon as possible”, also said the social-democrat candidate.