PNL puts Nicusor Dan under total siege: Gorghiu accuses USB of being wholly responsible for splitting the anti-PSD vote
The battle between the right-wing candidates for Bucharest City Hall is heating up after Nicusor Dan, the Save Bucharest Union’s (USB) candidate, refused PNL candidate Catalin Predoiu’s offer to carry out a survey meant to reveal the right-wing candidate that scores the best in voter intentions and to rally around him in the race for the Bucharest City Hall. While Nicusor Dan claims that PNL’s negotiators conditioned the carrying out of this survey on him withdrawing from the race, PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu, present at the talks, has a different version.
“Yesterday I went to the USB headquarters in order to try, once more, to convince their candidate of the need for the candidate with the lowest score – established through a survey of any kind, conducted by anyone – to withdraw from the race for Bucharest. I was accompanied by a colleague and a sociologist that would have been our representative in the carrying out of the survey, if this political solution was agreed. We met Nicusor Dan, a sociologist that would have represented USB in carrying out the survey and a member of the candidate’s electoral staff. We had all these talks because we had hoped, up until the final moment, that reason and the Bucharesters’ interest would prevail.”
“Their opinion was that their constituents would not understand Nicusor Dan’s potential decision to withdraw, even if scoring lower than Catalin Predoiu. Unfortunately, we were unable to persuade them otherwise.”
“From this moment on, USB and their candidate bear full responsibility for splitting the anti-PSD vote. I don’t understand why they want the third place so badly, but from now on we alone will be fighting for a Bucharest that would not become an annex of bordering communes from Ilfov County,” the PNL Co-President wrote on Facebook.
Nicusor Dan: I met PNL, they refused a joint survey
Nicusor Dan, USB’s candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, wrote on Facebook that he met PNL leaders on Monday evening and they refused the carrying out of a joint survey organised by an international company and audited by both parties.
“This evening I had a meeting with PNL. They refused organising a joint survey, organised by an international company and audited by both parties. In these conditions, we have decided to go forward with carrying out the survey,” Nicusor Dan wrote on Facebook.
He also wrote that he continues to wait for PNL’s representatives to audit the sociological survey.
“We have nothing to hide. We will publish the results in the final days of the campaign. I have the conviction that they will show what I’ve said from the very start: USB is the only force capable of bringing real change in the way Bucharest is managed,” the USB candidate added.
Approximately an hour before Nicusor Dan’s Facebook posting, Catalin Predoiu denied, also on Facebook, the existence of such a meeting.
“About the press speculations: I did not meet Nicusor Dan today. I last saw him last evening on TVR,” Predoiu wrote on Facebook.
Predoiu: Nicusor Dan has opened the way for ticket with Gabriela Firea
PNL’s Catalin Predoiu talked on Monday evening about the failure of negotiations with Nicusor Dan, stating that the USB representatives was the one who refused the coalescing of right-wing votes and has thus cleared Firea’s path to the City Hall and his own path to the office of Deputy Mayor.
Catalin Predoiu pointed out that he did not take part in the talks with Nicusor Dan, USB’s candidate for the City Hall, the meeting being one between their campaign staffs. Commenting on Nicusor Dan’s announcement that PNL refused the carrying out of a joint survey, overseen by PNL and USB, Predoiu stated that Nicusor Dan is in fact the one who rejected “the essence” of his political offer, namely of endorsing a single candidate identified on the basis of the sociological survey.
“The problem is Mr. Nicusor Dan refuses the very essence of the political offer I made, namely that if one of us tops the survey’s rankings then the other would support him. To just carry out a survey… everyone is carrying out surveys. The proposal was rejected because its essence is the support that each should give. This means, in my point of view, that it’s a clear rejection of an offer to coalesce votes on the Right, which means that, willy-nilly, Mr. Nicusor Dan is clearing Ms. Firea’s path to the City Hall and his own path to a position of Deputy Mayor. Their absence at the televised debate is yet another element that shows some kind of deal,” Catalin Predoiu stated during a televised debate.
He accused Nicusor Dan of not being serious.
“The problem is I see a mutual deal on clearing the path for a Nicusor Dan – Firea ticket. In these conditions, what is left is for us to continue our campaign. I will go forward and I’m asking Bucharesters to cast a useful vote,” Predoiu added.
PMP candidate Robert Turcescu chimed in and accused Predoiu of hypocrisy.
“It’s hypocrisy. What’s happening now is terrible. It shows lack of respect for the voters, it shows we are in fact witnessing a petty politics game involving all those who are now proposing, on the last stretch, the unification of the Right. Is Nicusor Dan representative of the Romanian Right??? He is not the representative of the Romanian Right. If the Right really wanted to unify there could have been a discussion before the start of the elections campaign,” Turcescu said.
PNL Bucharest Spokesperson Cezar Preda claimed in his turn too that PNL representatives were not the ones who refused an agreement at Monday’s talks, Nicusor Dan being the one who insisted on Predoiu bowing out of the race. “The lie according to which PNL refused is mindboggling! The rankings will be seen after the vote. Nicusor Dan will remain tricked and the puppet-masters will barely contain their laughter because they have used another fool in order to hand Bucharest over to PSD. The refusal was categorical, even though he knew he was behind Catalin Predoiu in voter intentions. He was demanding, in an inflexible and hallucinatory way, the withdrawal of the PNL candidate. Nicusor Dan is now on the side of the people who wanted a different project, who do not want the unification of the Right,” Cezar Preda pointed out in a press statement.
Gabriela Firea denounces imminent “vile campaign”
The elections campaign is becoming increasingly bitter in the last week before elections. PSD’s Bucharest City Hall candidate publicly denounces an attempted “vile campaign” against her and recounts what she heard is allegedly in store for her:
“Las evening I found out an ugly piece of news about how the campaign against me is being run. I found out that someone, who pretends to be a psychologist, went to Bacau at the nursing care home where my father is. Although my father left my family when I was 14, the person who visited him at the nursing care home took many pictures, asked him many questions about me and the elections campaign I am engaged in.”
“At this moment I don’t have direct evidence that that person is connected to my political opponents. But it’s highly unlikely for this action not to have a political motivation, which we all suspect.”
“At any rate, it’s a vile action that breaks the ethics and fair-play rules of an elections campaign. I’ve tried to carry out a positive campaign in which to tell Bucharesters what I can do for them and what my solutions to the most pressing problems in Bucharest are. The fact that my opponents see fit to resort to such disgusting attacks has nothing to do with Bucharesters’ priorities.”
“It is proven once again that what I warned yesterday morning about the attacks that are being prepared against me is real. Nevertheless, I want to tell all Bucharesters that such attacks will not prevent me from campaigning in the manner I believe to be fair and civilised. On the contrary, I will try to show that an elections campaign can be won without dirty attacks against your contenders,” Gabriela Firea claims.