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September 27, 2021

Day of long knives in PNL, party hit by wave of resignations

Turmoil continues within the National Liberal Party (PNL) following the failure registered by PNL candidate Catalin Predoiu in the race for the Bucharest City Hall. Catalin Predoiu resigned immediately after the elections from the office of PNL Bucharest President.

The PNL leadership convened on Wednesday at the party’s National Political Bureau (BPN) meeting, a sitting that lasted many hours.

Five of the leaders of PNL’s Bucharest District branches resigned on Wednesday, taking the blame for the failure registered in last Sunday’s local elections. Anca Boagiu, PNL District 2 President, was the only one who postponed her resignation, stating she will resign after she talks with her party branch colleagues.

Those who have resigned are: Mihai Voicu, head of PNL District 1, Florin Alexe, head of PNL District 3, Marius Roghin, head of PNL District 4, Cristi Olteanu, head of PNL District 5 and the head of PNL District 6.

The leaders of the party’s Bucharest District branches stated they want to show solidarity with Catalin Predoiu, the former head of PNL Bucharest, who filed his resignation the day after the shameful defeat registered in Bucharest. The Liberals scored 12 percent in the local elections in Bucharest, finishing on third place, behind PSD and USB.

PNL District 1 President Mihai Voicu asked for the resignation of PNL Secretary General Ilie Bolojan because “as elections campaign chief at national level he did not have results, he was completely absent.” Bolojan has won another stint as Oradea Mayor, with over 70 percent of the votes. “He holds those prerogatives by delegation. There is no deadline on which the delegation would expire,” Mihai Voicu pointed out.

The acting leadership of the party’s Bucharest District branches will be held by the resigning presidents until new presidents are “nominated.”

Asked by journalists whether PNL Co-Presidents Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga should resign in their turn too, Mihai Voicu gave a categorical negative answer.

“Certainly not! Catalin Predoiu was the elections campaign chief for Bucharest. The resignation of the Co-Presidents is not called for, we didn’t ask for this, we don’t believe it’s timely. The national-level result, for which they are responsible, stands at 32 percent and does not call for the Co-Presidents’ resignation,” Mihai Voicu explained, emphasising once more that Bolojan’s “activity as Secretary General, as head of the national campaign,” is being challenged.

The acting leadership of PNL Bucharest is currently held by MEP Cristian Busoi.


What allegedly lies behind the Bolojan scandal


According to party sources invoked by stiripesurse.ro, Alina Gorghiu herself is allegedly behind the campaign against Bolojan. She feels her position as Co-President is being threatened, the aforementioned source claims, and Bolojan’s name is rumoured for the party’s leadership. Thus, the Mayor of Oradea has become Alina Gorghiu’s main contender inside the party because of his good results and even of the support he enjoys from PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga and other former PDL members. The former leader of PDL [Vasile Blaga] is allegedly willing to sit “behind the curtain” and support Bolojan as PNL’s sole president, the aforementioned source claims.


Alina Gorghiu: I hope to have a discussion with President Iohannis soon


Ahead of PNL’s BPN meeting, PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated that she did not have any kind of talks with President Klaus Iohannis about PNL’s future, adding that she hopes to talk with him soon about topics related to the Parliamentary agenda.

“No, I haven’t had any talks (with President Iohannis – editor’s note), but I hope to soon have a talk with the President about topics related to the future Parliamentary agenda, topics of public interest. I am not avoiding any kind of opportune talk with President Iohannis,” Gorghiu stated at the Palace of Parliament.

“The President doesn’t have to say he is dissatisfied with the result in Bucharest, I’m telling you I’m disappointed, upset, dejected, saddened by the result that PNL obtained in Bucharest and I promise all Bucharesters we will make absolutely everything needed in order to win back their confidence,” Gorghiu pointed out.

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Sources: Corina Cretu, confirmed by Juncker for the Regional Policy portfolio

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