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September 28, 2021

Although seen as a decisive and clarifying meeting, PNL’s BPN ends up being… much ado about nothing

*PNL reproaches Premier Dacian Ciolos with keeping within decentralized institutions people appointed by PSD, who in turn backed the Social Democrats’ campaign


The National Liberal Party’s (PNL) meeting on Wednesday, expected to be decisive, was eventually one in which the local elections results were applauded, a meeting dotted with small internal revolts generated by political statements.

The day on which the analysis of the election results was scheduled started with the announcement that five of the six leaders of PNL party branches in Bucharest’s Districts resigned. Toward the evening, the list of resigning party branch presidents was rounded off by Anca Boagiu, who had initially hesitated to give up on her position as leader of PNL District 2.

All PNL leaders in Bucharest who paid with their offices for the disastrous results of the elections asked for PNL Secretary General Ilie Bolojan (photo) to follow suit.

After Catalin Predoiu, who resigned from the helm of PNL Bucharest, it was the turn of the leaders of Bucharest District party branches. They insisted on Bolojan resigning too, arguing that he did a poor job as coordinator of the elections campaign. Their demand was nevertheless withdrawn after a six-hour meeting. Now, the Liberals want to have talks with Dacian Ciolos too. They reproach him with keeping within decentralized institutions people appointed in office by PSD, who in return backed the Social Democrats’ campaign.

“Some of us, namely four district branch presidents, have asked for the resignation of Secretary General Ilie Bolojan, because we are of the opinion that as chief of campaign at national level he did not have results, he was completely absent in this campaign. We are yet to receive an answer and we are waiting. Our request remains filed within the National Political Bureau too,” PNL Vice President Mihai Voicu stated.

Soon after that, voices of support for Ilie Bolojan appeared. Bolojan won a new term as mayor of Oradea, with over 70 percent of the votes.

“It would be unjust to say Bolojan is the only one at fault. A great part of the decisions taken in Bucharest were not taken by Mr. Bolojan,” Adriana Saftoiu said.

After hours of talks, the party’s leadership announced that the topic concerning Ilie Bolojan’s resignation did not even exist.

“No kind of resignation was demanded, on the contrary, a request for the Secretary General to resign has been withdrawn. Apart from that, all things are going well,” Alina Gorghiu said.

“I asked for a vote of confidence in what concerns me. This vote was needed because a Secretary without authority is not efficient,” Ilie Bolojan said.

The Liberals who had requested the resignation of PNL Secretary General Ilie Bolojan withdrew their request at the National Political Bureau (BPN) meeting, and apologised, according to Liberal sources quoted by Agerpres.

On the other hand, despite the disastrous score in Bucharest, the party’s Co-Presidents state they obtained the best score ever registered by PNL in local elections. And because a culprit nevertheless had to be found for the result of the elections, several leaders of PNL branches from outside Bucharest, who obtained poor results in the elections, blamed the Government.

“The reproaches had to do with the total involvement of those from decentralised institutions. And we had asked Premier Ciolos. It was one of the conditions we had, he promised he would depoliticise,” Vasile Blaga said.

In fact, the two PNL Co-Presidents Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga have asked the Premier to meet them next week in order to address this topic.


Cezar Preda asks for lawmakers Cristian Bodea and Theodor Paleologu to be kicked out of party


PNL Lower Chamber MP Cezar Preda proposed the cancellation of the party membership of PNL Senator Cristian Bodea and PNL Lower Chamber MP Theodor Paleologu, following the statements they made against the backdrop of the results registered by the party in the local elections.

PNL Lower Chamber MP Theodor Paleologu had publicly criticised PNL’s leadership several days before the elections. The MP’s main reproach was that his party colleagues do not respect Nicusor Dan.

“What I am reproaching my PNL colleagues with is that they do not respect Nicusor Dan, in private talks they treat him as a wimp, a sucker, PSD’s lure and so forth. This is very grave,” Paleologu had stated.

After the results of the exit-polls were revealed, the Liberal wrote on Facebook that PNL’s current “lamentable” leadership should leave as a result of the disaster in Bucharest, labelling Cezar Preda and Alina Gorghiu’s statements about Nicusor Dan as “brazen idiocies.”

Paleologu had also accused the two Co-Presidents that their statements about PNL’s score in the local elections were “not just lies, but bald-faced lies.”

“At today’s press conference, Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga offered us not just lies, but bald-faced lies, pure denial of facts: the result is extraordinarily good, even the best ever registered by PNL, nobody asked for their resignation, nobody wants party conference, everything is under control and we will win in the autumn,” the Liberal wrote on Facebook on Monday evening. He also asked for the retirement of senior party member Mircea Ionescu Quintus, criticising him for having praised Gabriela Firea and having attacked Nicusor Dan.

PNL Senator Cristian Bodea wrote on Facebook that BPN should convene a party conference in July, a conference focusing on the finalisation of the merger, and that the party’s current leadership should thus resign.

Bodea claimed that the party conference could create a Statute “that would stipulate primarily that the term Liberal comes from LIBERTY. And that would stipulate the existence of a single party president, of a secretary general and a Bureau consisting (alongside the two) of 7 Vice Presidents and 12 members. Plus, a Standing Delegation consisting of party branch presidents and lawmakers,” Bodea wrote on Facebook. The PNL Senator also claims that 40 percent of Iohannis’s voters voted for Nicusor Dan, not for PNL. “How could that be? Doesn’t that worry you?” the Liberal asked.


Blaga: Party will respect Statute in what concerns Bodea and Paleologu’s membership cancellation


“Not even exclusions from the party are what they once were within PNL. Senator Cristian Bodea and Lower Chamber MP Theodor Paleologu are proposed for exclusion, but they got away at this BPN meeting, thanks to the party leaderships’ desire to calm things. They will be summoned at a future BPN meeting in order to express their points of view and only afterward would the decision be taken,” stiripesurse.ro points out.

PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga stated on Wednesday that the party will respect the Statute in what concerns the cancellation of Bodea and Paleologu’s party membership, stating that they could have “better worded” their statements and that Klaus Iohannis was not mentioned at the BPN meeting.

“I did not hear the Romanian President being mentioned, except by the person who keeps showing up on TV, whose resignation was demanded today; he could have found a better wording when addressing Mr. Quintus, and that goes for his other colleague too. We will respect the procedures (concerning the exclusion of Cristian Bodea and Theodor Paleologu – editor’s note),” PNL Co-President Vasile Blaga stated.

Senator Cristian Bodea stated early this week that PNL had blind faith in Iohannis, “Romania’s Grand Ayatollah,” and criticised PNL’s result in the local elections.

“This was the disaster they did not want to see, because they blindly believe Iohannis is Romania’s Grand Ayatollah and Romanians are bowing before him. Well, Romanians don’t give a dime for a god that does not have lightning bolts and who considers that he should be worshipped just because he exists. This is the party’s main problem,” Cristian Bodea wrote on Facebook.

In his turn, Lower Chamber MP Theodor Paleologu recently stated that senior party member Mircea Ionescu Quintus should retire and “should no longer express opinions on a reality with which he has been completely out of touch for a long time,” the reaction coming after PNL’s Honorary President publicly criticised Nicusor Dan and praised Gabriela Firea.


PNL wants to nominate Liberal PM before general elections. Blaga: Predoiu could be the one too


Co-President Vasile Blaga added that PNL will have to nominate a Premier before the parliamentary elections campaign, stating that Catalin Predoiu could be the nominee if the party designates him.

“I said we will have to enter the elections campaign with a PNL Premier. (…) We are starting the talks in order to find competent people that would properly represent us from the position of Prime Minister; there will be several proposals at the appropriate moment,” Blaga said.

He said that Catalin Predoiu could be PNL’s Premier if the party nominates him.

“It can be anyone – even Mr. Predoiu if the party nominates him,” Vasile Blaga stated when asked whether Predoiu can still be PNL’s Premier.


Former PNL President Crin Antonescu on PNL losing Bucharest: The song is the problem, not the singers


On Wednesday, former PNL President Crin Antonescu commented on the party’s local elections results, stating that the “song,” not the “soloists,” is to blame.

He insisted he does not want to criticise a campaign he did not take part in.

“What is there to discuss a lot about this campaign? It was a campaign whose fate was determined beforehand by the agreement reached by 2 large parties not to give the electorate the chance to change things and for them both to keep their mayors. PNL entered this deal and of course PSD stood to gain more. What other conclusion is there?” Antonescu emphasised on Realitatea TV.

He stated that within PNL “there is a problem with the composers, not the soloists.” “The song, not the singers, is to blame within PNL,” the former PNL President stated, referring to Vasile Blaga and Alina Gorghiu. “I don’t see why Mr. Blaga should resign,” Antonescu concluded, arguing that he “has proved once again that he is an efficient leader,” and he never claimed to be a PR leader or a charismatic leader.

In what concerns Alina Gorghiu, the former party president opined that she did not make major blunders. “She is no Zgonea,” Antonescu pointed out.

He claimed that his return to politics is out of the question.

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