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September 24, 2021

UNPR could merge with PNL

With this year’s parliamentary elections on the horizon, political parties are busy negotiating possible alliances that would improve their chances in November.

An alliance between PNL and UNPR, intensely discussed during these days, could be one of them. According to the latest information from political sources, PNL and UNPR are expected to sign an agreement in the upcoming days. They could reach an agreement after several days of negotiations in which even the merger of the two parties was discussed, the conclusion being that at this moment the most viable option is an alliance whose first effect would be the creation of majorities within county and local councils but one that would also have an impact in the parliamentary elections.

According to Stiripesurse.ro, PNL and UNPR will form majorities within 4 county councils, 30 cities and around 400 communes. Moreover, UNPR will receive a number of seats on PNL’s party ticket.

It remains to be seen whether this will be a court-registered political alliance, an electoral alliance (which would also result in the raising of the electoral threshold that the two allied parties would have to meet) or the presence of UNPR members directly on PNL’s party ticket.

UNPR’s central leadership held a meeting with the party’s MPs and local leaders on Wednesday morning. According to the aforementioned source, UNPR members allegedly complained of the relationship with PSD, the latter demanding their unconditional backing.

Haralambie Vochitoiu, leader of UNPR Senators, stated on Tuesday for Mediafax that merger with PNL is one of the options considered in the negotiations, while PNL leaders claim UNPR has to adhere to the Liberals’ integrity criteria.

“At this hour, given the fact that the force ratio is undergoing rearrangement in the Romanian Parliament – some are leaving [to take office] within the local administration, the local elections have ended, options are being re-assessed, arrangements are being redone for next autumn, all parties are negotiating with all parties in Parliament. Of course, UNPR, the third largest parliamentary force, is not an exception to this either. Our leader has been empowered to negotiate a parliamentary alliance with parliamentary parties – PSD, PNL, ALDE. These talks are taking place at this moment,” Vochitoiu stated.

On the other hand, PNL leaders admitted for Mediafax that merger is “a possibility,” but insisted that one of the first conditions is for UNPR to assume the integrity criteria and to break off relations with PSD.

PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated on Wednesday for ‘Adevarul Live’ that talks between PNL and UNPR are seen as “a national drama,” while “statutes are built” for PSD if they have an alliance with UNPR.

“If PSD has an alliance with UNPR, that’s worthy of building a statue. If PNL has dialogue with any parliamentary party, it’s a national drama. No decision has been taken. With the exception of PSD, I believe any parliamentary party can be a partner of dialogue. The stakes of the parliamentary elections are very, very high,” Alina Gorghiu stated, not denying that she is interested in collaborating with UNPR, Adevarul.ro informs.

“We have very clear criteria. Any possible alliance with someone else has to respect the integrity criteria. This is the premise we start off from in any talks,” the PNL leader added.

“Absolutely any kind of talk we started will be presented within the Standing Bureau on Monday and some decisions will be taken then,” she stated.

Asked about the negotiations with PSRO and PND and whether they were proposed a merger, the PNL Co-President said: “Nobody is offering them merger with PNL, I want this to be very clear.”

The PNL-UNPR agreement would not affect UNPR’s already concluded negotiations with PSD in Bucharest, where the two parties ran on the same ticket, under the name of ‘PSD-UNPR Alliance,’ however the PNL-UNPR negotiations are not to the Social Democrats’ liking.

PSD President Liviu Dragnea conditions the negotiations with UNPR on Valeriu Steriu publicly distancing himself from PNL, after the Liberals approached UNPR in view of the autumn elections.

Dragnea said that PSD will make UNPR an offer when UNPR President Valeriu Steriu publicly states he is rejecting PNL’s offers.

“PSD’s hand is strong, it can be forced with difficulty. I do not accept a policy of blackmail,” Liviu Dragnea said, evz.ro informs.

He pointed out that he trusts the UNPR leader is “a man of his word” and condemned the egos of local UNPR leaders. “These are local ambitions. Some have several minutes of fame and they play very badly,” he said.

“When I see a very clear, official, public statement from Mr. Steriu, which says there was no kind of talks and it’s out of the question for them to form any kind of alliance with PNL, we can sit at the table and discuss, but with a partner that does not give us the sensation of instability,” the PSD President added on Wednesday, Mediafax informs.

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