The founder of the National Union for Romania’s Progress, Gabriel Oprea, announced on Facebook that he leaves the party and remains an independent senator. Moreover, he said that when his parliamentary term will finish, at the end of this year, he will retire from the political life.
“What’s important in politics is to remain loyal to your own principles. This was the ground of the UNPR’s appearance in the political environment. I have led UNPR for almost 6 years considering these principles. Either having the Power or being in Opposition, I did what was good for Romania and not what was useful for me or for the party. UNPR has supported Romania in the last 6 years, ensuring the political stability in a difficult economic period at the global level. UNPR has supported governments without negotiating benefits or privileges. The only demands that we had from our partners were related to the protection of the rights of the Romanian citizens, in particular of the militaries, as well as to the responsible approach of all the issues related to Defense, Public Order and National Security. I announce you that I have decided to leave UNPR and to become an independent senator, in order to reject all the unrealistic scenarios that are related to my political activity. I have also decided to retire from the politics at the end of this parliamentary term”, Gabriel Oprea wrote on Facebook.
He stated that he will always support the projects related to the national security, the President of Romania and everything related to this area and, by the end of his term, he will vote for those economic and social projects that the society need.
“I’ll keep in my heart my former colleagues together with whom I founded UNPR and I fought in these 6 years, and I assure them that they will always have a friend in me. I wish them luck, whatever path they choose to follow. Regardless of what they’ll do and regardless of the political project in which they’ll be involved, they must not forget that their mission is to do what’s good for Romania and for the Romanian people. I thank to everybody and may success be on the side of who deserves it”, Gabriel Oprea added.
Gabriel Oprea entered in politics in the period 2001-20014, when PSD was governing, being one of the close partners of the former PM Adrian Nastase. In this period, he had important positions in the administration, from the one of Secretary of State at the State Reserves and Prefect of Bucharest, to the one of Minister Delegate for Administration within the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Gabriel Oprea’s resignation is recorded at the moment when UNPR is negotiating an electoral alliance with PNL. Changing the political side by UNPR was often criticized; in his message on Facebook announcing his retirement from politics, Oprea states: “Either having the Power or being in Opposition, I did what was good for Romania and not what was useful for me or for the party. UNPR has supported Romania in the last 6 years, ensuring the political stability in a difficult economic period at the global level. UNPR has supported governments without negotiating benefits or privileges. The only demands that we had from our partners were related to the protection of the rights of the Romanian citizens, in particular of the militaries, as well as to the responsible approach of all the issues related to Defense, Public Order and National Security.”
Gabriel Oprea is subject of criminal investigations in two cases – in one case he is accused of traveling 1600 times with an escort provided by the Police, which was under his authority. His name was also invoked in the controversy related to the death of the police officer Gigina in an accident, while he was part of the Gabriel Oprea’s official motorcade.
The former UNPR leader is also subject of an investigation performed by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in a second case, in which he is accused that he would have benefited by a luxury car and a Jacuzzi, purchased from the DGIPI funds, which was the secret service under his authority. Gabriel Oprea’s doctoral thesis is investigated by CNATDCU, being suspected of plagiarism.
Dragnea: Oprea said to me that if UNPR will choose the PNL option, he will resign and remain by the left side of the politics
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Friday that Gabriel Oprea said to him, in the presence of the UNPR leader Valeriu Steriu, that if the party which he founded will choose the PNL option, he will resign and remain a politician of the Left.
“10-12 days ago I had a conversation with Gabriel Oprea, in the presence of Mr. Steriu, and Mr. Oprea said very clear that if UNPR will opt for PNL, he cannot follow this way and he will remain a politician of the Left, an honorable man”, Liviu Dragnea stated in a TV show at Antena 3.
He appreciated that the UNPR founder President Gabriel Oprea, “with his good and bad things, was always a man of his word, generating stability in any kind of cooperation or partnership”.
“Gabriel Oprea was a reliable man. I am sorry that it has come to this, but my relationship with him will always remain the same.”, the social-democrat leader added.
Alina Gorghiu: “Better late than never”
Regarding Gabriel Oprea’s announcement that he’ll retire from politics, National Liberal Party (PNL) Co-Chair, Alina Gorghiu, stated that his resignation from UNPR is a very good thing. Moreover, Alina Gorghiu has underlined that “it’s time of this kind of withdrawals within the political parties, when you no longer represent an added value for the party”.
“As an ordinary citizen, I tell you his resignation is a very good thing. Better late than never. UNPR has a legitimate president, Valeriu Steriu, with whom I had a very good dialogue in the last period. Speaking of resignation, I believe it’s time of this kind of withdrawals within the political parties when you no longer represent an added value for that political party”, Alina Gorghiu stated.
Liviu Dragnea: “There are news that UNPR would like to see each other again”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Friday in a TV show, that he has the information that UNPR would like to have a new conversation with PSD, and that a possible meeting is going to be settled for the next week.
“It seems there are news that UNPR would like to see us again. If it’s true, maybe we’ll see each other next week. (…) I would like us to come to an end in this matter. It’s an important thing for me, I am a man of his word – I made a commitment towards them that we are open to a discussion about a possible merger and I would like to finish it. We were in the middle of the discussion and the left to talk to PNL”, Liviu Dragnea stated at Antena 3.
PSD President said that he couldn’t believe the news about the negotiations between Valeriu Steriu and PNL, and that the UNPR leader first admitted their existence, but he said that he rejected the Liberal’s offer.
“Regarding our relationship with UNPR, we are open further. Of course we have been taken by surprise by Mr. Steriu’s gesture to go to PNL right after the local elections. Nobody understand it. When the news appeared, I was sure it isn’t true, since I couldn’t see any reason. We continue to say to them: whenever they wish to discuss with us, we are open to see if we can do something together, as we’ve discussed a long time before the local elections. (…) I was a little bit surprised. I couldn’t understand until today why he went to discuss with them. He was near PSD, we’ve just won the elections together… And he told me that he has an offer of I don’t know how many seats from there. If we can offer them something… He didn’t request something, he asked if we can make an offer. I said no, we can’t. We can make it at the end, because we have to discuss how we can maximize these chances”, Dragnea said.