*UNPR, the great loser ahead of parliamentary elections
The negotiations between PNL and UNPR, negotiations that have been already taking place for several weeks, were concluded yesterday within PNL’s National Political Bureau (BPN) meeting. The Liberals discussed the electoral and post-elections alliances options, and the option of a merger with the smaller parliamentary parties – UNPR, PSRO, PNL – was ruled out, following the latest public reactions.
The party’s leadership refused the collaboration with UNPR even though it had announced that it was carefully analysing this possibility. The Liberals are only open to post-elections collaboration with UNPR.
PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated on Monday that PNL’s National Political Bureau unanimously voted for the party to run in the parliamentary elections on its own, stating that PNL does not need an alliance with another political party.
“We have discussed PNL’s alliance policy. Our colleagues unanimously voted the proposal that Vasile Blaga and I forwarded, which consists of PNL running in the parliamentary elections on its own,” PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated at the end of the BPN meeting.
“The reason is very simple, we’re a party with history, strong, the only right-wing party in Romania that can win the parliamentary elections without needing any association, institutional collaboration with any other party,” Gorghiu added.
PNL Co-Presidents Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga had been tasked, during the previous National Political Bureau meeting, to start talks with other political forces about possible collaboration in view of the parliamentary elections, in order to maximise the score in the elections.
According to Liberal sources, a possible merger with the small parliamentary parties – UNPR, Mircea Geoana’s PSRO and Denial Fenechiu’s National Democrat Party (PND) – was considered at first. This would have also helped PNL’s attempt to overturn the current parliamentary majority led by PSD, after PSD MPs who won local offices in the local elections resigned from Parliament, News.ro informs.
UNPR has been let down, both following PNL’s decision on Monday, and after PSD applied a harsh blow during the last Senate meeting. Back then, 9 UNPR Senators announced that they resigned from UNPR and joined PSD or remained independent Senators. The defection took place after UNPR President Valeriu Steriu announced that he was negotiating a possible merger or alliance with PNL, despite having reached an agreement with PSD. This led to reactions from both within and without the party. In the Lower Chamber, 4 UNPR lawmakers left UNPR’s parliamentary group. Following this wave of resignations, the Senate’s plenum took note of the fact that UNPR’s parliamentary group has been dissolved. UNPR challenged that decision, filing a notification at the Senate Speaker and the Standing Bureau.
Thus, UNPR has lost 15 MPs in the last week, including UNPR founding president Gabriel Oprea, who resigned on Friday and announced he will retire from politics at the end of his tenure as Senator. Most of the 15 MPs joined PSD.
If the option of a merger with UNPR is off, the Liberals could analyse other options, such as parliamentary collaboration with the smaller parties. PNL Co-President Alina Gorghiu stated on Friday, referring to press allegations about a possible merger with or absorption of UNPR, that the Liberals have had several talks with the small political parties but a decision would be taken at the National Political Bureau meeting on Monday.
Sulfina Barbu: “PNL accepts no waiver from integrity criteria”
PNL Vice President Sulfina Barbu stated on RFI on Monday that PNL has to carry out a sociological survey in order to see whether the party’s electorate would agree with a merger with UNPR, stating that mention of the talks came from outside PNL. “Of course, this thing has to be analysed, investigated, I believe that before taking such a step we should carry out a sociological analysis. I am convinced that there are also citizens who agree, there are also some voters of ours who would disagree. A very precise amendment: PNL accepts no waiver from integrity criteria. Those who want to join PNL have to meet them. In these conditions, and explaining this to voters, if PNL takes a step in the future I believe most of our supporters will support this point of view. If it is respected, if it is properly explained,” PNL Vice President Sulfina Barbu stated on RFI when asked how would PNL voters react if Liberals were to reach a deal with UNPR.
Sulfina Barbu stated that PNL leaders were tasked only to discuss with UNPR about forming majorities at the level of municipalities and administrative units.
“Mention of these talks came from factors other than those from PNL or the information was said to have been obtained from sources. I very honestly tell you that during the previous Political Bureau [meeting], PNL empowered the two Co-Presidents to discuss with UNPR about majorities at the level of counties, municipalities and at the level of administrative units. Today we will find out the results of the talks. Since there was no official proposal for an alliance or merger, I believe we are talking about proposals made from outside the party,” Sulfina Barbu stated.
Cristian Busoi, preferred at helm of PNL Bucharest
PNL MEP Cristian Busoi could take over the leadership of PNL Bucharest, an office vacated after Catalin Predoiu resigned, according to Liberal sources. The topic was discussed on Monday during the meeting of PNL’s merger commission. Cristian Busoi took over some of the prerogatives that belonged to former PNL Bucharest leader Catalin Predoiu, after the latter resigned on account of the result obtained in the June 5 local elections in which he ran for the Bucharest City Hall.
Cristian Busoi had been the first candidate that PNL nominated for the Bucharest City Hall in this year’s local elections.
Vasile Blaga: “We basically want to conclude the merger process at county branch level next week”
PNL’s National Political Bureau elected on Monday the presidents of 12 party branches – 11 county branches plus the Diaspora branch – Vasile Blaga announced at the press conference that followed the meeting.
“We basically want to conclude the merger process at county branch level next week and today we elected the single presidents of 12 party branches – 11 county branches (Bacau, Caras-Severin, Cluj, Dambovita, Giurgiu, Gorj, Harghita, Ialomita, Prahova, Salaj, Teleorman) and the Diaspora branch,” Blaga said.
According to the PNL Co-President, the party branch presidents are: Ionel Palar in Bacau; Marcel Bela in Caras-Severin; Daniel Buda in Cluj; Cezar Preda in Dambovita; Stefan Gheorghe in Giurgiu; Dan Valceanu in Gorj; Stelu Plator in Harghita; Tinel Gheorghe in Ialomita; Iulian Dumitrescu in Prahova; Lucian Bode in Salaj; Eugen Parvulescu in Teleorman; Viorel Badea for the Diaspora branch.
He pointed out that those who previously held the offices of party branch co-president will now become coordinating first vice presidents.