“ALDE should not have been an enemy of the judiciary, as it generally considered because of certain leaders who are trying to protect themselves from the rigors of law by resorting to attempts to victimise themselves in front of the electorate and civil society,” three Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) MPs point out in a communique. They also warn that “ALDE’s territorial branches are forced to run with Mr. Tariceanu’s anti-judiciary messages and to reproduce them in local press conferences.”
Last week, two local ALDE leaders were dismissed and immediately excluded from the party after they talked about the need to organise an extraordinary party conference and to implement integrity criteria when drafting the party’s lists of candidates.
“Although they are subjected to pressure from President Tariceanu and from other central leaders, the majority of ALDE members, those without legal problems, support the unbiased serving of justice at the level of the Prosecutor’s Offices, General Prosecutor’s Office and courts and, in particular, the actions of investigation bodies coordinated by National Anticorruption Directorate Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, as sole solution in order to uphold the balance between state institutions, in relation to the Romanian political-administrative system’s integrity and representation requirements,” reads the communique signed by Senator Vasile Nistor, ALDE Executive Co-President, and MPs Aurelian Ionescu and Catalin Dragusanu. The three also talk about “an overture planned in the smallest details, with the purpose of compromising the magistrates and investigation bodies,” invoking the attacks “carried out from all strata of the political sphere” against judiciary’s institutions.
The three ALDE MPs’ initiative comes after two of those who criticised the direction taken by the party under its current leadership and asked for an extraordinary party conference and the adoption of integrity criteria were excluded from the party last week.
Senator Vasile Nistor, ALDE Executive Co-President, was the first to publicly talk about the need for Calin Popescu Tariceanu to resign against the backdrop of the criminal file opened on his name. “I believe you have the moral duty, toward Romania, to file your resignation from the office of Senate Speaker, since you are investigated for perjury and aiding and abetting,” Nistor told his party boss in the Senate last week. Two days later, MP Catalin Dragusanu, ALDE Neamt Co-President, joined Senator Nistor, asking for an extraordinary party conference and solely for upright party members with no legal problems to be included on the party’s lists. Dragusanu was sacked from the leadership of ALDE Neamt and excluded from the party the very same day.
When the topic of integrity criteria was taken over by ALDE Youth Organisation Vice President Catalin Frangulea too, the party’s reaction was swift: cancellation of his party membership.
In a press release, ALDE’s Youth Organisation justified its decision by invoking “the betrayal of the authentic spirit of Liberalism” and the “lack of decency and political verticality.” “These public attacks are coming from persons of reprehensible morality, who are trying, through their attacks against ALDE, to negotiate seats in other parties for the parliamentary elections. ALDE Youth Organisation members hereby publicly announce that they do not tolerate such persons in the Organisation, persons that betrayed the authentic spirit of Liberalism that ALDE represents,” reads the press release.
All exclusions were carried out against the backdrop in which Tariceanu had offered public assurances that he is not “the fan of exclusions from the party.” “I believe that in a Liberal party any member is free to talk, but it’s desirable for them to think too,” Tariceanu stated, pointing out that he will not resign in order to avoid playing into the hands of PNL.
Senators Varujan Vosganian and Eugen Durbaca came to Tariceanu’s defence just as some of his detractors were being excluded from the party.
The former dodged a criminal probe in the Romgaz-Interagro case simply because the Senate rejected the investigators’ request to lift his immunity. In the aforementioned case, DIICOT prosecutors are talking about 60 million Euros in damage. Nevertheless, Vosganian believes that those talking about an extraordinary party conference and about integrity criteria are allegedly “betraying” ALDE.
The latter, former Galati County Council Chairman, is being criminally prosecuted in a case disjoined from the case that saw former MP Mihail Boldea sentenced. “Mr. Tariceanu is a personality, a man who knows politics, a good organiser, and I personally have all respect for him, as well as for Mr. Daniel Constantin. (…) Nistor ended up being executive president based on the agreement with Mr. Voiculescu, not on merits. I, just like most participants to the party conference, disagreed with Nistor becoming executive president, but the votes were rigged. (…) When he reaches Tariceanu’s value then he can ask for whatever he wants, but he is not even up to a quarter of Tariceanu’s value,” Durbaca stated at the end of last week.
Varujan Vosganian claims those asking for integrity in ALDE are traitors
The MP who asked for a clean party could end up being excluded from ALDE. We are talking about Senator Vasile Nistor, who talked about Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s resignation and about the need to eliminate from ALDE’s lists the politicians that have legal problems. Despite the conflicts seen in the past week, ALDE leaders are denying a split between the party’s Conservative and Liberal wings.
“An artificial conflict fuelled by ALDE’s political enemies,” this is how Senator Varujan Vosganian labelled Vasile Nistor’s anti-Calin Popescu Tariceanu stances.
“Those who generated this dispute in fact come from the former Democrat Party. Daniel Constantin did not endorse Mr. Nistor’s initiative in the Romanian Senate, not even for a moment. I believe such people have no place in a structure they betray right around the time of an electoral battle,” ALDE Senator Varujan Vosganian told Digi24.