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April 13, 2021
EDITORIAL

The president factory

In 2009, Crin Antonescu ran for president, finishing third. In the runoff in which Traian Basescu and Mircea Geoana were left to fight over the future presidential term, Crin Antonescu announced his support for Geoana.

In what concerns the presidential elections of 2014, considering the whole context that had occurred in the meantime, who other than Crin Antonescu – the other member of the new golden couple of Romanian politics – could have been more suitable? And I’m talking here about the couple that Crin Antonescu formed with Victor Ponta at the time, as part of the famous USL.

Thus, for several months in 2014, Crin Antonescu seemed to be the candidate with the highest shot at winning the presidential office. Even though he had just lost PSD’s support and PNL was increasingly the shadow of the party it once seemed to be.

Let us recall. It’s important.

In October 2009, PDL’s Boc Government fell as a result of a no-confidence vote initiated by the Opposition, represented back then by PSD, PNL, UDMR and the minorities.

The popular mayor of Sibiu was the Opposition’s nomination as Emil Boc’s replacement. He was, in fact, perceived to be an independent politician, despite having run in the European Parliament elections under PNL’s logo. However, Traian Basescu refused the nomination, while Geoana was accusing Crin Antonescu of using Iohannis as an electioneering agent, and Antonescu countered by saying that Iohannis is not the kind of man that would allow himself to be used.

This, however, did not prevent Geoana from meeting Klaus Iohannis. UDMR announced it would not take part in the meeting and Antonescu sent his representatives, invoking an electoral visit to Cluj. Two weeks later, in Parliament, PSD, PNL, UDMR and the minorities adopted the statement asking President Basescu to accept the nomination of Klaus Iohannis for the office of Prime Minister.

Also in the tumultuous 2009, Crin Antonescu ran for president, in a duo with Klaus Iohannis, whom he proposed as his future Premier in case of victory.

In February 2013, Klaus Iohannis was to make a forceful comeback under the public limelight, becoming PNL’s First Vice President. A new nomination for the Premier’s office followed and, in the end, Crin Antonescu’s unexpected and mysterious withdrawal, at the height of his glory, of his presidential candidacy, bequeathing his place to none other than… Klaus Iohannis.

The one who, over a period of a few years, went from the fresh and ultra-sympathised image of confidence to an image full of question marks and far less sympathised and trustworthy.

Why do I choose to talk about Crin Antonescu now?

Or, more precisely, about the mystery and secrets he carries with him?

Because, at some point in these past years, so agitated by political moves that appear to be senseless for most, Crin Antonescu, the one who has now retired for good from public life and whom people have almost forgotten, represents one of the biggest blind spots in post-1989 political history.

For some time now, there has been talk about the rigging of the presidential elections of 2009.

A topic that, leaving aside the conspiracy tone it has, cannot remain indifferent and, especially, cannot remain separate from everything that the power shifts have meant since 2009.

Power shifts that include the presidential elections of 2014 or, more precisely, the choices some made before the popular vote.

Crin Antonescu remains the main element in those yet to be elucidated moments.

Why was it decided or why did Mr Antonescu decide to retire, so suddenly, from a race that seemed to be mostly won, leaving in his place, as I said earlier, a political character who was inferior from the standpoint of PR and political scope, who set out at that moment in a very close race?

And if Crin Antonescu did not personally decide to withdraw, bearing in mind that the position he held never entailed univocal and singular decisions, then who decided this elimination of PNL’s leader from the line of power and in the end from politics, and most of all why?

In a way, the said retirement looks almost identical to Theodor Stolojan’s “decried and astonishing” retirement on the eve of the elections of 2004 (also presidential elections). The one who then became so diluted in public perception, becoming almost forgotten. The main characters differ solely in these two scenes. The director or the main decision-maker remains however apparently unknown in both cases.

However, leaving aside the tabloid part of the form in which a possible electoral fraud tends to be treated by the politicians and the media, one must keep in mind that, in this whole story that started long before one might imagine, there is a red thread that, if carefully followed, allows a person to notice very important guiding marks, like the electrical diagram of a heart. Or, if you like, we can compare these moments to some isoelectric points that, seen and carefully analysed on this map that looks like a political heart diagram, bear names such as Theodor Stolojan, Crin Antonescu (the presidential candidates with the highest chances) and which, once the political heartbeats resume, reappear under names such as Traian Basescu or Klaus Iohannis (presidents of Romania).

Minuscule portions of political cardiac shock with an apparent exitus plateau which, after a forceful defibrillation, come back to life, bringing an entirely different person to the surface.

—–  ———————-  ————    ————————— ———————–

A country’s presidents do not appear and are not made overnight.

Their making entails a lengthier and much more thorough process than a few months and a few years under the public limelight.

What happened in 2009 represents only the result of what happened with another 4-year cycle before.

And, as incredible as it may seem, the 2009 elections are not about the 2009 elections. But about those of 2014.

Just like, back then, in 2014, Klaus Iohannis was presented to us only as the one who was about to replace, for a while, the future president.

Let’s presume that, in the end, a possible rigging is really proven.

And let’s also presume that the incumbent president, precisely because of these reasons, finishes his term early.

Who is the country’s future president and at what moment, at some point in the last years, did he appear without us knowing?

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