Ludovic Orban was elected on Saturday chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL), at the party congress held at Romexpo, which was attended by more than 5,000 delegates.
According to the official announcement, Orban obtained 3,518 votes, while his opponent Cristian Busoi hardly received 952 votes and 34 votes were declared void. The result of the voting was received with applauses and cheers by the PNL delegates who were present at the congress.
“952 votes have been registered for Mr. Cristian Busoi’s motion called ‘PNL, the Party of the Future’. For Mr. Ludovic Orban’s motion ‘The Force of the Right’, 3,518 votes have been registered” stated the Chairman of the voting counting Committee, Mircea Toader.
Ludovic Orban, 54 years old, is a PNL member since 1992, holding many positions in this period, both elected and appointed by the party.
He has a 15 years of experience in the local administration, being, successively, local counselor in the 1st and 3rd districts, as well as the Bucharest Vice-Mayor. From 2000 to 2010, he was the Bucharest PNL President.
In 2007, he was appointed as the Transport minister in the Tariceanu Government, after PDL was removed from the government.
He was elected as a Bucharest MP at the parliamentary elections of 2008, and renewed his seat in 2012.
At the 2009 PNL Congress, Ludovic Orban ran in Crin Antonescu’s team, which succeeded to dethrone Calin Popescu Tariceanu from the PNL leadership, and he was elected as the First Vice President of the party. But after only one year, he lost his position due to the disputes with the party leader.
Ludovic Orban stood out as a fervent critic of the PNL leaderships, both when the party was led by Calin Popescu Tariceanu and when Crin Antonescu was the leader of the party. Orban has publicly spoke and voted against the establishment of USL in 2011, claiming that mixing left and right is not healthy for democracy.
In 2007, when he was the Transport Minister, he was involved in a controversial car accident due to which his driving license was suspended because he went to the police later than 24 hours since the accident took place.
Ludovic Orban has ran for several times for the Bucharest General Mayor, but unsuccessfully. Both in 2008 and 2012, he lost the elections in competition with Sorin Oprescu, the candidate supported by PSD and later by USL. In May 2016, just one week after the party nominated for the third time as the candidate for the City Hall of Bucharest, Orban was indicted by DNA because, as a candidate for the Bucharest Mayoralty, he used his political position and asked EUR 50,000 from the businessman Tiberiu Urdareanu to support his electoral campaign from last summer. Following his indictment, Ludovic Orban withdrew from the race. Being sent to court, he was acquitted at the end of January 2017 by the Supreme Court, the decision not being final.
The motion filed by Ludovic Orban, based on which he entered the internal competition for the PNL President, is called “The National Liberal Party, the Force of the Right”, and its objectives are winning the presidential, local and parliamentary elections and forming the Government by PNL.
The documents also states that one of the main objectives of the future leadership will be finalizing the merger between PDL and the old PNL, which, to become reality, must “remove labeling and discrimination” between the members of the party. Ludovic Orban intends to establish “a real democracy” inside the party, by “eradicating” the offense of opinion, by “strictly” observing the institution of the secret voting and by removing “the long interim periods” appointed by the central leadership.
Orban: Today’s victory is not my victory, it is PNL’s victory. The main goal is to win the parliamentary elections
PNL chairman, Ludovic Orban, stated on Saturday, in his first speech since he was elected in this position that his main goal as the party leader is to win the parliamentary elections of 2020 and to bring PNL at the government. Orban also said that in his term, PNL will be a Liberal Conservative party, a guarantor of fulfilling all Romania’s commitments towards its partners abroad; the Liberal president restated his support for Klaus Iohannis, whom he will support to get a new term as the Head of State in 2019.
“Starting form today, PNL will be a loyal, fair, transparent partner for President Klaus Iohannis and for the implementation of all the obligations we have assumed together when we won the 2014 elections. I will fight with my entire power, with my entire energy, to make us win the presidential elections of 2019, to get a new term for Klaus Iohannis, and after this victory, to win the local elections, and last but not least, my main goal for us is to win the parliamentary elections in order to have a government which really shows what Liberals must do for this country” stated the new PNL chairman Ludovic Orban.
He also stated that PNL will be a guarantor of fulfilling all the Romania’s commitments toward the partners abroad.
“Under my leadership. PNL will be a right-centered Liberal Conservative party, a member of the European right, fighting with its entire force to implement right-centered policies in Romania, to ensure development and economic growth. PNL will be a guarantor of fulfilling all the commitments that Romania has towards our partners, the strategic partnership with USA, the position of the NATO member and the quality of an EU member. We remain and we will be the most powerful supporter of these commitments, and we’ll remain a pillar and an oasis of stability in this troubled region of Europe” the PNL President added.
Last but not least, Lodovic Orban thanked the liberals for electing him as the chairman of the party.
“My dear friends, I thank to you for your trust, it’s a trust that honors and obliges me. For me, life is harder since today, it is more difficult, I carry a huge responsibility on my shoulders, the responsibility to make PNL the political force which Romania needs. Today’s victory is not my victory, it is PNL’s victory and it contains the germs of the PNL’s future victory for Romania” Orban also stated at the end of the PNL congress.
The new PNL chairman: Liberal parliamentarians will not attend the Sunday plenary session. PNL should refrain from the voting regarding the censure motion
Orban also stated on Saturday that the Liberals senators and deputies will not attend the Parliament’s session convened on Sunday, saying that, in his opinion, PNL shouldn’t vote on the censure motion against Sorin Grindeanu, but he said that the decision will be taken on Monday by the party leadership.
“Sunday is a day of rest from God. It will be an election day (in PNL – e.n.). We’ll not attend (to the Parliament’s session – e.n.). Tomorrow, we will have the second step of the national leadership elections, the election of the Political Bureau. After the Political Bureau will be elected, I will convene a meeting for Monday, to decide which the PNL’s official position is towards the serious crisis in which Romania is because of the parliamentary majority” stated the PNL chairman.
Orban reiterated his desire, according to which PNL should govern only as a result of the elections, “not by unofficial talks and negotiations with various factions of PSD”.
“All of them are equally bad to me, both the moustached chief and the one who chains himself in the Victoria Palace, mistaking the Government’s headquarter to the PSD’s one.
Asked if he excludes that PNL will vote against Sorin Grindeanu at the censure motion, the PNL leader said that he would wish this, but the decision will be taken by the whole party leadership.
“In my opinion, yes, but I repeat, I announced my colleagues that any decision will be taken by the statutory bodies” Ludovic Orban concluded.
Busoi, after he lost the competition for the PNL leadership: The party must go ahead and continue to be untied; I respect the result
The Liberal Cristian Busoi stated on Saturday, at the end of the PNL Congress in which he lost the leadership of the party in competition with his opponent Ludovic Orban, that he respects this result, and the party must continue to be united and go ahead with its entire force, confidence and ideas.
“I congratulate Ludovic Orban from all my heart, I respect this result, I have the same respect for all my colleagues in PNL. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you, to talk to all those who wish a better future for PNL” Busoi stated.
He said that the road that Liberals must show to Romanians is the road to prosperity.
“I understood there are very many things that must be changed in the way that PNL acts and communicates. PNL must continue to be a united team, it must go ahead with its entire force and confidence, because the ideas and principles that we defense are fair ideas and principles, and the road we want to show to the Romanians is the road to prosperity and to a better life for Romania and Romanian people. Congratulations, Ludovic, congratulations to you, I thank to you from all my heart” Cristian Busoi concluded.
PNL Congress adopted amendments to Statute
The convention of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Congress adopted on Saturday the amendments of the party’s Statute.
The President of the Statute Committee Catalin Boboc presented the latest amendments, namely the fact that in the Executive Bureau of the PNL there will be 16 deputy-chairmen – 8 deputy-chairmen on areas, coordinators of the specialized committees for foreign policy, defense, national security, administration, public order, citizen safety, European funds, regional development, justice and civil rights, budget and fiscal policies, economy, energy and business environment, healthcare, labour, family and social protection, education, research, youth and sport, culture, cults and minorities, agriculture, rural development, food and environmental industries, water and forestry, transport infrastructure, communications and information society, and 8 deputy-chairmen on the development regions.
He mentioned that there will be 16 members with the rank of deputy-chairmen in the Executive Bureau.
These amendments were adopted by a majority of votes, with only one abstention.
The entire Statute of the PNL, amended in the National Council in March, was adopted unanimously.
Klaus Iohannis’s message at the PNL Congress: Romania needs strong parties, but not parties in which the leader is the only one being strong
President Klaus Iohannis sent a message on Saturday, on the occasion of the PNL Congress, stating that Romania needs today more than any time before, strong parties, in which the leader is not the only one being strong, but in which the internal democracy is real and where debate exists. The Head of State said that a strong party will immediately convince that it exercises power for people, not for its leaders or their close persons.
“Me and President Klaus Iohannis wish this energy to transform, in the coming days, months and years, in projects for Romania and for the people of this country. Today, Romania needs more than any time before, strong parties. However, a strong party doesn’t mean a party whose leader is strong, but a party where internal democracy is real, where debate exists, where all the party’s resources are used at their maximum potential” reads Klaus Iohannis’s message, sent by his counselor Laurentiu Stefan.
In the Head of State’s opinion, “a strong party understands the concerns, the problems, the needs and the aspirations of its voters, and it answers by articulating efficient and responsible public programs and policies”.
“At the same time, a strong party offers a vision for Romania to the people, clearly showing why it wants the power and what will it do with it; a strong party will immediately convince that it exercises power for people and their communities, for strengthening Romania’s position on regional, European and global level, and not for its leaders and their close persons” Klaus Iohannis concluded.
Quintus to the Liberals: Please do not forget any moment that you are members of an historical party which always served its country in its difficult moments
The PNL Honorary Chairman, Mircea Ionescu-Quintus, sent a message to the Liberals, urging them to vote the most worthy and loyal Liberals for the party’s leadership.
“I urge you to vote the most worthy and loyal liberals for the party’s leadership, so that it will be well led. I am also asking you not to forget any moment that you are members of a historical party which always served its country in its difficult moments, especially you are descendants of our great Bratianu brothers. So help you God!” reads Mircea Ionescu-Quintus’s message, read by the Liberal Virgil Guran.
The PNL Honorary President wished the Liberals “to live more than him and become wiser than him”.
Rauca Turcan: Many people did our funeral service. PNL has 27% in polls
The former Interim chair of PNL, Raluca Turcan, made a history of its mandate from the tribune of the Congress. She stated that, although many people “did the funeral service” to the Liberals, the party has 27% in all the polls.
“Many people did our funeral service and said that PNL died or it’s still struggling. Fortunately, PNL constantly has in the last period, more than 27% in all the polls, even in the fake ones. PNL gave an important proof that it’s living at the partial elections. (…) You can win with no complicities or shameful agreements. (…) PNL had more than 31% at the partial elections” Raluca Turcan stated at the PNL Congress, according to Agerpres.
She added that she tried to maintain the unity of the party, although many people didn’t like her.
“The union makes the power. This was the purpose of the merger between PNL and PDL, and this must be our today’s challenge, after this Congress (…) After the failure in the parliamentary elections, the mission I received was a clear and limited one. To maintain the unity of the party. (…) Many people didn’t like me, but it wasn’t my goal anyway (…). I aimed to impose certain creeds – to trust and respect your colleagues. (…) We must admit that mutual respect was missing sometimes, exactly that respect by which you can support a contrary opinion in a strange and argued way, to put politics for the public interest above personal interest. After the elections, I would like us to meet in trenches (…), where our opponent is PSD” the PNL Interim President stated.
Ciolos congratulated Orban: I wish him inspiration in his effort to strengthen the party around the values of the authentic Liberalism
Former PM Dacian Ciolos congratulated Ludovic Orban for being elected as the PNL chairman, and wished him inspiration “in his effort to strengthen this party around the values of the authentic Liberalism which Romania needs so much”.
“I congratulate Ludovic Orban for being elected as the PNL chairman. I wish him luck and inspiration in his effort to strengthen this arty around the values of the authentic Liberalism which Romania and the political scene need so much” Dacian Ciolos wrote on Facebook.
National Liberal Party elects its leadership
The Liberals elected on Sunday, during the National Coordination Council, the 16 members of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Executive Bureau, after having elected during the day their 16 vice-presidents and prime deputies and the Secretary General.
The 16 members of the PNL Executive Board elected by the National Council are: Costel Alexe, Viorel Badea, Cristian Buican, Stefan Dragulin, Nicolae Giugea, Bogdan Hutuca, Adrian Miutescu, Ionel Palar, Virgil Popescu, Gheorghe Siscu, Costel Soptica, Ion Stefan, Nelu Tataru, Adrian Vestea, Dan Vilceanu and Tinel Gheorghe.
Antonel Tanase was elected as PNL treasurer.
Also on Sunday, the Liberals have elected their 16 deputy-chairpersons, eight on specialist areas, and eight on development regions.
Elected were: Vlad Nistor – deputy-chairman for Foreign Policy, Defence and National Security; Dan Leoreanu, – deputy-chairman on Administration, Public Order, Citizen Safety, European Funds and Regional Development; Ben-Oni Ardelean – deputy-chairman of Justice and Citizens’ Rights; Florin Citu – deputy-chairman on Budget, Tax Policy, Family and Social Protection. Sulfina Barbu was elected deputy-chairwoman for Health, Work, Family and Social Protection; Dan Motreanu – deputy-chairman for Education, Research, Youth, Sports, Culture, Cults and Minorities; Adrian Oros – deputy-chairman for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food Industry and the Environment, Water and Forestry; Virgil Guran – deputy-chairman of Transport Infrastructure, Communications and Information Society.
For the North-East region Ion Balan was elected deputy-chairman, for the South East region – Victor Paul Dobre, for Southern Muntenia – Raducu Filipescu, for South West Oltenia – Gigel Stirbu, for the Western region – Gheorghe Falca, in the North West – Lucian Bode , for the Center – Florin Roman, and for Bucharest-Ilfov – Marian Petrache.
The Bistrita deputy, Robert Sighiartau was elected Secretary General of the National Liberal Party.
On Sunday, the Liberals also elected their four prime deputies: Ilie Bolojan (Bihor) was elected prime vice president of political strategies, Raluca Turcan (Sibiu) – communication, Iulian Dumitrescu (Prahova) – business and civil society, And Mircea Hava (Alba) – international relations.