Prime Minister Florin Citu won on Saturday the mandate of chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL), with 2,878 ballots cast for him, the chair of the organization committee, Theodor Stolojan, announced from the rostrum of the party’s congress which took place in Bucharest in the presence of 5,000 delegates.
According to the quoted source, his opponent, Ludovic Orban, obtained 1,898 votes for.
The start of the PNL Congress saw speeches from the guests: President Klaus Iohannis, as well as representatives of political parties.
The former chair of the party, Ludovic Orban, presented the activity report of his mandate afterwards.
The two candidates for the position of chair of the PNL had at their disposal 20 minutes to present their motions, followed by the speeches of five supporters for five minutes each.
President Iohannis: It’s imperative we overcome current political crisis as soon as possible
President Klaus Iohannis emphasized, on Saturday, the necessity for the current government crisis to be overcome, pointing out that governing must continue as there is no reason for Prime Minister Florin Citu to resign or be dismissed.
“It’s imperative we overcome the current crisis as soon as possible. This government must continue, as there is no real reason for the Prime Minister to be dismissed or resign, moreover as the Prime Minister and Liberal Ministers are attacked from all sides, the entirety of the PNL [National Liberal Party] should have proven solidarity and supported them with all their forces,” said Iohannis, at the PNL Congress.
He stated that “sabotage from within the party” is not understandable.
“Not only must the PNL remain in Government, but I believe that Romania can have a decade of right-wing government. For this to be possible there is need for actions, for concrete activities that produce palpable benefits for citizens, not only discourses and promises. We have the necessary instruments, we have the adequate plans, we have the funds to allow us to apply them. Let us have the wisdom, and maturity to sit at the same table again, the table of discussions for solutions for Romania! ” the head of state also said.
He reiterated the appeal to responsibility and maturity made to the parties in the government arc, drawing attention “to all parliamentary parties, [that] we risk definitively losing the trust of the electorate in politics. It would be extremely grave, because, when people are disappointed by those who represent them, there is a divide created between the electors and the elected, impossible to fill.”
President Klaus Iohannis showed that the priorities of governing remain unchanged.
“Romanians want investments in healthcare and infrastructure, Romanians want the elimination of bureaucracy and digitization, Romanians want higher income and support for vulnerable categories. Romanians want a better education for their children, Romanians want to fulfill their European dream, of a prosperous way of life in a free and democratic society. Romania, like many other European states, is currently facing acute challenges, multiple crises overlapping. In order to better manage them, there is need for an efficient government,” said Iohannis.
UDMR’s Kelemen: Starting next week we must restore the governing coalition
The chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), deputy Prime Minister Kelemen Hunor, told, on Saturday, the delegates of the congress of the National Liberal Party (PNL), that the restoration of the coalition must be tried, given the huge responsibility assumed through the governing programme.
“It’s natural to see each other at our congresses, not only for pure formality and collegiality, but beyond these aspects PNL and UDMR are part of the same political family, we are members of the European People’s Party, we are in the same governmental and parliamentary coalition and our major objectives point us in the same direction. We can have and we do have disputes, but over the year we have been governing partners, we learnt that in a coalition there is need for patience, there is need for understanding and, of course, there is need for compromise. This experience is a first argument, a solid reason in 2021 as well, in the autumn of coalition party congresses, in difficult political, social and economic conditions, to not renounce the partnership and to put aside momentary disagreements, to put aside personal egos. Ultimately, politics is about citizens and not about us, not about politicians,” said Kelemen Hunor, in his speech held at the PNL Congress.
A second argument, he added, is closely tied to the “promises in the governing programme.”
“The expectation of citizens, after 13 years of political instability, after a long period lacking in predictability, is huge. The people, that is human nature, seek safety, political stability and predictability. Last year, in the period of the electoral campaign, we spoke clearly and directly, we said that, if there is a possibility for a post-electoral center-right coalition, we must sit at the table and form a government together. Today you have a huge challenge, you will choose the chairman of the PNL, but with all the emotion and noise of this day it will be over very soon. The problems however will not be over – the pandemic has not ended, the prices have gone up and I could continue with many examples,” said Kelemen Hunor.
The UDMR leader emphasized that the responsibility for solving these problems is a joint one.
“We must try to restore the coalition, starting next week. You stay and will stay at the top of the coalition and we mustn’t lose weeks, years, we mustn’t leave the impression that we are bickering amongst each other in the coalition and this bickering takes up all the time. We must put everything aside because we are in a race against time, not each other. I expect to approach all these problems, both in the restored coalition, if possible, as well as in the Government meetings and in the Chambers of Parliament,” the UDMR chair emphasized.
Orban, in mandate activity report: Us, leaders, are nothing without you, the base of the PNL
The incumbent chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Ludovic Orban, hailed, on Saturday, the efforts of all Liberals in the party’s accomplishments.
Orban presented his activity report for his mandate as chairman of the National Liberal Party, which was approved by the Congress.
“Allow me to start by sending you my respect, my recognition, my appreciation for the work submitted by each member of the PNL in the past four years of activity. Without the effort of each of you, we wouldn’t have accomplished anything, because us, leaders, are nothing without you, the base of the PNL,” said Orban.He recalled the fight against the Social Democrat Party (PSD).
“In hard conditions, with a PSD that captured nearly in full all state positions, with a PSD with a pressing parliamentary majority, with an aggressive PSD which tried to thrash justice, the economy, to diminish the attributes of the President and of all institutions it did not control, PNL fought a day-to-day battle, week by week, month by month against the PSD and managed to defeat this red plague, to oust the PSD from Government and managed to truly point Romania in the right direction,” said Ludovic Orban.
The PNL leader presented the internal accomplishments, mentioning that the most important decision was that regarding the designation of Klaus Iohannis as candidate in the presidential elections and the PNL chair as candidate for Prime Minister. Furthermore, Orban recalled the PNL victories in the elections for the European Parliament, the referendum on justice, the adoption of the censure motion against the PSD Government, the winning of the presidential elections by Klaus Iohannis.
“We did not win in the parliamentary elections, but through the negotiations after the parliamentary elections we managed to seat PNL as the main governing party, which holds 3 of the most important positions in the state,” said Orban.
Furthermore, he presented the accomplishments on the external level.
“At the European level, following efforts we’ve made, we managed to be a voice which is heard, which influences at the European level. Today, due to the PNL, Romania matters in the EU and has the capacity to influence decisions,” Orban said.
He mentioned as accomplishments the fact that a representative of Romania took over the helm of the European Prosecutor’s Office and that the PNL supported the Action and Solidarity Party and the Democratic Action Party in the elections in the Republic of Moldova.
The PNL congress also ratified, on Saturday, the amendments made to the Party’s statute.
Citu: Romania needs Liberalism
Romania needs liberalism, said Prime Minister Florin Citu, on Saturday, at the Congress of the National Liberal Party (PNL), during the presentation of the motion he was running with for the chairmanship of the party – Liberal Romania.
The Prime Minister was interrupted during his speech by the supporters of Ludovic Orban, who booed him and asked for his resignation as Prime Minister.
The current chairman of the PNL appealed to the hall to stop this behaviour.
“Those who are chanting for my resignation, know that means taking down your own government. Yes, only Dragnea did that. PNL is alive and that’s what all Romanians must see. I salute you all, dear Liberal colleagues. A long and difficult campaign, wasn’t it? It was, but I say that I regret nothing of this campaign, because in this campaign I saw Romania, I saw what Romanians need and I saw they need liberalism, Romania needs liberalism,” said Florin Citu.
“Only the ‘winning team’ had a positive and optimistic campaign, regardless of how much others attacked me. And you know why we had an optimistic campaign? Because I trusted you all, my Liberal colleagues. I know that today you will make the right choice. And now we are here, at the moment of truth, the moment we choose authentic liberalism, the moment in which the PNL gives a lesson of democracy to all political parties in Romania, but also Romanians. Liberal colleagues, I am Florin, the man who entered politics not long ago, but worked a lot and without compromises to be here and for that I thank you,” said Citu.
The head of the Government pointed out that without the colleagues in the 40 branches, who voted for his motion, he couldn’t have ran for PNL chair.
“Your trust makes me responsible. We started a few on this road look how many we’ve become. I say with emotion that you are my team and regardless who you vote for today I thank you for coming here. Yes, I admit, I hope to convince more of you up to the time of the vote to vote for me, because I’m a team player and I want to work with you all, to make the PNL the largest political party in Romania,” he added.
Florin Citu also stated his commitment, if elected chairman of the PNL, for the decisions to be made together with the party.
The Prime Minister said he respects Liberal principles in politics, but also in his personal life.
“I don’t make compromises. For me, and I’m sure that for you as well, private property is sacred, and entrepreneurs are heroes. And there’s one more important thing to me: poverty must be eradicated in Romania and I guaranteed you that only us, the Liberals, have the solution. It’s called Liberal Romania!,” Florin Citu also said.
Citu, after winning position of PNL chair: PNL is a united party, I will be chairman of all Liberals
The National Liberal Party (PNL) is, starting today, a united party, stated, on Saturday, Prime Minister Florin Citu, after winning the position of PNL chair.
“This vote honors and makes me responsible. At the same time, I must be honest and say that the vote doesn’t surprise me, because the ‘winning team’ is the only solution for the PNL. I will promise you I will be the chairman of all Liberals, regardless of how you voted. Starting today, we’re a united party and we will use our resources against our political adversary – the PSD [Social Democrat Party]. You should know this wasn’t only a campaign, it was a movement, a movement that starts with PNL, a movement which will change Romania for the better. Thank you all and together we build Liberal Romania,” said Citu.
Florin Citu concluded his intervention by inviting onto the stage the team which will participate in the elections for the other positions in the party, which are to take place on Sunday, in a National Council.
Orban: My resignation as Deputies’ Chamber Speaker – on Monday on table of new PNL leader
The former chair of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Ludovic Orban, announced on Saturday that his resignation from the position of Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies will be on Monday on the table of the new chairman of the Liberals’, Florin Citu.
“My resignation as Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies will be on Monday on the table of the elected chairman, Florin Citu,” announced Ludovic Orban, after the announcement of the results of the PNL congress.
After congratulating the winner, Ludovic Orban spoke, in his speech, about the attachment he has towards Liberal values.
“Over my career of 31 years I defended Liberal plans and acted constantly to put into practice Liberal policies, to achieve a leap that Romania needs. I will remain consistent, I will keep my conviction and political action to defend democracy, to defend Liberal rights and freedoms, to defend Liberal values and I will continue to act as I have until now, together with my colleagues,” said the former chair of the PNL.
Former PNL chair: Between Ludovic Orban and Klaus Iohannis there is no more partnership
Ludovic Orban stated, on Saturday, after losing the elections for a new mandate at the helm of the National Liberal Party (PNL), that he congratulates Prime Minister Florin Citu for his win and announced that he will have no sort of partnership with President Klaus Iohannis anymore.
“Between Ludovic Orban and Klaus Iohannis there is no more partnership,” said Orban.
PSD, after PNL Congress results: Citu, we’re waiting for you at motion!
The Social Democrat Party (PSD) conveyed to Prime Minister Florin Citu, after he was elected chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL), that they await for him in Parliament for the censure motion.
“Citu, we’re waiting for you at the motion!” – this is the message posted to the Facebook page of the PSD, shortly after the announcement of the results of the PNL Congress for the election of the Liberals’ chair.
Compiled from Agerpres
Photo: Facebook/Florin Citu