Romanian MP Elena Udrea (in picture) has officially announced that she will run for the presidency of the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) at the party convention in March. She presented herself as “a candidate for the PDL and the party’s future, rather than a candidate standing against someone else.” Speaking today (February 12 ), Udrea also said that she hoped it would be a good, positive competition, rather than a rancorous row.
The official announcement ends speculation on her candidacy in the Romanian media. Since the beginning of the year, she has expressed a desire to be part of the PDL’s leadership, but was unwilling to confirm any interest in running for president of the party. She said she made the decision after a discussion with her PDL colleagues.
The PDL led the country until a vote of no confidence brought the government down in April last year. The Social Liberal Union (USL), which currently leads the country, took power following the vote of no confidence. Since then, the PDL has had a savaging in both local and national parliamentary elections, reducing the party’s representation in the current parliament to well below 20 percent.
Elena Udrea is one of Romania’s highest profile politicians and has attracted plenty of local and international media attention throughout her career. She boldly posed for a fashion magazine, in an issue dedicated to powerful women, after she had caught the media’s eye with the expensive Dolce & Gabbana dress she wore during a TV show and a press conference. Her expensive taste in fashion has been both criticized and lauded, and she has stated that politics can be “done in high heels,” as well as by the blonde and the young. Udrea also made international headlines for having sent high heeled shoes to some flooded areas, as help for those in distress. Before becoming a minister, she was lampooned for not knowing that Norway is a monarchy and not part of the European Union.
The more gossip orientated parts of the media have also speculated on an alleged love affair between president Basescu and Elena Udrea.
Before becoming a minister, Udrea, a law graduate, was a member of the Democratic Liberal Party, having got involved in politics in 2002. In 2005, she became a state counselor and the head of president Traian Basescu’s chancellery. She had worked with Basescu before, during his mandate as Bucharest mayor, when Udrea was a counselor, president of the Judicial and Discipline Commission at Bucharest City Hall.
Married to businessman Dorin Cocos since 2003, Udrea has previously held a ministerial seat was Tourism Minister and Environment Minister interim for a time.
photo source: Elena Udrea on Facebook