The Right Romania Alliance (ARD), a coalition of three center right Romanian parties – PDL (Democratic Liberal Party), PNTCD (National Christian-Democratic Party) and Forta Civica (Civic Force) – ended its existence from a legal point of view on December 9, after the elections. The announcement was made shortly after the first election results came in, with ARD gaining only around 17 percent of the votes, according to estimations.
The alliance was created strictly for the purposes of promoting the cause of the right-of-center political spectrum during this year’s elections. The leaders of the three former ARD members did not find any reasons to continue their cooperation under this umbrella from now on, according to the Romanian press.
“The ARD is now dead”, said Gabriel Biriş (in picture), Forta Civica Vice-President, in an exclusive statement for Gandul daily. “In order for this love affair to live on, we need another understanding,” added Biris, who had run for a seat in the Parliament, but according to latest data, he did not win it.
Mihail Neamtu, leader of the Noua Republica (New Republic) movement, a junior league member of the ARD, continues to support the idea of a “united right in the face of the USL (Social Liberal Union) colossus”, according to Gandul.
Liberal democratic leaders, such as PDL Vice-President Cristian Boureanu, believe that the creation of ARD was simply “foolish”.
“I believe the time has come for a complex analysis to be made”, stated Boureanu for Mediafax news agency. “Don’t take it as a spur of the moment thing, but I believe that today I am entitled to say that it was such a foolish thing for us to invent an alliance (the ARD) which brought together parties that did not actually exist. For any foolish thing that you do, there’s a price to pay,” concluded Boureanu.
Ioan Oltean, former PDL Secretary General expressed a more diplomatic point of view on the matter, making sure to point out that the ARD had its advantages as well.
“If PDL had run in the elections under its own name we would have obtained 3-4 percent more of votes,” noted Oltean. “The ARD was an intelligent project, but it was put into practice too late for people to understand what it stood for, what it aimed to achieve. Voters were not sufficiently aware of it. PDL lost at least 3-4 percent due to the ARD political and context-motivated project”, concluded Oltean for Gandul.
The timing issue is on the lips of two other PDL Vice-Presidents. Gheorghe Stefan believes that at least 30 percent of voters were not aware of what ARD stood for, while Gabriel Berca is of the opinion that the alliance should have been set up as early as one year ago. Berca is, nevertheless, confident that no harm was done and that due to a “very strong negative vote, people did not matter anymore”.
The announcement about the adoption of an ARD joint program was made at the end of September this year. ARD entered the political scene with a very strong anti-USL message. “Never has Romania been so close to the brink of the precipice,” claimed Vasile Blaga, PDL President, at the time. “We stood within inches of the fall. The USL experiments have almost managed to isolate Romania […] Ponta and Antonescu have made a mockery of this people’s years of hard work. Thanks to the USL, Romania is now farther from its Schengen objective,” clamored Blaga.
According to the partial election results issued by the Central Electoral Office, the USL managed to obtain 60 percent of the vote, while the ARD only gained the support of 16.7 percent of the electorate.
Ioana Jelea (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(photo source: Gabriel Biris’ Facebook page)