Comment: Romanian politics and the strange news from another world
Romania-Insider.com reported two interesting pieces of news from the dynamic world of Romanian politics, and guest writer Ronnie Smith analyzes them together (you can read the original articles here and here).
Mr Mihai Ungureanu, the former Prime Minister, will form a new conservative party, together with members of the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) (Ungureanu himself was not member of the PDL but had their support while being PM) to challenge the current strength of the governing alliance between PSD and PNL. This is probably a good idea, from a conservative perspective, as PDL appears to have completely lost popular support, as the recent local elections conclusively show, and the party offers no evidence that it has the people or the ideas to reverse its decline.
At the same time Mrs Elena Udrea has resigned as head of the PDL organization in Bucharest following the party’s catastrophic election performance.
The apparent implosion of the PDL leaves Romania’s President seriously lacking political support and very exposed to the continued attacks mounted enthusiastically by the governing coalition. The latest argument about who should represent Romania at the EU Council of Ministers, the President or the Prime Minister, is just one more drip from the tap filling the bucket of impeachment. It is only a matter of time. Mr Basescu is becoming increasingly isolated as his colleagues look elsewhere to avoid investigation or for ways to rescue their political careers.
The birth of a new party is always exciting news amongst those who are interested in such things. The political anoraks eagerly await news of the birth of new ideas and of younger and more energetic people coming to the fore. Talk of national ‘political realignment’ is rife as the first general meeting of the new organization is feverishly anticipated. However, in the case of Mr Ungureanu’s new conservative party, some questions must first be asked.
Is there a set of new ideas that will inspire the swift growth of a new party on a national scale? Will there indeed be a new party program to be put before the people and businesses of Romania in these troubled times, an event that would on its own be revolutionary in a political system utterly devoid of public policy formulation and discussion? Can the new partyw really be new if many significant members of the old PDL join it? What will the real difference be between the old PDL and Mr Ungureanu’s new party?
Furthermore, the timing of Mrs Udrea’s resignation gives cause for thought. Is it a coincidence that she chose to make her announcement on the same day as the declaration about Mr Ungureanu’s party? Quite possibly yes, because the local election results were so bad for the PDL and she simply wishes to step away from the battle for a while. Also, it is questionable whether there will be a place for her in the new conservative party, given that she is widely regarded as someone who contributed most to the PDL’s general loss of credibility.
Will Mr Ungureanu, and others, welcome her with open arms?
By Ronnie Smith, Guest Writer
Ronnie Smith is Scottish and now lives in Romania, working as a professional training business consultant and communication coach. He is also a teacher of political science, a political and social commentator and a writer of fiction. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Romania Insider.com.
(photo source: Tourism Ministry)