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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.

Comment: Little movements on the presidential front in Romania

I happened, briefly, to be in front of a television last Saturday just in time to see Mr Adrian Nastase (in picture, middle) making his way slowly down an aisle of the Sala Palatului, shaking hands with various people and nodding to old friends and associates along the way. He was escorted on his progress by Mr Ion Iliescu and I slowly realized that I was watching a party event, the Social Democratic Party PSD that is, staged to celebrate Mr Nastase’s birthday and to provide him with a comprehensive public political rehabilitation after imprisonment last year.

The hall was packed and Mr Nastase received a long standing ovation from which he squeezed every second of satisfaction for the cameras. I can tell you that I was impressed by this rather wonderful piece of political theater. I also remembered that in a speech made on his release from jail earlier this year, Mr Nastase called on the PSD to present its own candidate at next year’s Presidential election – surely Romania’s largest party shouldn’t have to put up a joint candidate within the USL coalition? Now, who better than Mr Nastase to lead the party through that coming election?

Having ‘pressed the flesh’, Mr Nastase finally shook hands with Mr Crin Antonescu, president of PSD’s coalition partners and the man who is expected to be USL’s prospective presidential candidate. Mr Antonescu smiled nervously as he received one of Mr Nastase’s inscrutable but intimidating stares and then they sat down in the front row, though not together, presumably to listen to speeches.

Meanwhile the TV station showed the fascinated viewers footage of the cell to which Mr Nastase was banished by, of course, Mr Traian Basescu. And the forthcoming electoral narrative became clear. Having been narrowly defeated for the Presidency, Mr Nastase was then hounded into jail by his nemesis, ensuring that he could not be any kind of danger to Mr Basescu. But now the tables are turned and Mr Nastase has returned to the battle for Romania’s political soul…

I wonder what will become of Mr Basescu if Mr Nastase becomes President next year, will this be an even greater political drama than those we have seen in post 1989 Romania?

Meanwhile, over on the very busy center right, Ms Elena Udrea confirmed her desire to become President but said on television that she would prefer not to stand next year; later, perhaps. However, Ms Udrea has a habit of saying many things and then doing the opposite, such as denying that she wanted to stand for Parliament in December last year. So, if we consider that Mr Basescu probably needs her to be his candidate at next year’s Presidential election, to confront the threat posed by Mr Nastase, she is bluffing.

And poor Mr Antonescu, all that careful long term planning slowly heading off the rails.

More updates to follow…

By Ronnie Smith, guest writer

(photo source: PSD on Facebook)

Normal
Profile picture for user ronnie.writer.romania
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.

Comment: Little movements on the presidential front in Romania

I happened, briefly, to be in front of a television last Saturday just in time to see Mr Adrian Nastase (in picture, middle) making his way slowly down an aisle of the Sala Palatului, shaking hands with various people and nodding to old friends and associates along the way. He was escorted on his progress by Mr Ion Iliescu and I slowly realized that I was watching a party event, the Social Democratic Party PSD that is, staged to celebrate Mr Nastase’s birthday and to provide him with a comprehensive public political rehabilitation after imprisonment last year.

The hall was packed and Mr Nastase received a long standing ovation from which he squeezed every second of satisfaction for the cameras. I can tell you that I was impressed by this rather wonderful piece of political theater. I also remembered that in a speech made on his release from jail earlier this year, Mr Nastase called on the PSD to present its own candidate at next year’s Presidential election – surely Romania’s largest party shouldn’t have to put up a joint candidate within the USL coalition? Now, who better than Mr Nastase to lead the party through that coming election?

Having ‘pressed the flesh’, Mr Nastase finally shook hands with Mr Crin Antonescu, president of PSD’s coalition partners and the man who is expected to be USL’s prospective presidential candidate. Mr Antonescu smiled nervously as he received one of Mr Nastase’s inscrutable but intimidating stares and then they sat down in the front row, though not together, presumably to listen to speeches.

Meanwhile the TV station showed the fascinated viewers footage of the cell to which Mr Nastase was banished by, of course, Mr Traian Basescu. And the forthcoming electoral narrative became clear. Having been narrowly defeated for the Presidency, Mr Nastase was then hounded into jail by his nemesis, ensuring that he could not be any kind of danger to Mr Basescu. But now the tables are turned and Mr Nastase has returned to the battle for Romania’s political soul…

I wonder what will become of Mr Basescu if Mr Nastase becomes President next year, will this be an even greater political drama than those we have seen in post 1989 Romania?

Meanwhile, over on the very busy center right, Ms Elena Udrea confirmed her desire to become President but said on television that she would prefer not to stand next year; later, perhaps. However, Ms Udrea has a habit of saying many things and then doing the opposite, such as denying that she wanted to stand for Parliament in December last year. So, if we consider that Mr Basescu probably needs her to be his candidate at next year’s Presidential election, to confront the threat posed by Mr Nastase, she is bluffing.

And poor Mr Antonescu, all that careful long term planning slowly heading off the rails.

More updates to follow…

By Ronnie Smith, guest writer

(photo source: PSD on Facebook)

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