Romanian parties shift their focus on presidential elections

14 June 2024

After the June 9 local and European elections, the main Romanian parties quickly shifted their focus to the presidential ballot, where no candidate was officially announced three months before the vote that may take place in September. 

The Liberal Party (PNL) will hold a congress before July 10, where the party’s candidate will be confirmed, MEP Rares Bogdan announced, quoted by News.ro. He also said that the congress is merely a formal procedure while the party’s president, Nicolae Ciuca, is the designated candidate for the presidential elections.

The reformist Save Romania Union (USR) has a tougher job, as it must address the internal crisis caused by the disappointing results in the June 9 ballots. President Catalin Drula resigned, and the rest of the leadership, including Dan Barna, came under criticism from the elected mayor of Campulung Elena Lasconi, who took a dissident position after a conflict with the party leadership last year.

Other USR mayors confirmed in June, such as Dominic Fritz (mayor of Timisoara), may have a stronger voice as well. Rumored as the possible new leader of USR, Fritz said, however, that he would not run for president, according to News.ro. He also implied that he could not head the party because the new party president should run for president as well.

As regards the Social Democrats, party president Marcel Ciolacu said that the party leadership will make a choice. Ciolacu reportedly asked Liberals to support him as the joint presidential candidate of the ruling coalition, or else the Social Democrats would nominate NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana as their presidential candidate, G4media.ro reported. In this latter case, Ciolacu would retain his prime minister seat, the Social Democrats reportedly said. 

While the rumors were not confirmed, they are consistent with the idea that Social Democrat leader Ciolacu would avoid a direct confrontation with Liberal leader Ciuca because, either way, he would lose control of the party. 

iulian@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)

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Romanian parties shift their focus on presidential elections

14 June 2024

After the June 9 local and European elections, the main Romanian parties quickly shifted their focus to the presidential ballot, where no candidate was officially announced three months before the vote that may take place in September. 

The Liberal Party (PNL) will hold a congress before July 10, where the party’s candidate will be confirmed, MEP Rares Bogdan announced, quoted by News.ro. He also said that the congress is merely a formal procedure while the party’s president, Nicolae Ciuca, is the designated candidate for the presidential elections.

The reformist Save Romania Union (USR) has a tougher job, as it must address the internal crisis caused by the disappointing results in the June 9 ballots. President Catalin Drula resigned, and the rest of the leadership, including Dan Barna, came under criticism from the elected mayor of Campulung Elena Lasconi, who took a dissident position after a conflict with the party leadership last year.

Other USR mayors confirmed in June, such as Dominic Fritz (mayor of Timisoara), may have a stronger voice as well. Rumored as the possible new leader of USR, Fritz said, however, that he would not run for president, according to News.ro. He also implied that he could not head the party because the new party president should run for president as well.

As regards the Social Democrats, party president Marcel Ciolacu said that the party leadership will make a choice. Ciolacu reportedly asked Liberals to support him as the joint presidential candidate of the ruling coalition, or else the Social Democrats would nominate NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana as their presidential candidate, G4media.ro reported. In this latter case, Ciolacu would retain his prime minister seat, the Social Democrats reportedly said. 

While the rumors were not confirmed, they are consistent with the idea that Social Democrat leader Ciolacu would avoid a direct confrontation with Liberal leader Ciuca because, either way, he would lose control of the party. 

iulian@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)

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