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The Great Move in SDP

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28 Aug 2004 - 00:00

POLITICS - August 28th 2004

Yesterday, the extraordinary SDP (the Social Democratic Party) Congress approved Adrian Nastase’s candidature for the Presidency of Romania. The supreme leading board of the governing party submitted to President Ion Iliescu the invitation of rejoining the party after the elections this autumn and be one of the SDP candidates on the Senate lists.

SILVIU SERGIU

More than 1,200 representatives present yesterday at the extraordinary congress of SDP, unanimously approved the candidacy of the party’s president, Adrian Nastase, for the supreme function in the state. Another important decision has been the invitation submitted to the present chief of the state, Ion Iliescu, regarding his candidacy as a SDP candidate on the Senate lists and him re-becoming the governing party’s president after the end of his mandate in Cotroceni. Adrian Nastase himself, who said in his speech that SDP should forward "a unity message" before the general elections, has made the invitation. The decision’s target is of course a popularity transfer from Ion Iliescu towards the party, which is to facilitate SDP’s victory in the elections. "Mister Iliescu’s comeback in the lead of the party is a natural and important thing. We are a party of the majority and this is because of Ion Iliescu. There has never been a leader so close to the people. We need him after the elections and I’m sure he will accept this invitation", said Nastase, followed by the applauses and cheers of the representatives present, which unanimously re-approved his proposals.

MISTAKES. In another matter of speech, the SDP president, Adrian Nastase, insisted that for the coming elections, the party shouldn’t make the same mistake from the local elections, and that they should get much closer to the electorate, "they should discuss more with the ordinary people". "This is a mistake that we must fix. We are in a turning moment but we must make the people see that the party is changing for the good. We are the greatest and the strongest party. We have the respect of the entire world, maybe in the same manner our Olympic champions have been respected these weeks", said Nastase.

The SDP leader didn’t forget launching a rough attack against the NLP (the National Liberal Party) - DP (the Democratic Party) Alliance, saying that "the liberal-democratic two-headed hybrid doesn’t work because it is the synonym of algorithm, of the run of responsibility, of the self-importance, of the antagonistic interests of two parallel structures". Nastase sustained that the Alliance has a split leading board and that, "a country lead by the former Convention, the present Alliance, would be a weak country, with different leaders behind which hide two adversary groups with ambiguous members". "We propose the new SDP, they propose the former Convention. We propose a decided person, they propose two weak presidents", added the SDP leader.

ASSAULT. The present External Affairs Minister, Mircea Geoana, has been harsher when talking about the present Opposition. "We have to tell the Romanians that the country mustn’t be lead by ideologically re-dragged people, by electoral couples, like Traian Basescu and Theodor Stolojan. We don’t need mediocrity but super-competence", said Geoana.

THE HPR ALLIANCE

Talking about the SDP strategy for the general elections, the party’s president, Adrian Nastase, appreciated that he does not see any obstacle in the way of the SDP - HPR (the Humanist Party of Romania) alliance continuity.

"In the year 2000 we won the elections because the electoral alliance with HPR convinced the electorate that we were serious people, competent and that we possessed the vision necessary for governing", said Nastase. The HPR vice president, Codrut Seres, invited at the meeting, said that the Humanists would respond SDP’s invitation with the occasion of the National Council of the party, which is to be held on September 5.

CRITICISED.

A meeting of the Central Executive Bureau has preceded the extraordinary Congress of SDP, when the Vrancea SDP leader, Marian Oprisan, proposed for the congress to forward a resolution according to which Ion Iliescu will be the party’s leader after he won’t be the country’s chief anymore. Sources inside the party say that Nastase seems to have criticized Oprisan because he launched this idea in the press in the day before the Congress.

With an ironic tone, Nastase proposed to Oprisan to trust in the present president of SDP, because he knows better the party’s interest and advised him to listen carefully to his speech during the Congress. Due to media strategy reasons, SDP gave up on the idea of announcing a President - PM tandem, in order not to diminish the media impact of the launch of Nastase’s candidacy for the Presidency. The tandem, which sees Geoana as the future PM, will be officially announced after the pre-elections on September 5, when the SDP candidates for the Parliament will be set.

ACCEPTANCE

President Ion Iliescu stated yesterday that he would probably accept the SDP offer concerning his return in the leading board of the party. Asked about his answer for the letter submitted to him by the SDP Congress, the chief of the state said this would be a "positive" one. "This means that the idea of coming back in the party in whose founding I took part is natural. I don’t even understand this agitation that appeared around this fact. It’s a natural, human thing, and it is about the relationship between us. Generally I believe we ought to give a little up on this struggle that doesn’t bring anything good to anyone" explained Iliescu.

However, he stated that for his return in SDP as president there will have to be a Congress of the party, after the elections. Asked about the SDP offer of becoming the party’s president, the chief of the state answered: "I will probably do. All depends on the following actions. But this is something we cannot decide right now. This is only an idea". On the other hand, the chief of the state admitted that he would probably accept the offer of being one of the SDP candidates for the future Senate.
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