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The Opposition Alliance Not Willing to Alienate the Nationalist Electorate
GENERAL ELECTIONS - December 4th 2004
The leadership of the National Liberal Party - Democrat Party Alliance adopted a resolution yesterday in which it calls for all Romanians to cast their ballot in the second round of presidential elections for their candidate, Traian Basescu, irrespective of their choice in the first round.
by SILVIU SERGIU
Basescu explained that the Alliance ruled out any post-election cooperation with the Social Democrat Party in order to support a working government, and yet said that "it could use the vote coming from any citizen, irrespective of the candidates he or she voted for in the first round of elections."
"I would like to get at least half of the SDP votes," Basescu added.
He did not give a clear answer, though, when asked about a possible alliance with the nationalist Greater Romania Party supporting a government led by the Allianceâs candidate for the PM job, Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
"We did not start to speculate on that matter, Basescu said. When and if we will get the presidency, we will be very transparent sabout our policy for political alliancest. Now we are testing the negotiations; none of the serious parties will be willing to arrive at a done deal for now," added Basescu.
The DP program, according to the motion on which Basescu was elected its president, states that: "The GRP is a party with an extreme-right, populist hue. For this reason the DP cannot establish any type of relationships with this intolerant and xenophobic party. The DP is compelled to act in order to eradicate the political chances of extremist parties."
The leader of the Democrat Union of Hungarians in Romania, Marko Bela, also announced that will not agree to take part in a political alliance which will get direct or indirect support from the GRP.
The liberals suggested to state explicitly in yesterdayâs resolution that the Alliance rejected cooperation with the GRP. But the proposal did not pass against arguments that Basescu will need on 12 December the votes coming from the GRP voters too.
"We should not make an explicit statement on that matter, not for the benefit of Vadim sTudor, leader of the GRPt, but to not alienate the GRP voters," said one NLP leader.
The Allianceâs leaders also let a door open for the Romanian Humanist Party, running on a joint ticket with the ruling SDP.
"We did not rule out cooperation with the RHP, since its link to the SDP is by virtue of an electoral alliance alone. If one takes out of the final count of mandates those of the RHP, then you would see that the SDP actually lost the elections big time," said Basescu.
After the Alliance members were scolded for not being active enough in the first round of elections, the NLP and DP decided that joint teams, made of one liberal and one democrat, will scout the whole country to campaign for Basescu. Mona Musca and Emil Boc, Gheorghe Flutur and Cozmin Gusa, Adriean Videanu and Teodor Melescanu, Radu Berceanu and Norica Nicolai will monitor the fairness of the polling in the countryside, and also mobilize the electorate in the cities.
Basescu will make only one visit to Galati city, in eastern Romania.
For the rest of the next week he will be available in Bucharest to as many televised confrontations with Adrian Nastase srunning for presidency on an SDP-RHP tickett as possible.
So far the two of them have scheduled only one televised debate, on Wednesday, on the public television station, TVR.
For his part, Nastase, speaking in Cluj yesterday, stated again that Basescu damaged Romaniaâs public image abroad with his request for a re-run of elections.
In a meeting with local SDP members, Nastase said of Basescu that "if he would have led Romania all these past years we would have fought as many wars as we did in the times of Stephen the Great sduring the 15th century, when Romanians fought the Turkish Empiret. The role of a president is to defuse conflicts, not to stir them up," said Nastase.
Translation : ANCA PADURARU