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The Way to Romanian Presidency Passes Through the Oval Office

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23 Iul 2004 - 00:00

OBSERVER - July 23 2004

"Adrian Nastase told me he will win the elections." The American President George W. Bush stated these words Wednesday, during his meeting in the White House with the Romanian PM Adrian Nastase.

DAN CONSTANTIN - Washington

The talks between the two leaders took place in the Oval Office and were scheduled to last for half an hour. The press-conference that followed was broadcast live on CNN, Fox and C-SPAN television networks and took place in the Oval Office too, which was a first for both Romanian politicians and media. President Bush stated that his view was that he will win the fall elections in the United States and that Nastase told him that "he was sure to win too" in Romania. The leader in the White House also pointed out the new political context in Romania as he compared it to its communist past. "A person running for presidential elections in Romania and the President of the United States talk now on what it means an electoral campaign; this conversation would not have been possible 20 years ago."

Tuesday evening, a short while before his visit to the White House and just after presiding over the Security Council meeting, PM Nastase stated that he "feels 95% ready for running for elections," but that he still needed to decide together with his party colleagues who would stand to be the best candidate. "If analyses would show that my colleagues think I am the best one to run for the party on the presidential ticket, then I would do so," said Nastase. "What Romania really needs is to continue to have strong leadership. Romania will still need strong anchors in this world we live in," said he.

The Social Democrat Party (SDP) leaders were not surprised yesterday by the PM’s statement regarding his running for the top office in the country. "We had never had during the last four years a more valid candidate than Adrian Nastase," said Serban Mihailescu, of the SDP, to Mediafax wire services. Victor Ponta, leader of the youth organization of the SDP, said that if Nastase would run for office he will have the support of the Social Democrat Youth Organization. Mihailescu and Ponta stated that following the SDP Congress to take place in August, the person to take over the PM position [in case SDP wins the elections] will also be nominated.

Translation: ANCA PADURARU

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