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Romania: PNL uprising ends before it ever begins

The PNL uprising against party leader Ludovic Orban ended before it even started. Following the refusal of President Klaus Iohannis to support Rares Bogdan’s initiative, as made clear by the statements of Cluj Mayor Emil Boc last night, the dust has settled and the party is eagerly awaiting its congress.

At the conference, Orban is expected to receive heat for the way he negotiated the formation of a government with USR PLUS and UDMR, but also for the election result, in which the PNL came second behind the PSD.

According to press reports, the date of the congress and the prefectural elections that will precede it are likely to be announced in February by the party’s National Council. Presidents of Prefectural Organizations, ministers, MPs and senators, as well as PNL MEPs participate in this body.

The party statute stipulates that a congress be held every four years after the parliamentary elections, in a place, time and with a number of members and guests determined by the party’s National Council on a proposal from the Executive Office. The lowest threshold in the number of participants is 1,000. Elections for local and prefectural organizations must be held at least 45 days before the (regular) congress. The statute also stipulates that the congress must be held by July 31 of the year after the parliamentary elections.

Aside from the pandemic, which will largely determine the date of the conference, Klaus Iohannis seems to be in favor of holding it in the fall.

Most delegates support an in-vivo conference which, however, is impossible to organize quickly with more than a thousand people in attendance and in accordance with PNL statutes, due to pandemic restrictions provided by law. “It is unlikely that in just a few months we will be able to organize elections in local organizations and the conference with a physical presence. “As much as possible the population should be vaccinated so that large-scale conferences can take place with a physical presence,” explained a Liberal leader.

The conference schedule is set out in the PNL statutes which stipulate that the party will hold elections in all local and prefectural organizations, which in turn will send their representatives to the congress. This explains the turbulent debates within the party that take place during this period through which power dynamics are formed at the prefecture level, as votes for the next party president will flow from there. Both Ludovic Orban and his opponents seek to secure a strong electoral base. Orban holds supporters who ballyhoo that he managed to overthrow the Dancila government and was able to rule and govern the country solidly amid a very difficult time for Romania.

The shootings by Rareș Bogdan and Robert Sighiartău against Ludovic Orban, according to sources within the party and the presidential administration, were more personal.

Klaus Iohannis reportedly told Orban’s opponents within the party that “they had to solve this problem (change of leadership) immediately after the election” and that unrest within the party was not welcome, at a time when the budget bill is a priority. absolute. Moreover, Iohannis discouraged any internal party attacks against the PNL president after losing the election, as Orban was the head of the negotiating team with other parties and should not be weakened during the division of ministries.

One party leader said, “There is dissatisfaction, but not great. There was a lot of tension during the distribution of ministries, but it was eased. According to him, the public attack of Rareș Bogdan and Robert Sighiartău on Orban was personal and did not even have the support of their grassroots organizations.

Reports indicate that the two leaders are unhappy after failing to obtain ministerial portfolios. Rareș Bogdan was looking at the Ministry of Interior and Robert Sighiartău was looking at the Ministry of Development. However, Lucian Bode was placed in the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Development was transferred to the UDMR.

Cluj mayor and Romanian KEDK chairman Emil Boc, whom Rareș Bogdan has nominated as a possible candidate for the party presidency, has stated that he does not want any office at the next party congress and any public debate. on issues within the party in the PNL should be stopped.

At the moment, the PNL is trying to establish itself in government and for Local Organizations to appoint as many of their own people as mayors, deputy mayors, deputy ministers and heads of organizations. “Orban is negotiating, how can anyone ask to resign?” high stress of PNL executives.

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