Rares Bogdan, a former journalist and head of the PNL list in the Romanian European elections (@ Facebook)
Romanian Socialists are steadily losing ground in the voters’ preferences, according to the latest projections released today by Kantar Public for the Public Opinion Monitoring Unit of the European Parliament’s Directorate General for Communication.
The report, published on the last working day of the present EU legislature is based on polling data published in 28 EU member states until 15 April 2019. The data are based on a collection of reliable polls conducted by national polling institutes in the member states and aggregated by Kantar Public on behalf of Parliament. The new data are based on 43 dedicated polls on European elections from 21 countries.
According to the projection, out of the Romanian 32 EP seats, the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL, a member of the EPP) would grab 9, the governing Socialists (PSD) – 8, the Alliance 2020 USR/PLUS – 6, followed by the junior governing ALDE party and the Socialist splinter group Pro Romania with 4 each, the remaining seat going to the Alliance of the ethnic Hungarians UDMR.
The Alliance 2020 USR/PLUS is led by the former Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, while the currently acting Romanian EU Commissioner Corina Cretu is running for Victor Ponta’s Pro Romania, being certain to enter the future Parliament.
This mean that in the future EU Parliament, the opposition (PNL – Alliance 2020 – UDMR) will run neck and neck. Out of the Romanian 32 seats, 16 will befell to PSD, ALDE, Pro Romania, and 16 to PNL, PLUS/USR, UDMR.
Although supposed to be opposed to the PSD/ALDE government, Victor Ponta’s Pro Romania, which also includes, besides Ponta himself and Corina Cretu, the former prime minister Mihai Tudose and a former prime minister of the neighbouring, Romanian speaking Republic of Moldova, Iurie Leanca, is widely seen as a mock opposition movement. A shady, chameleonic politician, Victor Ponta has also the Serbian citizenship and is a counselor to Aleksander Vučić, the authoritarian Serbian president, neighbouring Serbia also offering political asylum to one of Ponta’s friends and protectors, the fugitive shady businessman and corrupt politician Sebastian Ghiţă, who fled to Belgrade to avoid arrest and trial.
Also, in the incestuous world of Romanian politics, it is not irrelevant that the main party in the preferences, the supposedly “Liberal” PNL have compromised themselves in 2012 by forming a coalition with the same PSD “Socialists” in order to overthrow the then elected president Traian Basescu. Together (PSD + PNL) they launched a failed parliamentary putsch, the effects of which are still felt in the present permanent instability of the country. A historical party that became simply a shadow of itself, with no clear ideological identity, PNL never did its mea culpa after 2012. They now claim to to be in the opposition, while backing dubious initiatives of the ruling coalition, such as the 2018 (failed again) referendum for the “redefinition of the family”, which was meant to deny rights to gay couples. Since 2014, they are part of the EPP.
The PNL list is led by a former journalist, Rareș Bogdan, who was one of the voices of the Socialist/Liberal failed coup in 2012, a coup directed at the time by the then Socialist prime minister Victor Ponta… who now claims to be in the opposition.