Why are they arguing about the presidential elections date

Why are they arguing about the presidential elections date

Just on the day when the European Commission sounded a strong alarm regarding Romania’s financial situation, coalition leaders gathered for a meeting without a conclusion, discussing the date for organizing the presidential elections. Such a hot topic that they even forgot about stability.

The subject is as tense as it is ridiculous.

In March, Mr. Ciolacu and Mr. Ciucă announced shoulder to shoulder and voice by voice the new electoral calendar, with the presidential elections in September. Mr. Ciucă personally explained the political reasons behind this decision: to avoid overlapping the presidential elections with the general elections, allowing Romanians to understand "what the campaign is about," to have more time for the handover of the mandate between presidents.


Now, the liberals have changed their minds, taken back their word and arguments, and want to push the presidential elections back to winter.

PNL's arguments are kindergarten-level:

-August will be too hot for campaigning. Did they think it would be cold when they decided on campaigning in August?

-School starts. Did they just find out that school starts in September? Will there be no school in November or December?

-The good electoral practices of the Venice Commission. Issued yesterday? And what do these good practices say about merging local elections with European Parliament elections, a move primarily desired by PNL?


There are explanations for the liberal pressure, of course, but unrelated to the above.

When deciding on the calendar, starting with the merger, presidential elections in September and parliamentary elections in December, the two parties planned to go with a common list and candidates from one end to the other.

And in this initial plan, the common candidate was expected to win and then be the driving force to push the percentages of the common electoral list towards a crushing majority.

For reasons we know, the plan failed, and the euro-locals showed a significant difference between the score of the common list and the combined scores of the parties on separate lists.


At that time, not only did the liberals agree with the arrangement, but they exerted immense pressure for it, as the common list and merger represented the only salvation against the specter of a very poor result, with a 1 in front.

Now, their hearts have calmed down, but they have broken their given word.

Thanks to the merger and the common list, the score is not that bad, so they think that revving up the party machinery to the maximum could push Mr. Ciucă into the second round where, traditionally, the anti-PSD vote is higher than the pro-PSD vote (it's not a right vs. left issue).

However, in August, the liberal machinery cannot be at its maximum potential. It will mobilize again when it has a direct interest, namely during the parliamentary elections.

Moreover, the electorate targeted by the liberals is not very interested in politics in August and September, still on vacation or recovering from it.

If Mr. Ciolacu will be the PSD candidate, he has time to erode further until December, by which time the effect of the pension increase in September will have passed.

So, after finding themselves in a tight spot on June 9, after proclaiming the value of stability and the given word, which allowed for last year's rotation without tensions, the liberals have changed their minds and want to take the elections where it suits them best.

Marcel Ciolacu cannot accept this, not only because September suits him best, but also because until November, there is time for Mircea Geoană to better organize. He got the liberals' word, why would he give it up without honoring it once more?

What's even more amusing is that the action plan to block the Government Decision on organizing the elections in September uses tools from USR's arsenal against Prime Minister Cîțu.

When Vlad Voiculescu and then Stelian Ion opposed Florin Cîțu, including in the case of the former Minister of Justice by refusing to approve the "Anghel Saligny" ordinance, the liberals justified, correctly, that the government has only one prime minister, who is the team leader, and anyone who challenges him can only leave.

And when USR found Stelian Ion dismissed and left the government, the liberals called him childish, cowardly, etc.

What is PNL doing now? They are having their ministers refuse to approve the Government Decision on organizing the presidential elections and threatening to leave the government if they were dismissed. Exactly the USR method.

This spectacle follows the spectacle of the common candidate for Bucharest, after the poorly organized elections. This consumption of energy and time is happening while Romania's financial situation worsens and requires decisive and rapid measures for recovery.

On the Titanic's deck, there is always a bottle of beer for which a fight to the death is waged.

We can expect all remaining electoral months of 2024 to look the same, with two rival parties in power.

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