Saturday

23rd Jul 2016

Focus

Romanian candidates exploit EU election for presidential race

  • Ex-tourism minister Elena Udrea with MEP candidates, despite not standing for an EU seat (Photo: Michael Bird)

Romania’s European election campaign is dominated by the faces of candidates bidding to become President in November’s elections for a new head of state.

With incumbent President Traian Basescu forced to step down in November after two five-year mandates, it remains unclear who will succeed him as ruler of the EU's seventh largest country.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in the foreground; MEPs in the background (Photo: Michael Bird)

Positioned across the boulevards of cities and towns, along the country roads of villages and throughout social media, are portraits of the contenders likely to stand in the Autumn poll, pushing the candidates for the European Parliament into the background.

These include Social Democratic (PSD) Prime Minister Victor Ponta, National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu and ex-tourism minister Elena Udrea from a new party, Popular Movement (PMP).

None of these seasoned Romanian politicians are fighting for a European seat.

While Ponta and Antonescu are likely to stand for their parties for President, President Basescu has thrown his support behind Udrea, if she chooses to run.

Recently, Udrea posted pictures of herself, Basescu and the PMP’s young and female members cavorting at the seaside on her Facebook page, wearing T-shirts inviting the electorate to vote for her party.

Prime Minister Ponta declared this was in violation of the constitution, which forbids a President to be involved in the election campaign.

He filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court which, if upheld, means parliament has grounds to suspend Basescu from his role.

His attempt to strike a political blow further indicates that the battle for Europe has become a rehearsal for the fight over Romania’s top job.

Meanwhile, polls in Romania show a union led by the Social Democrats (PSD) winning 40 percent of the votes.

The Liberals (PNL) and right-of-centre Democratic Liberals (PDL) are polling between 11 and 20 percent, and the PMP look set to double their voter share from around five to 10 percent.

Apathy is set to be the biggest winner, however, as no more than 30 percent of Romanians intend to vote next Sunday (25 May).

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event Agenda for 2016
  2. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  3. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  4. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  8. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  9. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  10. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company
  11. Access NowEuropol Supports Encryption. We Can Relax Now… Right?
  12. GoogleLearn about Google's projects across Europe on Twitter @GoogleBrussels

Latest News

  1. Munich attack might not have been terrorism
  2. A very British (and Corbynite) coup
  3. Poland 'changing for the worse' for Muslims and refugees
  4. EU aims to lift visas on Turks despite purge
  5. ECB in ‘bail-out’ of scandal-tainted VW
  6. EU failed to learn lesson from Brexit, Poland says
  7. UK accord on EU workers 'crucial', France says
  8. EU and US take different lines on Turkey crackdown