Wednesday

6th Jul 2022

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • 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).

Romanian renegade bids for EP seat

A Romanian politician running as an independent in the EU elections could be heading for an EP seat, helped by backing from a powerful media group facing indictment for blackmail.

EP candidate runs on anti-gay ticket

While figures with a history of anti-homosexual discourse freely run as candidates for the European Parliament, gay people remain silent about their sexuality in Romania.

Column

'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements

Some modest headway in recognising the unrelenting tide of discrimination and violence facing women worldwide was made at last week's largely self-congratulatory and mostly irrelevant G7 talk-fest. But no one mentioned abortion, just days after the Roe vs Wade decision.

News in Brief

  1. France to nationalise nuclear operator amid energy crisis
  2. Instant legal challenge after ok for 'green' gas and nuclear
  3. Alleged Copenhagen shooter tried calling helpline
  4. Socialist leader urges Czech PM to ratify Istanbul convention
  5. Scottish law chief casts doubt on referendum
  6. British PM faces mounting rebellion
  7. Russian military base near Finnish border emptied
  8. Euro slides to lowest level in two decades

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Legal action looms after MEPs back 'green' nuclear and gas
  2. EU readies for 'complete Russian gas cut-off', von der Leyen says
  3. Rising prices expose lack of coherent EU response
  4. Keeping gas as 'green' in taxonomy vote only helps Russia
  5. 'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements
  6. Greece defends disputed media and migration track record
  7. MEPs adopt new digital 'rule book', amid surveillance doubts
  8. 'World is watching', as MEPs vote on green finance rules

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us