April
2008
REPORT
 
Vol. 4 No.3  
 

Making deals to survive

Ahead of the local elections, parties are forging alliances with their political enemies to secure a strong base before the general vote later this year
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Romania’s political scene is now encountering a high frequency of backroom deals ahead of the local elections in early June.
Polls are showing that one party remains in front - the new Democratic Liberal Party (PDL). This is headed by ex-Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan and Cluj-Napoca mayor Emil Boc, and is indirectly patronised by President Traian Basescu. Large parties such as the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the governing National Liberal Party (PNL) have fallen in popularity since the 2004 elections.
In the last two years, the PSD, the PNL, the Conservative Party (PC), the Greater Romania Party (PRM) and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) have formed a coalition of the willing to isolate the PDL members in the Parliament.
This relationship is set to become closer. As The Diplomat went to press, the Social Democrats were negotiating with the Liberals to create an alliance. However some Liberals, allegedly including Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, do not want to publicly associate with the PSD, because of the corruption accusations surrounding the party. On paper, the PNL and PSD are ideological opposites. An association between these two parties is absurd as a coalition of Germany’s Liberal Party and its Social Democrats. But the PNL has undertaken a policy mix more associated with the short-term interests of a populist left-wing party over the last year, including delaying announced privatisations in the energy sector and doubling the rate of pensions.

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