Main Romanian opposition parties draft gradual merger plan

By bne IntelliNews July 16, 2014

Romania’s two main opposition parties – PNL and PDL, have drafted plans for their merger, which is likely to be a gradual process, HotNews online news services informed. The broad plan is to create a larger centre-right party to oppose the leftist governing PSD. Yet, many issues remain in limbo and the merger is going to be a delicate and still uncertain move.

A GRADUAL PROCESS. The two parties will operate de facto in parallel in 2015-2017 and will run as an alliance, rather than a single entity, in this autumn’s presidential elections. They will hold separate parliamentary groups for the period. The PNL/PDL entity will have two co-presidents during the two-year transition period and the leadership will be formed by merging the leaderships of both parties. In 2017, the merged entity would hold a joint congress to elect a new single leading structure – including one full-fledged president.

KEY ISSUES STILL UNSETTLED. The new party’s name will be PNL/PDL, according to the document leaked to media – but the PNL statute recently endorsed clearly stipulates that the PNL [Partidul National Liberal] is a non-negotiable issue and cannot be altered under any circumstance.

The topics for potential disagreements are however much more diverse. PDL's key representative Monica Macovei insists on having the party's ethics code fully included in the statute of the new entity – as it is designed under the most updated requirements. Her statements prompted the remarks of PNL's key leader Mircea Ionescu Quintus, who believes that his own party’s ethics code is superior given the greater tradition of the party.

Key issues, such as the symbols of the parties, will be decided on July 26 when their leaderships will convene in a special congress.

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