Moldovan deputy prime minister to run on Romanian party’s list in European elections

By bne IntelliNews March 27, 2019

Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister Iurie leanca will run on the ticket of Romanian party Pro Romania in the May European Parliament elections. Like many Moldovans, Leanca, a former prime minister of Moldova, holds Romanian citizenship as well.

Pro Romania’s leader, former Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, announced the plans in a TV show on Realitatea TV on March 26. Pro Romania will formally unveil its list of candidates for the European Parliament on March 27, the day when the Unification of Bessarabia (an historic statal entity, currently split between Romanian territory known as Moldova and the Republic of Moldova) with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918 is celebrated. 

Leanca served as prime minister of Moldova in 2013-2015, heading several cabinets of the Alliance for European Integration, and has also served as minister of foreign affairs and European integration. Currently he heads the party he founded, the European Popular Party in Moldova, and serves as deputy PM in the acting cabinet of Prime minister Pavel Filip. As the parliamentary elections in Moldova held on February 24 were inconclusive, the future of Filip and his cabinet is uncertain.

Pro Romania is a centre-left party formed by Ponta after he had to step down amid clashes with the incumbent president of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea. The party was formed by PSD dissidents and it later hosted those who left the party because of what they called Dragnea’s “inappropriate” leadership. Mihai Tudose, prime minister in a PSD cabinet during the second half of 2017, joined Pro Romania after Dragnea withdrew political support, causing the government to collapse. More recently European Commissioner Corina Cretu joined Ponta’s party as well, after repeated arguments with the government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila related to the cabinet’s poor performance in using funds from the European Union.

Thus, Pro Romania will have four candidates — Ponta, Cretu, Tudose and Leanca — in the upcoming election.

According to opinion polls, Pro Romania has between 8% and 10% support, which would allow them to obtain three MEP mandates. Ponta has announced he would withdraw from the list in that case, so the likely representatives of the party in the European Parliament would be Cretu, Tudose and Leanca.

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