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Political poles following local elections

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14 Iun 2004 - 00:00
Political analysts comment the regrouping of political forces following the local elections and say two weight-poles emerged: the SDP and the NLP-DP Alliance
MONICA IORDACHE
The will of both the Social Democrat Party (SDP) on the one hand, and of the National Liberal Party - Democratic Party (NLP-DP) Alliance on the other hand, to win over the local and county councils led to the build-up of unexpectedly powerful coalitions.

Before the local elections day the Greater Romania Party (GRP) was the one party everybody else was avoiding, but now both the SDP and the NLP-DP Alliance are seeking to get support from its leader, Corneliu Vadim Tudor.

Adrian Nastase, PM and the SDP leader, stated no later than April, at the meeting of the SDP youth organization, that his party cannot sustain a political dialogue with the GRP, and that Tudor was a "political humbug cheat."

The leaders of the NLP-DP Alliance also repeatedly stated that they will not collaborate with the GRP.

ATRACTIONS

Alina Mungiu, the president of an NGO called the Academic Society in Romania, said that there is no surprise in the instant closeness now displayed by the SDP and the GRP. "Only by sheer chance the members of the GRP are not members of the SDP and the other way around. As a matter of fact, nothing separated the two parties. The only problem GRP has is that its voters oppose the current SDP leadership and many believe that with working together with the SDP their own favorite party will not represent a powerful political alternative. If the GRP will continue to behave as if the SDP keeps it as a sparing partner, it will gradually loose its own electorate, "comments Mungiu. She said that on the other side of the political spectrum a solution will stay with bringing together the Romanian Humanist Party (RHP) and the NLP-DP Alliance, as their messages are similar.

PREDICTIONS

Political analyst Stelian Tanase believes the mayhem of negotiations all over the country is due to the fact that the parties did not expect for the balance of power between SDP and the NLP-DP Alliance to strike so even. "The parties were not ready for this type of balance and did not work on scenarios for after the elections time. The Alliance got a better score than it estimated," said Tanase. He added that if the even balance of power will stay the same at the general elections due in fall, the negation game will be the same. Tanase said that the risk for the parties in opposition now is that if they cooperate with the SDP in local political alliances they will lose in the general elections in the fall. "The GRP criticized the local barons (NOTE: name given to SDP backed local political leaders) and now they have to make alliances with them with no regard to their own electorate who voted against the SDP," says Tanase. "The RHP had a good score because it opted out of the government positions and was critical of the SDP. If it will team up with the SDP will loose a source of votes: the one coming from the people who voted against the SDP and drifted towards the NLP-DP Alliance. Those that will ally themselves with the SDP stand to loose votes," concluded Tanase.

INTERESTS

Cristian Parvulescu, president of the Pro-Democratia NGO, says that the local alliances will not be directed from Bucharest, but will rely on local benefits. "Two parties have emerged as arbiters: the GRP and the RHP, but these two did not set up yet their policies for political partnerships. There was a complicity to be seen going on between the GRP and the SDP, but the cooperation between the two parties will not translate into a signed protocol at national level because the SDP runs the risk of being ousted from the International Socialist movement. The NLP-DP Alliance does not have this problem, but its cooperation with the GRP is risky because it could lead to an international isolation of the two parties. Local alliances will be conducted according to local interests and each party will try capitalizing its local vantage points," explained Parvulescu.

THE LOCAL BARONS

In the country side the rule of the SDP barons will last with help from the GRP members. In Suceava, the GRP changed its previous decision to go along the NLP-DP Alliance and decided to support the SDP form a majority in the County Council in exchange for holding the deputy chairman position of this body. The GRP leader in the Suceava County, Senator Gheorghe Acatrinei, said that his party will support the Gavril Marza ticket for heading the County Council, while the SDP will support his wife, Stela Acatrinei, for the deputy chairman position on behalf of GRP. The SDP leader for Vrancea County, Marian Oprisan, said that in this county too the SDP and GRP signed a protocol for cooperation, though SDP already had a ruling majority in the county council.
Translation: ANCA PADURARU
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