Lies at the last minute of the presidential campaign

George Marinescu (TRANSLATED BY COSMIN GHIDOVEANU)
English Section /

Lies at the last minute of the presidential campaign

The writhing of the candidate without theoretical odds 

The election campaign for the second round of the presidential elections did not offer anything to the citizens who are called to the polls on Sunday, November 24, to determine who will hold the supreme office in the state in the next five years. False news manufactured in the campaign laboratories of the political parties, accusations lobbied from one side to the other, individual debates, the use by the PSD candidate of the public TV as an electoral ramp have marked an atypical campaign from which the most important character in these elections was missing: the citizens. And their needs.

The most recent fake news was thrown "on the market" on November 21st by an obscure news site and was immediately reported by the TV networks leaning towards the PSD. The headlines were "Viorica Dăncilă, summoned tomorrow (ed. note: today) at the National Anti-corruption Department".

The false news, which traveled for tens of minutes on TV and online, was debunked by the National Anti-corruption Department, which has announced, in a press release: "Referring to the information presented in the public space which lends credence to the idea that a presidential candidate is going to be summoned by the DNA, on November 22nd, the Information and Public Relations Department is urged to mention that the information in question is FALSE in its entirety".

All that is left is for the National Audiovisual Council to take action against the TV networks that spread the news without verifying it directly at the source.

All of the aforementioned charade seems to have been devised by the campaign team of Viorica Dăncilă, led by Olguţa Vasilescu. That is the only way it can be explained how just four days prior to the appearance of yesterday's news, Viorica Dăncilă claimed that she was expecting to be summoned by the anti-corruption prosecutors.

It is possible that the entire scenario was planned following the public information that Tudor Iacov, the representative of the Tennis Association CS Triumf 2000 Craiova, filed a criminal complaint over the far too high amount made available from the Government's reserve fund by the former prime-minister for paying the annual fee of the BRD Bucharest Open tournament, competition organized by the company of Ion Ţiriac.

According to some sources, Iacov is close to Marius Vecerdea, who wants to become president of the Romanian Tennis Federation. Vecerdea is the godson of Klaus Iohannis, but he apparently didn't have the courage to submit the complaint in question, to avoid having his godfather in the Cotroceni being implicated.

Nevertheless, those who built that scenario with the possible quoting of Viorica Dăncilă at the National Anti-corruption Department did not take into consideration the fact that for the allocation of the amount in question a draft decision initiated by the Youth and Sport minister was needed. If things were the way Iacov claims, then the first suspect would actually be that minister and not at all the former prime-minister.

It would seem that the people around Dăncilă wanted to create a similarity between Dan Barna, the leader of the USR, who failed to enter the second round of the presidential elections, because of the experience with the anti-corruption prosecutors and with the irregularities concerning the projects involving European grants. Since then more information has appeared, as well as a press release from the prosecutors, that the leader of the USR did not have a criminal involvement in the case in which certain facts are being investigated. The campaign team of the PSD candidate may have thought of trying to victimize Dăncilă, to accuse the president in office of controlling the National Anti-corruption Department and of removing his opponents from the presidential race. But that scenario was debunked by the NAD.

Dăncilă admits that she is not going to be called at the National Anti-corruption Department

Perhaps sensing it wouldn't work, Viorica Dăncilă last night organized a new conference at the Parliament's Palace, which ended at the closing of the edition.

During the press conference, Viorica Dăncilă admitted that the information that she was going to be summoned at the NAD was false. When asked by the journalists about that, Dăncilă said: "It is half false. I will explain it to you right away. I said a few days ago that everyone who ran against Iohannis had cases in court. After the first round, on November 15th, a complaint was made against me. The DNA said that they would not summon me tomorrow (on November 22nd), but not that they wouldn't be summoning me on Monday, Tuesday, or some other time. As for summoning me at the NAD following this complaint, they definitely will. Perhaps many from Iohannis' team would have wanted them to summon me tomorrow, or maybe even on Sunday, so that the vote would no longer be held".

Regarding the other statements posted by her party colleagues - including Olguţa Vasilescu - on Facebook, Dăncilă said that she did not stand behind them, that the opinions of her colleagues in the PSD were strictly their own and that what mattered in democracy was freedom of expression. Including that of PSD organizations, such as the one in Teleorman that claimed that President Klaus Iohannis would cut people's salaries.

Viorica Dăncilă also stated that she will not use the pardon for persons convicted of corruption. One of these people is the former president of the PSD, Liviu Dragnea.

In her speech, the PSD candidate emphasized the same topics that Social Democrats have been discussing since 2014: pride in being Romanian and the proximity to Orthodox spiritual values.

In her vision for the position of president of the country, Dăncilă constantly referred to the experience acquired as prime-minister and promised what she failed to achieve as former head of the government: open doors for the press, the civil society, the unions, the political parties and the citizens. She also continued her attacks against president Iohannis whom she accused of violating the Constitution and promised she would drop her immunity, but made no mention of any action to repeal or implement strict restrictions on the MPs immunity.

At the same time, in Galaţi, president Klaus Iohannis said: "PSD needs to be removed from the controls and needs to be removed for a long time. Only then will we succeed in making Romania a normal country. We are not looking for the impossible, but all Romanians need a normal country. In reality, the PSD has changed its spots many times, but not its nature. That is why, for many years, the PSD needs to become an opposition party. That is why it is necessary to go and vote and get a vote that is so clear, that no one will raise the question on whether the PSD can make a comeback or not".

Iohannis also said that the change that is happening now is good change for Romania and that this good road can continue after Sunday's vote.

The campaign and the area of a circle 

The campaign for the presidential elections was a fiasco. In two rounds. The history of the last 30 years is peppered with scandals, sayings made famous, deployed / launched during these campaigns, from the untouched soy salami displayed ostentatiously by the rivals of Ion Iliescu when posing with potential voters, to the "hot pepper"which Traian Basescu said he would use to "burn" his opponents, from the curse of the nation being forced to elect one of two "former communists", to "Mihaela, my love" by Mircea Geoană. Even the last election, five years ago, when Klaus Iohannis and Victor Ponta finally arrived, had some salt, pepper and zest.

This time everything revolved around anger on the social networks.

The turmoil with no debates was just slightly made more lively by the "fundamental" matter of ... the area of a circle. Two hundred thousand voters rushed to Google to find out more about that geometric formula, about  and the lack of knowledge of one candidate or another. Whereas up until now there have been all kinds of talk about "a negative vote", given to one candidate due to the animosity towards the other, what is now coming out is "the vote without conviction". It wasn't just the debate that was missing - in fact it has been mentioned even more often than on other occasions - also absent have been the concrete proposals, the projects. One candidate was too certain they would win, the other only tried to persuade those who already were persuaded, who were going to vote however the party tells them to, regardless of the name, competence, knowledge, experience.

The elections are coming, and the stamp also marks a circle on the paper, and now a lot more people that one week ago know how to calculate its area.

(DAN NICOLAIE)

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