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Clear Vote In Romania, More Trouble To Come …

  • December 10th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

bucharest1.jpgElections in Romania on the weekend (9.12.12) produced a clear winner, the centre-left Social Democrats party of the incumbent Prime minister, Victor Ponta – but are not expected to provide any end to severe political infighting.

CAN’T STAND EACH OTHER

ponta.jpgMr Ponta, 40 (picture), has been trying to get rid of the state President, Traian Basescu, 61, a political rival, putting on a referendum for his dismissal last July – lost despite a big yes vote, because of an insufficient voter turn-out.

basescu-resize.jpgMr Basescu (picture) is on record as saying that as head of state, he will not nominate the Prime Minister for a new term

He is a quick politician able to re-make himself; moving from a fairly senior position in the communist party under the dictator Nicolae Ceasescu, to the then-National Salvation Front (former communists and several others), to an off-shoot of it at right-of-centre; before forging an independent career based on  a measure of charisma and public following.

He currently champions strongly committed membership of the European Union and systematic prosecution of corruption cases, in independent courts.

See EUAustralia Online: “Romanian Vote: Trouble Still To Come”, 31.7.12; also, “Hackers from Romania get credit cards in Australia”, 29.11.12.

TRAGEDY FOR THE COUNTRY

The tragedy of the political stand-off for Romania is that the country remains bedeviled by old conflicts and bad practices continuing on from the long communist dictatorship that ended in 1989.

The European Commission, two months ago acted on threats to block the transfer of development funding due to Romania, because of the prevalence of official corruption.

It has long been sending in officials and allocating funds to try and deal with organised crime, well set up in the country.

In the meantime government has alternated between the right wing, today associated with President Basescu; and the Social Democrats, seen as harbouring survivors of the communist days, with entrenched influence inside state institutions.

Incumbent administrations have to weather the impact of unemployment getting towards 25%, and public pain and resentment over the impacts of austerity budgeting; yet this time the Social Democrats did hold on to some 57% or seats in  parliament, against the Basescu group’s 18%.

ELECTIONS FOOTNOTE – LITHUANIA. The log-jam that followed elections in Lithuania at the end of October was finally broken on 22.11.12, when the Social Democratic leader Algirdas Butkevicius was nominated to become Prime Minister. The President, Dalia Grybauskaitė, had held-off accepting his defeat of the former Christian Democrat government, because of legal processes hanging over the head of the Prime Minister’s coalition partner, the Labour Party. In the end these objections were deemed to be not sufficient to hold up the formation of a government. See EUAustralia Online, “Lithuania vote: political deadlock likely”, 30.10.12.

Reference

Dan Bilefsky, “Romanians Vote in Parliamentary Elections”, NYT, NY, 9.12.12.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/world/europe/romanians-vote-in-parliamentary-elections.html, (10.12.12).

Alison  Mutler, “Romanian exit polls: center-left government wins vote”, Huffington Post, NY, 9.12.12. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121210/eu-romania-elections/?utm_hp_ref=homepage&ir=homepage, (10.12.12).

Pictures

Bucharest – wpa2013bucharest.org; wikipedia

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