The electoral campaign for the December 11th parliamentary elections is in its final days and all the political parties are trying to maximize their score and to attack their opponents.
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos and President Klaus Iohannis were also involved in the campaign, directly or indirectly, trying to increase the score for PNL and USR.

In the electoral campaign there were a lot of published opinion polls. They are generally not very reliable as they were paid by political parties, but normally they had showed PSD at 38-40%, PNL at 27-30%, USR at 10-12%, ALDE at 6-8%, PMP and UDMR at 5%.
The latest opinion poll, paid by Digi 24 TV and conducted by well-known survey house IRES gives different results: PSD 44%, PNL 23%, USR 7%, ALDE and PMP 6%, UDMR 5%, with PRU just outside the Parliament with 4%.
At these numbers, PSD could easily form the new government on its own, without the help of allies from ALDE.
We should keep in mind this: The elections are not over at the moment, despite what the polls might show.
First, these results do not include Romanians voting abroad. They could come in larger numbers than usual as they have far more voting stations available.
Second, a lot of undecided voters could rally at the last moment, especially those who are afraid of a PSD victory.
Third, the methodology of the poll is unclear – it takes the 42% presence those who will vote for sure with the 28% of those who are not sure.
It is essential to know that even a 1% swing could change things.

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos and president Iohannis are getting more involved

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos went to Antena 3 TV on Tuesday night, just hours after saying that this television station is a “swamp” and he needs to put his rubber boots on before going there and take a shower afterwards.
Ciolos’ performance was widely seen as being very good while Antena 3 journalists’ behavior towards the Prime Minister was seen as a “disgrace” in large sections of the media and on social media platforms.
Why did Ciolos went to Antena 3? Is there any chance that his “performance” affects the result of the elections?
Dacian Ciolos needed to create some kind of emotion in this electoral campaign in order not just to convince the undecided electorate to vote for the parties that support him (PNL and USR), but also to change the image himself had left after he had initially distanced himself from the two parties.
Ciolos has continued his final push with other interviews and social media presence, calling for a vote for PNL and USR. The PM himself said that he will give a vote for PNL and one for USR (at the Senate and Chamber of Deputies).
Will this change a lot the voting intentions? No. But this election will be very close and even 1 percent might make a difference. It was a good night for Ciolos, PNL and USR.
President Klaus Iohannis was involved tacitly in this electoral campaign, framing the debate by showing that PSD-ALDE are the “penal side”. He did not invite PSD leaders Liviu Dragnea and Victor Ponta as well as ALDE’s Calin Popescu Tariceanu to National Day festivities because of their problems with the law. He is expected to make an appeal to the electorate to get out to vote but there is little he could do in the final week of the campaign.
His real role starts the day after the parliamentary elections.

PSD’s final push. And the open question: Who do they want as prime minister?

PSD has tried to use the final week to promote its economic program. It even presented a “state budget project” made by PSD despite the fact that the Government is responsible with drafting it.
It was both a show of force by presenting itself as capable of constructing it and transmitting it is close to governing as well as a way to transmit its “generous” economic message.
PSD was not generous instead with saying who might be their Prime Minister nomination if it wins the elections. However, an important message was transmitted: PSD leader Liviu Dragnea declared that its party will NOT change the law that bans convicted people (like himself) from being Prime Minister.
What other options does PSD have? The best option (not necessary for PSD but for Dragnea) would be current deputy PM Vasile Dincu, Dragnea’s friend. Other talked about names, but with less chances, are Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea or Romanian Ambassador to Washington George Maior, but it is hard to predict the nomination at this point. It remains an open question.

A few things to know before the sunday elections
✱    Immediately after the vote end in Romania, surveys will be published. They are generally unreliable for a very precise result (made with 2 hours before the polls close, excluding Romanians abroad, often politically dictated to help certain parties gain an upper hand).
✱    The vote count will probably be finalized on late Monday or on Tuesday.
✱    Consultations between President Klaus Iohannis and the new parties will then follow before a new Prime Minister is nominated.

PNL and USR leaders unhappy with PM Ciolos’ distancing from their campaigns.

The electoral campaign for the December 11th parliamentary elections has entered its final week without too many significant changes, having the same tone as the rest of the campaign. The parties have primarily made tactical moves and avoided risky strategic shifts.

PSD excelled in this area. Having set the coordinates of the campaign early by voting in the parliament the elimination of over 100 taxes and significant salaries increases in the Health and Education sectors, the Social Democrats are now trying to conserve their significant lead in the opinion polls and energize their electoral base. Its strategy now plays on the social discontent of the people while also pointing to PNL (“those that had cut salaries”), to USR (“the party of Soros” – a message transmitted through the allied televisions) and to the Ciolos Government (“the zero government”).

PSD leader Liviu Dragnea even accused the Government of trying to rig the elections with the help of interns working in the IT department, an accusation he has not followed up afterwards.

PNL is second in the opinion polls and seems to have dropped below 30%. Its main electoral weapon is now talking about the dangers of a PSD Government, especially one led by its convicted leader Liviu Dragnea, versus PNL’s Prime Minister proposal, the current holder of the office, Dacian Ciolos. The Liberals were put in a delicate position when Ciolos said in an interview that he will not be involved in the campaign anymore, even criticizing PNL for the incomplete internal reform and USR for the lack of depth in their economic program. Ciolos changed his tone later saying that he fully supports both PNL and USR and asked the people to vote for one of them.

USR continues its antisystem campaign, although not in a radical manner. Its campaign in centered on attacking PSD, but it attacks all the other parties, including its potential ally PNL. In the last couple of weeks USR has tried to raise the stakes in the battle against PSD, with party leader Nicusor Dan starting a legal action against former PSD PM Victor Ponta and his ally (now at PSD satellite PRU), media mogul Sebastian Ghita while also threatening to start a referendum for the dismissal of PSD Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea.
USR has two strategic tasks for the final days of the campaign: 1. To convince as much undecided voters as it can to come to vote and 2. To convince the reformist/anticorruption/center-right that it is a better alternative than PSD.

ALDE follows its usual anti-Government, anti-justice (anti-abuses) rhetoric trying to conserve its electorate, having limited growth possibilities. It risks not getting into the Parliament if other parties (PNL and USR) will mobilize very well.

PMP, the party of former Romanian President Traian Basescu, is also right on the 5% electoral threshold for entering the Parliament. It has tried to energize its electorate in the last couple of days with nationalistic rhetoric.

UDMR is quite sure it will be in the next Parliament, even if it does not gets 5% as there is the option of the alternative threshold of 20% in at least 4 circumscriptions.

President Klaus Iohannis was involved tacitly in this electoral campaign, framing the debate by showing that PSD-ALDE are the “penal side”. He did not invite PSD leaders Liviu Dragnea and Victor Ponta as well as ALDE’s Calin Popescu Tariceanu to National Day festivities because of their problems with the law. He is expected to make an appeal to the electorate to get out to vote but there is little he could do in the final week of the campaign.

His real role starts the day after the parliamentary elections.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *