Social Democrat Party leader Liviu Dragnea announced that the Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party (PNTCD) and the Romanian Green Party (PER) have signed an agreement to endorse PSD’s list for the European elections due in May.
“We had several talks these days with PNTCD and PER leaders, who decided not to file their own lists for the EP elections, and to endorse PSD. A protocol has been signed in this regard,” said Dragnea.
In his turn, PNTCD leader, Aurelian Pavelescu, revealed that his party recommended priest Cristian Terhes to run for a MEP seat on the PSD’s list. (Terhes is ranked 4th on the list).
“PNTCD political line has been already announced one year ago when it supported the PSD-ALDE rally against abuses. We said back then that PNTCD has to defend democracy, above all, before party interests (…) What happened with Iohannis shook us all. An octopus that seized the state and has placed the state under arrest, confusing the entire society. The President refused to carry out its role as a mediator and established a personal ,firm hand> regime,” Pavelescu claimed.
However, the opposition parties and the civil society has strongly condemned the PNTCD-PSD agreement, reminding that PNTCD is the former historical National Peasants Party (PNT), which fiercely opposed to communism and whose historical party leaders have died in the communist prisons or endured fierce torture behind bars.
Former PNȚ members Corneliu Coposu and Ion Rațiu founded a new party in December 1989 under the name Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party (Partidul Național Țărănesc Creștin și Democrat, PNȚCD or PNȚcd). It was the first officially registered political party after the fall of Communism.
Now, the representatives of the Corneliu Coposu Foundation have slammed the PNTCD leader’s move to side with PSD, arguing their “so-called collaboration protocol is null and void before history”.
“We found out to our horror and outrage the statements that PNTCD, the party of Iuliu Maniu, Ion Mihalache, Corneliu Coposu and Ion Diaconescu-to recall just four names of the long list of exceptional politicians who faced jail time in the communist prisons- would have signed a collaboration protocol with PSD.
PSD has been for us and still is the ideological heir of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR), even if it was forced by history to exist in a democratic system, and, anyway, the heir of FSN, the state-party that seized power in 1990 by a multi-stage manipulation, especially targeted against PNTCD and his leader Corneliu Coposu, about which FSN voters were convinced to think that he used to eat caviar in Paris in the years where he was actually in prison, then under house arrest and followed by Securitate step by step,” says a press release by the Coposu Foundation.
In his turn, PLUS chairman Dacian Ciolos commented that although it should have been surprising, the PNTCD-PSD pact is not. Ciolos argued that what Dragnea is doing is “pathetic”, for PNTCD and PER are barely existing. Ciolos accused Pavelescu that his actions make old and real National Peasants Party members “must be spinning in their grave”.
The National Peasants’ Party (Partidul Național Țărănesc or PNȚ) was established in 1926 by the merger of the Romanian National Party from Transylvania and the Peasants’ Party from the pre-war kingdom.
It was in power for most of the time between 1928 and 1933 with longtime leader Iuliu Maniu as prime minister. A moderately conservative party, with some left-wing corporatist views (supporting, for instance, voluntary cooperative farming), it remained staunchly pro-monarchy.
According to top member Corneliu Coposu, after the communists came to rule after WWII, 270,000 PNȚ members were sent to prisons and labour camps, where three quarters of them died, beginning in 1947 when the party was banned by the Communist government following the Tămădău Affair. Both party president Iuliu Maniu and deputy leader Ion Mihalache died in prison during the Communist regime.
PNT was disbanded and banned during the Communist years. In December 1989, during the Revolution, long-time PNT members Corneliu Coposu and Ion Ratiu registered the Peasants Party under a new name, Christian Democratic National Peasants’ Party (PNTCD). After Emil Constatinescu was elected president in 1996, supported by a large coalition set up by PNTCD and PNL- National Democratic Convention came to rule with the support of the Democrat Party (PD) and stayed until 2000.
However, consumed by the lack of unity of its members and by the frictions inside, the convention was torn apart, with PNTCD being the most affected as it did not manage to enter parliament in the 2000 elections.