What is to count: the candidates’ moral profile and programs or their charisma and wealth?
The electoral campaign for the presidential elections kicked off on Friday with populist electioneering promises and atypical election manifestos, while the media got interest also in the candidates’ intellectual profiles and fortunes besides in their emphatic statements. The campaign will end on November 1, one day before the first round of elections and its rules are not different from the previous campaigns’: candidates are allowed to canvass through meetings, media and outdoor bill posters. The candidates and their supporters will go on air on 307 TV and radio stations, free and charge and with equal time running for everybody.
According to their wealth statements filed at the Central Electoral Bureau, most of the presidential contenders are wealthy persons, totaling up to 20 apartments and 16 houses, 49 plots of land within incorporated areas and 27 inlands. ACL candidate, Klaus Iohannis has the most numerous properties, with three houses and three apartments, followed by the independent Monica Macovei with three houses and two apartments and Calin Popescu Tariceanu (PRL) with four apartments and one house. Next on the owners’ list comes PM Victor Ponta with three apartments and a house, so does Constantin Rotaru, Teodor Melescanu and Gheorghe Funar with one house and an apartment. Elena Udrea has one house and half of another one and William Branza just an apartment. Yet, Branza owns four commercial properties, earning over EUR 19,000 from their renting. Other three candidates, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Mircea Amaritei and Dan Diaconescu state they detain no house or apartment. Still, Diaconescu is another wealthy contender with no house in property. He has put seven 6,000 square-meters commercial properties for rent and admits he has sold in 2013 nine houses for more than EUR 1 M in Bucharest and one in Sinaia at the price of EUR 48,600.
On the other hand, Elena Udrea tops the agrarian candidates’ chart, with 13,000 square meters land in Bucharest and 420, 600 square meters inland. Dan Diaconescu follows her with 10,000 square meters land in Bucharest and Monica Macovei comes third with 10,000 square meters land in Constanta.
When comes to the debtor-creditor chapter, William Branza is the most indebted of all contenders, having EUR 650,000 debts at banks and physical persons, while Elena Udrea seems to be the most generous one, lending RON 3 M and EUR 480,000 to some trading companies and RON 45,000 to a physical person.
As for the candidates’ socio-professional profile, six of them are law graduates, two are engineers, two are economists and other two are teachers, one is sociologist and one political scientist.
Defunct factories, launching platform for the female candidates
The two female surprise-candidates of this year’ s presidential elections, Monica Macovei and Elena Udrea chose to hit the campaign trail or to launch candidacy in the middle of working class. Monica Macovei began her campaign on Saturday, in a defunct shed of a former factory in Timisoara, arguing she chose for this location because Timisoara was the first city that broke loose from the communist regime 25 years ago. The event’ hosts also pointed out they chose for the defunct factory as a protest to all privatizations in Romania. Asked by someone in the audience if she has ever lied in her political activity, Macovei avoided answering, only saying she has an original program.
No later than Thursday, Elena Udrea also chose a fallow shed in the former Republica plant in Bucharest to launch her political program. The PMP candidate showed up dressed in a blue coveralls and wearing a yellow helmet to protect her head. Udrea justified this location saying she wanted to suggest what Romania would look like after 10 years if Victor Ponta were President, meaning like a defunct factory.
Autobiographic book launched
Unlike her female opponents, Liberal Klaus Iohannis hit the campaign trail by launching his “Step by step” autobiographic volume, confessing he did not write the book to deny “all things that are said about him”, but to give the possibility to those who want to know more about him to actually do it. Iohannis went to Craiova on Saturday where he said he would not fight Victor Ponta in the up coming elections but the system that the incumbent premier is representing. While in Timisoara on Sunday, he said he is not willing to resign in 2016, when parliamentary elections will take place, in order to correlate his term as a president with the one of the MPs. However ACL candidate confessed on Wednesday that he wanted a 10-years long term and a right Cabinet.
Ponta, in Iohannis’ stronghold
As for PM Victor Ponta, he chose to be on Saturday in Brasov and Sibiu, the latter unanimously considered his opponent Iohannis’ stronghold, as it is the city where he won four mayor mandates. As a matter of fact, Ponta tried to counter-balance his disadvantage precisely with Iohannis strong point, stating he has always liked Sibiu and never understood why Iohannis has constantly wanted to leave it, referring to the Sibiu mayor’ s attempts to take the prime-minister office twice in 2009.
PM Ponta went on in Sibiu making some electioneering promises. He said the Government could approve pensions’ 5 pc rise in 2015 and that his cabinet endows the next government the lowest deficit in Romania’s history. PSD candidate also promised that Sibiu-Orastie highway would be finished up until November 15.