Books from the penitentiary: Miron Mitrea’s confessions – election frauds, taking over opinion polls, aware Ponta would lose presidential race


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Former social-democrat Transport Minister Miron Mitrea is writing the third book while serving his sentence for corruption at the Poarta Alba penitentiary. The book, titled ‘Electoral campaigns 1996-2014’, reveals interesting things, according to Mitrea tells the stories of election frauds, of taking over opinion polls and backstage developments with political characters.
Miron Mitrea says during most elections the polls were defrauded. “I’d say an interesting thing, an important election fraud does not consist in multiple voting. It’s when counting the ballots, the votes of the parties missing representatives at the ballot station are distributed between the parties having representatives. It happens more often than you think, with all parties. This is the truth,” he wrote.
Mitrea recalls the 2000 elections, after the interval when PSD had been in opposition and its finances were weak. An opinion poll was proposed to the then PSD President Adrian Nastase, and he agreed. But there wasn’t enough money to conduct the opinion poll in all counties.
“We were lucky. One day a party colleague from Piatra Neamt came looking for me. He was going to run for PSD in autumn for an MP seat. He made me an important offer: he told me PNL has ordered a super-opinion poll countrywide down to the town level, even at communes’ level. It was almost completed. One of his friends from within PNL was ready to deliver a copy for USD 10,000. Oh, my God! Such a poll costs huge. After two-three weeks I was handed the most complex opinion poll I’ve ever seen. It represented an important base for us for local elections, which were a success for us. I learned strategic information must be protected during campaigns,” Miron Mitrea confesses.
Mitrea also recalls the presidential campaign of Mircea Geoana against Traian Basescu and how party colleagues wanted to get rid of Geoana by ‘promoting’ him to Cotroceni. “Many were convinced he would win. He ran and lost.”
The second example is the one of Victor Ponta, whom Mitrea says he had been unprepared to run for presidency. “His stupid game to tear apart USL has taken him away from victory,” Mitrea further wrote.
He also confesses he was the one with the idea to make Sorin Oprescu an independent candidate for Bucharest city hall. “I asked two questions, the first one how many would vote for Sorin Oprescu as a PSD candidate – answer 22%. The second question was how many would vote him as independent candidate – answer 41%. I met Oprescu in private for a short discussion. He was determined to run. He wanted to run on behalf of PSD, being supported by Ion Iliescu and Adrian Nastase and by the Bucharest organization ran by Marian Vanghelie. I told him Bucharesters are tired of parties. Then I, as the party’s campaign coordinator, talked about Oprescu’s independence in an intentional ambiguous way. Although Cristian Diaconescu was officially PSD’s candidate, I wanted to create the illusion that Sorin Oprescu is also PSD’s. In this way I managed the entire agenda during the electoral campaign,” Mitrea wrote in his book.
Regarding the 2014 presidential elections, he says he had been aware Victor Ponta would lose the polls. “Victor Ponta was an unsuitable candidate, without a professional campaign staff, managed by Liviu Dragnea. I was aware Ponta stands the second chance right after I learned Klaus Iohannis was to be his opponent. I think he knew it as well. Only one PSD politician understood the danger, Mihai Sturzu, as he noticed during his journeys across the country that Iohannis is hated by no one. He was one of the few noticing Ponta’s problem. The rest, too sure of themselves, went on to a planned defeat. Ponta’s head of campaign Liviu Dragnea is a good organizer, but he is far from being ingenious, inventive,” Miron Mitrea also wrote.

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