Ponta, Iohannis confronted in the campaign’s first electoral debate


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Victor Ponta and Klaus Ioahnnis took part in the first debate at TV of this electoral campaign, after their staffs have failed several times to agree on such an encounter. The Christian Liberal Alliance’s candidate, Klaus Iohannis was in fact the first to break the ice. Two hours before the debate has actually taken place, Iohannis announced on his Facebook page that he decided to put his pride aside and meet Ponta at Realitatea TV.

The two contenders mainly clashed on the polling stations issue. Iohannis accused Ponta he blacked out the right to vote of the Romanians in Diaspora. “I have letters from the Romanians who were revolted they couldn’t cast their vote. You execrably orchestrated the elections in Diaspora. You ignored the warnings in bad faith. Romanian citizens have been bullied by other countries’ police officers. Mr. Ponta, you should have resigned, not Mr. Corl??ean”, Iohannis told the prime minister.

In retort, Ponta accused ACL candidate that he doesn’t know the real situation, he doesn’t know the real number of polling stations set up abroad and that he has never been in those countries to assess the situation. “Do you happen to know how many polling station have been in Germany? There have been five. How many do you think they were necessary so that everything should have been all right? 10, 50, 100? (…)Have you been in Germany, in Italy? (…) It looks as if I am confronting Traian Basescu now”, Ponta said, thus accusing Iohannis he has the same speech as the incumbent President.

“Mr. Ponta, I am impressed somehow you’ve managed to travel through entire Europe, besides the things you were supposed to do for Romanians. What money are you using to go to Europe? I see you used the party’s money to go to Italy and Spain, but you went there for nothing, as the fact is you awfully set up diaspora ballot”, Iohannis retorted.

Ponta kept on asking his Liberal rival if he knows statistics about the Romanians living abroad. “Where are the most of the Romanians in Italy living? I am sure you will tell us right away (…) What is important is that Romanians have managed to cast their vote in over 18,000 polling stations and those in Diaspora who will want to vote they eventually will in the runoff”, the Social Democrat PM pointed out.

Asked by the anchorman if polling stations abroad are to be supplemented, Ponta didn’t give a direct answer saying “there are other voting proceedings”, “Romanians in the Diaspora will vote” and “Mr. Iohannis’s team is using slogans I’ve heard before at Traian Basescu.” Also asked who is going to be blamed if Romanians living abroad would not be able to vote on Sunday, Ponta replied “I shall be guilty if that in order for Mr. Iohannis to be satisfied.” “I support postal and online voting starting 2016, we can do that by 2016,” the premier added.

Iohannis retorted that it was precisely PSD that rejected the posting vote draft. “Who told that?” Ponta asked. Iohannis asked not to be interrupted. “We are not your servants. You were humbler while you are at my office,” Ponta told him.

“But where do you think you are, at your office? The country is now the office,” Iohannis answered.

The two contenders for the Cotroceni seat also talked about immunity lifting, both accusing each other that their parties are protecting the corrupt members. When it comes to the pensions’ topic, Ponta asked Iohannis if would cut pensions, while Iohannis asked him why was he lying about that, adding he would not cut any pension and that it was only a dishonest campaign of PSD staff. Then, PM challenged PNL president that he has no idea of how many pensioners are living in Romania. ‘5,300,000’, was Ponta’s answer, ‘5,400,000’, Iohannis rectified. The attacks went on involving family members of the candidates, Iohannis’ mother-in-law and Ponta’s wife, Daciana Sarbu, the premier asking Iohannis to apologize to his wife for calling her a forger. “I shall apologize to her after you apologize for accusing me I was a child and organs trafficker, for being a German and for not being Orthodox” Iohannis replied.


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1 Comment
  1. Nicolae Radu says

    What could we see last night?
    Mr. Iohannis who came to discuss future of the Romania (at least 5 years from now) like he were in a free chat with friends about football, sex, and politics; on one hand
    and Mr. Ponta who prepared himself with a lot of printed/writed sheets containing facts and possible answers to questions that could occur; on the other hand.
    So Mr. Iohannis claimed that presenter tells him what about the discussion will be because he doesn’t know exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My conclusion is the president of Romania needs to be a prepared man not a spontaneous one.
    The president of Romania needs to be the kind of man that is not sitting and waits for problems to occur and than solve them, but the kind of man who anticipates the problem and is looking for solutions.
    I liked Mr. Iohannis and his mayor team, they did a great job in Sibiu. but the presidential team was not Iohannis’s choice and … no comments.

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