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Romania, after 10 years of slavery. 2009, the year Băsescu’s thirst for power took us down

10 Feb 2014   •   18:00
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Thirsty for power and blinded by his own personality cult, Traian Băsescu threw Romania in 2009 in the longest political crisis after the Revolution, overlapping the economic recess. 

Everything to achieve his goal: a second term in the Presidency. The first : removing the PSD from government to get his hands on the Interior Ministry.

Then, the PDL’s rigging machinery functioned perfectly, although it seemed hard to believe that Basescu accused of hitting a child would be able to defeat his opponent.

Traian Basescu’s almost pathological desire for absolute power reached its peak in 2009. Every action the President undertook had a long shot and pursued a single goal: five years at Cotroceni. The first step to achieve the target: the Ministry of Interior. To take over MIA, Basescu reviewed Gabriel Oprea whom a few years previously he had called Adrian Nastase;s personal mafia boss. Oprea tried to please the Presidency by appointing Virgil Ardelean, nicknamed the Fox , as head of the Ministry of Interior Intelligence Service. The movement made ​​over his party chiefs orders, triggered a real rebellion within the PSD.

Wounded in his pride, Oprea resigned as minister and from all positions held with the PSD.

With a speech as if dictated by the Presidency, Oprea broke a part of the PSD and created a small party of traitors whom he handed to Basescu. But the scandal in the Ministry of Interior did not cease with Oprea’s departure. PSD nominated Dragnea who retired after a few days without giving much explanation.

The Ministry was taken over by another Social Democrat Dan Nica. The alarm signals he pulled related to the fact that the PDL was preparing a major fraud in the presidential elections sparked Traian Basescu’s anger.

The Decree for Dan Nica’s dismissal was published on the presidency website while Băsescu was dancing entering the presidential elections in a popular meeting held din Cluj.

While the President danced, country was entering into unprecedented political crisis

The PSD’s exit from Government worked like a catalyst for the unification of the main political parties against Băsescu. 

In the fall of 2009, the liberals have initiated a censure motion against the Boc Cabinet. It was the first time in the post-communist Romania when a government fell in Parliament.

On the same day, Basescu started consultations with the parliamentary parties. He ignored the majority’s proposal newly formed by the PSD, PNL and UDMR who proposed Klaus Johannis for prime minister.

He defied the parliament majority nominating technocrat Lucian Croitoru. 

Băsescu was not discouraged by the vote of no confidence in Parliament. Not even entering recession , nor the dramatic fall of the GDP, nor the negotiations with the IMF persuaded him that we need to put an end to the political instability.

So again he commanded one of his subjects to form the Government.

Negoiţă's attempts to put together a cabinet were blocked by political party leaders, concerned with the presidential elections campaign. A bitter campaign with false communication fears, personal attacks and demonization of political opponents by Traian Basescu. The economic crisis had been covered by Basescu's favourite topics, moguls and interest groups.

In an attempt to mock unfriendly journalists television, Basescu fell into derisory himself.

 He was the embodiment of embarrassment during a TV entertainment show. The former sailor recited eyes in tears a poem he had written about his mother who was alive at the time.

He would never miss a TV show that could help him win even a single vote. In addition, Basescu made ​​a populist manoeuvre to enter the second elections round. He initiated a referendum on the unicameral parliament with up to 300 MPs held simultaneously with the first round of the presidential elections. His campaign was not void of dirty attacks against his opponents. In the final debate of the first round, Basescu made an gross and unjustified allusion to the deceased wife of Crin Antonescu.

The President’s grotesque character was highlighted in another episode of the campaign. Dinu Patriciu revealed that in 2004 he saw Traian Basescu at an election rally in Ploiesti hitting a child with his fist who had accidentally shouted "Long live Iliescu"

Desperate that they will lose the elections, the PDL and the Basescu family started a real campaign to dismantle the allegations in the taping.

After complaints, referrals and technical explanations about the blue pixel, the non-aggressive Basescu received the verdict: the film was faked

In the last confrontation before the second round, Basescu returned to his obsession with moguls. He cornered Mircea Geoana by revealing that he had been on a secret visit to Sorin Ovidiu Vântu’s home.

Despite the points lost in the evening of the debate, Mircea Geoana was heading in the polls against Basescu. And three out of four polling institutes confirmed the advance of the PSD candidate in the exit polls on the night of the vote. Overnight, there was a surprising twist: the Central Electoral Commission declared Traian Basescu the winner by 50.33%.

The Social Democrats called for the cancellation of the second elections round and the revote saying that the elections had been rigged. However, the Constitutional Court Basescu controlled, rejected the request and validated the elections. The mystery with the speed record voting in the Paris embassy constituency remained unclear until today. Instead, Theodor Baconschi, ambassador to France at that time, was later rewarded with the post of foreign minister.

The Liberal Democrats Mastery in rigging elections to met the lust of Basescu, had been demonstrated in the summer, during the European elections . The head of state then ordered that his daughter Elena, an independent candidate, should enter the European Parliament in Brussels. The PDL leaders complied and booked 100 votes per polling for EBA. Today, the father and daughter turned away from the party for the sake of Elena Udrea.

The day after the president Basescu was validated for another five years, Liviu Negoiţă submitted his nomination for prime minister. The task to form the Government was the responsibility of the most obsequious PDL member : Emil Boc.

With Emil Boc premier again the economic recession whose reality had been hidden to the constituents until then, was going to transform into a nightmare for Romanians. The Government signed the agreement with the IMF under the pretext that we needed a safety belt. 2010 proved the lie behind this decision.

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