Romania's governing Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), the political group behind President Traian Basescu is to elect its new leadership in a national convention on Saturday and Sunday. Incumbent party president, PM Emil Boc, is facing Vasile Blaga and Theodor Paleologu in party presidency elections. The convention was opened with a speech held by Traian Basescu, built on several key messages showing that the party should keep its line if hoping to do well in next local and general elections.
The PDL congress and internal elections is seen as a key moment in preparations among political parties in Romania for local, European and general elections over the next two years. PDL is part of a government coalition with the Hungarian Democrats, a coalition led by Emil Boc who has served as prime minister in several "crisis period" governments since the fall of the Tariceanu government several years ago.
Boc is facing prominent party veteran Vasile Blaga, but also Theodor Paleologu in his attempt to remain PDL president.
In his speech at the convention on Saturday, Boc pointed out the party won all elections in Romania after a period in which the (now in opposition) Social Democrats "left the party on the brink of bankruptcy". He said it was not PDL who brought recession to Romania, but they pulled Romania out of recession this spring.
His speech was countered by another party veteran, Theodor Stolojan, who warned Romania's economic growth reported this month was much lower than the European average which meant a factual drop and a step away for Romania, under a European perspective.
In his speech, President Traian Basescu said the party was doing well, but failing to explain its action proberly. He said that in order to do well in upcoming elections PDL should stick to its current line.
On the economy, he said Romania will have this year "a bit higher than expected economic growth, of 1.5%". The National Statistics Institute announced on Friday that Romania's GDP in Q1 was up 0.6% as compared to Q4 2010 and 1.6% above Q1 2010.