Yesterday just three hours before the consulting meeting in Cotroceni summoned by the Romanian president, Ion Iliescu started a surprising electoral campaign we can describe as meteorological, both literally and metaphorically. The informal leader of PSD (the Social-Democrat Party) is much experienced, skilful and well positioned. He has still got resources to use on electoral purpose. Using his paternalist, authoritative style, he tried and somehow managed to leave Traian Basescu behind by making the political speech the latter delivered yesterday seem insignificant. Such attitude suggests some things, in case it doesn't really confirm them. Iliescu is getting ready for action with view to early elections and he is showing he can play an important and almost exclusive part, as his targeted electorate consists in village inhabitants. And he will also have unrelenting negotiations on his future status in the party. In case there follow no early elections, Iliescu wins, as he has really been against the idea. Secondly, the old man of Romanian politics is shaping means of eventual political counterstrike that the present opposition party can successfully use. His critique was harsh: "the government abandons duties" and "the president says nothing" as if the country were not damaged and they are making a fuss about early elections. Well, after attempting to twist the meaning and contents of the consulting meeting in Cotroceni, Iliescu tried to scare Basescu by opposing the latter's attempts to get enlarged attributions and also by pointing to Basescu as the man responsible for handling the flood crisis.
The statement Iliescu made yesterday at the Social-Democrat Institute caused journalists' agitation and disappointment, from his very first words that were not about early elections, but about "severe whether phenomena". Journalists were expecting to find out whether Iliescu would get involved or not in the announced electoral campaign, as well as his opinion on officials' intentions to hold early elections. But Iliescu's attack started surprisingly: from the recent nature calamities and their consequences. What he went on with proved the opposite. Ion Iliescu is determined to make use of the floods issue in order to cause political fight that can turn into an electoral fight at anytime. Iliescu's speech can sound like summons to fight to 45% of Romanian population, as these people live in villages and most of them are going through hard times because of the heavy rains that have flooded several regions. Even if it obviously was politically oriented and populist, Iliescu's speech is the most powerful message recently released. It "unveils" the officials' mumbling, not exactly coherent statements that provide no certitudes to village people in suffering, that can't assure those whose houses have been destroyed or flooded and those whose households have been damaged. Such statements neither assure those who have no longer got access to medicine and medical treatment or those who can hardly make a living, just as they don't help those whose crops have been partly or totally destroyed. In fact, Iliescu suggested that officials at rule should radically change their objectives. They should forget about early elections and endless talks on the recent decision of the Constitutional Court and deal with the consequences of nature calamities instead. Iliescu asked Basescu to summon the Supreme Council for National Defense at once and chair a government meeting, which should both deal with the floods. He expressed such claim just three hours before the consulting meetings due in Cotroceni Palace and supposed to debate on totally different topics: the legislative crisis causing political crisis and the Executive's intention to resign because of the recent Constitutional Court decision. But Iliescu scored one more point: nobody may deny such institution in a state of law. Not even the Parliament, the officials and the president may deny it.
In case there follow early elections, the Romanian electorate will consist in two categories one more time: PSD voters and PNL (the national Liberal Party)-PD (the Democrat Party) electors. As positive trend still favors the latter group, the former hopes to get a score high enough to help them reach a more powerful parliamentary support in the future. Despite the warning Basescu has expressed since January, early elections seem to take PSD by surprise. And the latter is taking efforts to plan reply. Given this context, Iliescu's offer is highly tempting. Iliescu's is showing his power and he can attack the officials by throwing them in both unexpected and uncomfortable situations. And he can also turn village people into PSD electors. There will follow negotiations in PSD. Ion Iliescu's meteorological campaign risks giving a hard time to PSD leaders, as well as to officials at rule.