The time for groping is about to end for PSD (the Social-Democrat Party). The most important party in Romania must accomplish the process of self-clarifying by next summer the latest. It must also establish power hierarchies to stay unchanged till the end of the following electoral cycle. But any process rearranging PSD structures involves a rough domestic battle, which has been in the background so far. But now it will start with fireworks in the opening.
In order to come in front of the electorate as a political force able to come to power in 2008 or even sooner, if there is need for a new construction of the governmental and parliamentary majority, PSD has to transform, before it is too late, a type of compromise following the time when Iliescu was defeated, due to an enduring and convincing strategy. The compromise was Mircea Geoana, as long as the main party leaders in the fight had about the same power and annulled each other. As for calculations, the PSD electorate is obviously less keen on Mircea Geoana than on the other outstanding leaders. This spring Ion Iliescu, Adrian Nastase, Miron Mitrea, Dan Ioan Popescu and even Ioan Rus, the new comer among the aspires, had more numerous and powerful supporters than Mircea Geoana. But since the main lines were sensibly equal, they could produce no winner. And there was also caution that made each of the great players wait. This way 2005 has become a key year. But waters have to be cleared in 2006 by summer the latest. And the first question that comes to our minds is whether Mircea Geoana succeeded or failed in taking advantage of this position and improving his chances, as there was the positive context that made him president of PSD. Has he now got support reliable enough to allow him defeat his adversaries or fight them from equal position?
Maybe the day of revenge would have come sooner, if unpredictable Traian Basescu's huge pressure on the Alliance and on Romanian politicians in general hadn't made PSD members stick together. They have been sticking together for both defense and offensive. This unexpected break allowed Mircea Geoana to consolidate the important position he got for rather contextual reasons. But now the countdown has started. The PSD National Conference due in December can decide on extraordinary congress to be held in spring. Why would such a congress be necessary, if not for naming the new leaders? There are enough clues showing the dice was cast. But let's take a look at the main players' chances. Adrian Nastase is sure to be the most powerful one. Despite their previous dissension, he is Ion Iliescu's only legitimate heir. Even if Ion Iliescu no longer stands one chance to reach the executive board again, his adepts, still very powerful, can favour one protagonist or the other. And it is Nastase who is the best qualified. Another PSD powerful leader is Miron Mitrea. He is very cautious and balanced. His importance as a politician has been growing ever since he surprisingly left "Fratia", the most important union organisation, where he had been crowned king. He left the organization for a second rank position in the party. He is powerful especially in Moldavia. Dan Ioan Popescu is one more important member of PSD. He is rather authoritative at the board of the PSD group in Bucharest and he can have decisive influence on some more 8-10 district organizations of PSD. But in the meantime Mircea Geoana, who actually landed in PSD from a field outside politics, hasn't been wasting the time. He has learned a lot, he has become more spontaneous and cheeky, managing to gain enough adepts. And he will have an important card to play. Ioan Rus, the PSD leader in Cluj has started to search for the foreground for some time now and his interventions are more and more spectacular and convincing. He can get support for Transylvania, as well as from that area where PSD wants thorough change, if not of the party, at least of the party's image. But not all PSD adepts are also adepts of the above-mentioned personalities. Some supporters are still "available" for the other centres of influence in the party. Maybe the latter will make their choice in the last minute to score, if the others' scores are still about the same.
But I still believe the countdown for Mircea Gerona has started. He will probably lose if in December they decide to have extraordinary congress in March. The main favourite is still Adrian Nastase, at least for the time being. Iliescu's adepts can be lured this way.