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EDITORIALThe President's resignation
It is a hypothesis expressed by several journalists, Emil Hurezeanu the best known. They have estimated the President may resign in order to win presidential elections later. This is worthy of analysis profounder than the one I tried yesterday. And the editor-in-chief of 'Romania libera' daily has provided more explanations able to back his scenario. After all, what chances is such a spectacular move standing?
Emil Hurezeanu thinks Traian Basescu is a man who can afford to lose a battle in order to win the war against his political foes. It would be a genius blow: the President wouldn't wait for the Parliament he gives no penny on to suspend him. If dismissed because of a referendum taking place at times when he is accused of breaking the Constitution and of more crimes, he could monopolize the public agenda. By giving up his presidential mandate himself, Basescu may try to get back what he lost in the competition for a new mandate, counting on the popularity he is enjoying. We must admit that if it happens, it will be a tough blow against all his adversaries. If getting another 5-year mandate, Basescu would acquire new legitimacy and be confirmed as President, due to the polls from Romanians with the right to vote. He would thus afford to launch those political projects that failed again. But the key question is if, by abandonment and one more participation in presidential elections, Basescu doesn't lose more than he wins.
There are several reasons why I am convinced that, if he resigns now, he is making a fatal mistake. Resignation would ruin his last chances to continue as President. If we take a look at the Romanian electorate's psychological profile, we can see that this profile has never favored the fighters who chose to give up and exit the boxing ring or those who were given towels. Romanians are more willing to support a political fighter till the last minute, as long as he manages to stand up and tries to resist his adversary. The other response would be absolute novelty in Romanian politics.
On the other hand, if he resigns, his so numerous political foes would have no problem with making full use of the conclusions reached by the parliamentary committee investigating his conduct in constitutional terms. They would explain each and every way in which Basescu is guilty of breaking the Constitution and the criminal law. Moreover, who is there to prevent the officials in the government to see that he gets under criminal investigations until early presidential elections take place? The battle is expected to be relentless, simply because Basescu's enemies can't afford to lose. The popularity Basescu is left with is due to the Romanians' respect for the man who won the 2004 elections. About a third of the electorate voted for him then. He has until recently been the beneficiary of the trust expressed by more than a half of Romanians. But his election victory and popular support were firstly due to the Liberal electorate, whose present tendency is to take distance from Basescu. And the same seems to go for most of the people who credited him in the past.
I also think it is impossible for a man who has got no political infrastructure to win presidential elections in Romania. As far as the parties are concerned, there are now only some Democrats still supporting him. Basescu has made them stick together against him. I doubt that he would choose Hurezeanu's scenario. And if he does, I doubt that he will win.
Sorin ROSCA STANESCU