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Vasile Blaga has taken over as the head of the former ruling Democratic Liberal Party, replacing former Prime Minister Emil Boc and promising sweeping reforms.
With less than six months before the crucial parliamentary elections, the Democratic Liberal Party, PDL, Romania’s biggest opposition party, elected Vasile Blaga as its new president on Saturday.
Blaga, 56, the leader of parliament’s upper house, has replaced former Prime Minister Emil Boc, offering an agenda to reform the party.
“We have a lot of work to do. First, we have to analyse the current situation and reform the party in order to regain voters' confidence ahead of the general election,” Blaga said.
The centre-right party won just 13 per cent of votes in the June 10 local elections, well down on its 33 per cent showing in the elections in 2008. The ruling Social Liberal Union, USL, got around 51 per cent in the elections.
Following the party’s crushing defeat in the mayoral elections, Boc, who was Romania’s prime minister between 2008 and April 2012, decided to resign from the leadership, citing the need for radical change.
Other senior members also resigned alongside Boc, leaving the party without its core management team as it prepares for parliamentary elections expected at the end of this year.
Unpopular measures taken in 2010, when Boc was Prime Minister, including a 25-per-cent cut in the public sector pay and a 5-percentage increase in VAT, badly damaged PDL’s support.
Many analysts say that the PDL steered Romania out of crisis and that the measures taken by the party were correct, but they also damaged the party’s following and were ultimately responsible for the reduced number of votes it received in recent elections.
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