Weekly review: Romania gets into the electoral mood

This week’s events in Romania have confirmed politicians are readying themselves for the two election cycles in 2014 – European Parliament elections in May and presidential elections in November – with a series of decisions which reek of vote-reaping strategies and a war behind the curtains between the main players in the country – prime minister Victor Ponta and president Traian Basescu.

The week debuted with Ponta’s efforts to rein in the Special Telecommunication Service (STS) which he blames for delayed rescue operations following an airplane crash in January which resulted in two deaths. The PM tried to channel the public’s outrage at state emergency services locating the crash site after six hours and take over the control of STS, one of the country’s secret services. Ponta aims to bring it under governmental control from the current state superior defense council’s supervision. Basescu defended STS and pointed out the responsibility rests with the poor governmental co-ordination.

Many analysts say Ponta is taking advantage of the public ire is turning it into his own political advantage.

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(Photo of Ponta and Basescu: presidency.ro)