This article was published on Baricada România on 12th December 2020.
As commenters have noted in recent days, the attractiveness of the AUR party (which is an abbreviaure of The Aliiance for Union of Romanians as well as means Gold) is based on a discursive mix that has the potential to mobilize various social categories. Because of this diversity, many people can find a message on the AUR agenda that might match their overwhelming feelings (including, as Cornel Ban pointed out in his article for FEPS – Foundation for European Progressive Studies: anti-vaccinists, football hooligans, Holocaust deniers, anti-Hungarian ultranationalists, the military, pious Christians and believers in New Age medicine).
Behind the diffused rhetoric shaped by the discursive mixture mentioned above, there is also an ideological amalgam that has the potential to attract people from different backgrounds, even from different social classes. At first glance, this mixture combines – on the one hand – cultural conservatism fueled by opposition to political correctness and revengeful hatred of all kinds of identity policies, and on the other hand populism based on the sense of dignity that people want to regain it from the various humiliations suffered by all major political parties (both old and new). Precisely for this reason, like any manifestation of nationalism, the AUR ideology has the potential to build a diffuse sense of belonging that transcends various social boundaries (age, profession, class). And, in addition, it has the potential to justify the strengthening of the police state and militarization, phenomena that we have seen manifesting itself more and more strongly in 2020…
This article was published on December 7, 2020 on the Polish website Strajk.eu. On December 8, 2020, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban resigned, and the government was taken over by the minister of defense, general Nicolae Ciuca. Until now, Ciuca was an extremely influential minister on whom many decisions depended. If he continues to be the prime minister of the future government, it will probably be a sign that Bucharest is preparing for Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House, when Romania and Bulgaria are expected to be at the forefront of US efforts to contain Russia and perhaps Turkey.
The activity of Romanian social democrats resembles Law and Justice Party in many respects: it is a party politically representing smaller urban centers or rural areas rather than metropolises and people who have lost as a result of transition, rather than the middle class. It is usual for PSD to take a rather conservative position. During its last rule in 2016-2019, the PSD introduced, inter alia, an increase in pensions. However, the party was weakened by corruption scandals; at the end of 2019, it had to hand over power to the pro-European National Liberal Party (PNL), while PSD’s leader, Liviu Dragnea, was sentenced in the spring of 2019 to prison for abuses (he had committed them several years earlier as a prefect in the Teleorman region).
This interview was broadcast live on Bulgarian National Radio, in the Horizon program on December 7, 2020.
Georgi Markov: Elections took place in Romania during the pandemic as well. The country’s citizens were called to vote yesterday for their representatives in the lower chamber of parliament and senate. The low turnout marked these elections, which according to the latest data were won by the Social Democrats. The second place was occupied by the ruling National Liberal Party. One of the surprises in these elections is the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR). The party finished fourth according to the preliminary results.
These results reveal a fragmented political image that necessitates a governing coalition. What could it look like and what changes are happening in Romania’s political life? We will now look for the answers with our colleague Vladimir Mitev, the founder of the news site about Romania and Bulgaria “The Bridge of Friendship” and the editor of the Romanian section of the site “Barricade”.