The man with the grim appearance in the picture (which I took in October 2007, in Brussels) is Romania’s incumbent president – Traian Băsescu – a character who, in my humble opinion, draws equally irrational devotion and irrational adversity.
The paradox is that he probably deserves both the support and scorn he receives, and he’s no better, nor worse than the kind of ruler Romanians deserve today.
He’s the the one against whom all other competitors in the next presidential elections (due on Nov 22nd, with a most likely run-off on Dec 6th) are running, as the vote will basically be a referendum concerning his person.
Should he be granted a second term or not? ...this is the Shakesperean question troubling the few Romanians – probably no more than a third of citizens eligible to vote – who would bother to go to the polls.
I don’t know if the following piece of information is helpful to anyone in making up their minds about voting for or against Băsescu, but I feel like sharing here another ‘witty bit’ that I learned in the UK.
What I heard is a sinthetic description of Băsescu’s ‘finest hour’ – the 2004 victory in the presidential elections, made by someone very familiar with Romanian politics.
A British political scientist described to me Băsescu’s Orange Revolution as being “the revolution of the millionaires against the billionaires.”
As I said, anyone can take this both ways – as an argument in favour or against Băsescu. I’d rather not give my own verdict, hoping that I’ve still got some readers left who would be interested in posting a comment on this topic.
[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]