Ionel Nitu: “The electoral campaign attacks ad have been under the limit of decency”

Mr Ionel Nitu is a top Intelligence analyst, Executive Director of Intergraph Computer Services, the Romanian partner of the American corporation, Intergraph.  For over 16 years, Ionel Niţu worked at the Romanian Intelligence Service – SRI, where he held various middle and top management positions. He was for many years, the Head of the SRI Analysis Division.

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– According to the opinion polls given to the press, it seems clearly that there will be two ballots and the candidates for the final round are also known. Mr Nitu, what chances might be to exist some surprises?

Ionel Nitu: – As I have said in an interview published in April 2014, the two finalists are called Victor Ponta and Klaus Johannis. I do mention that by that time, none of them were official candidates for the Presidency. There will be no surprises that will change this reality.

– How do you foresee that the vote options will be distributed in the second ballot?

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Ionel Nitu

I.N.: – Both candidates will have cca. 70% of the votes. None of the others will pass 10%. Some will not even get the votes from the ones that signed for their nomination (min. 200.000 votes, which means 2% if there will be 10 million voters).

But, there is a competition for reaching some psychological threshold in the first ballot: 40, 30, 10 and 5 %. I suppose are known the candidates names. If Victor Ponta gets more than 40%, and Klaus Johannis under 30% (even if the difference between the numbers are extremely low), the voters of the second candidate could be demobilized. If both will have results that begin with 3 (for example 31% and 39%), it will be, psychologically speaking, a greater hope for a possible victory for the one from the second place.

The others are fighting for their own electoral pool confirmation for the notoriety and, eventually, for negotiations between the ballots with the finalists. Only one has the hope of a future Prime-Minister position.

Regarding to the second ballot, there are many other hypothesizes. We don’t know if there will be more or less voters than in the first ballot. To be certain, not all the voters from the first ballot will come to the second one too.

Maybe for sure those that will come in the second one will come for the negative vote.

– What do you think that the main component are fundamental on the option of Romanians to choose a candidate or another: the person, the ideology that he/she claims, the party discipline, the electoral program (I just joking!)?

I.N.: – The vote at Romanians is more emotional, not rational. Moreover, this campaign – that unofficial began in 2012 – has been so complex and had so many turnovers, that it has been no place for debates on TV programs. In the first ballot, it will matter the mobility of the parties. In the second one it will also count the analysis, as a comparison, between the two finalists.

What main errors have you noticed in the campaign strategies, errors that you deem to have had a bad impact regarding to the ranking in voters preferences?

I.N.: – There have been plenty of them and I prefer not to talk about them. I would remark that some have not been used with efficiency by the competitors.

Mainly, there were errors diverted from the absence of coherent strategies, but also errors because of some conjunctures. Some conjunctures have been deliberately caused.

– Given that in the last month we assisted to a ”reality show” in which – between two exposures about endemic corruption of the political class and the examination/restraint of some well-known names from the political picture of Romania – were implied the same as commercials, some news/declarations/advertising from the electoral campaign, do you believe that a serious electoral program and a proper strategy could have permeated and persuaded the electorate?

I.N.: – As already I have said in other articles, in this campaign President Basescu and the force institutions of state will make the difference.

There is more to discuss about this justice revived at maximum speed in full electoral campaign, but what I can’t correctly estimate is the effect over the electorate. It will be or not motivated to go and vote? It will punish in a way or another the corrupt politician? It will determine a pro or contra behavior of electorate ?

Regarding to the political programs, the messages seem that have not came to the electorate. It has been rather used by the candidate’s campaign teams for the attacks. It was a mudslinging campaign. But this is not the big bad. Actually, these attacks ad from this campaign have been under the limit of decency.

RomPres1– You will vote for sure. I have also noticed that you are a fervent “activist” in combating absenteeism. I will not ask with whom you are going to vote. But in exchange, I will ask you for an advice. What should the ones that have not been persuaded by any of the candidates do? (I too am one of these 🙂 ) How could we manifest our civic sense?

I.N.: – Personally, I have not voted for a long time. But this time, I will go. I am going because I know with whom I’ll vote. Because I have identified among the candidates one that is my model as a President. I have identified the person that, by his behavior and thinking mode, resembles my expectations regarding to this high position in state. I advise my all close ones to go no matter whom they are choosing to vote. Go and vote if you see in one of the candidates the salvation of this country!  This country must be taken out from the morass of history.

If you are not identifying a model in none of these 14, at least go  and vote the ”minor evil”. Not least, go and vote so you can limit the likelihood of electoral fraud.

I think that the action of voting should be treated more seriously. Because it is about our future, our children’s future, the future of all of us for the next 5 or even 10 years. The vote is the purest manifestation of democracy ! The absenteeism could be considered a reprimand to the improper political class, but I do not see in this attitude a plus for democracy – yet poor-developed/strengthened – in Romania.

– Does the restoration of civic spirit of the Romanians represent the key of a future and mature reformation of the actual political class? Where do you believe that the rebuilding of social cohesion and of a normal report between the government and the political leaders of this country must begin?

I.N.: – The reformation and modernization of the state must begin with the reformation and modernization of the political class. The rebuilding of social cohesion must begin from the value system.

There are extremely important things to be discussed here. I can tell you that many of my ideas have found their place where it belongs. I won’t resume them here because I don’t want you to know with whom I will vote. I am neither a trainer nor a distorting reviewer.

I am just an analyst. I give advices and ideas to any who can take and implement them. Not the ideas are the ones that matter; after all we are all connected to the same thinking currents. The sobriety and the leader’s determinations to put them into practice is what matters in fact! It also matters their effect on medium and long term on the citizen, on the society. This is all. The rest are just stories.

interview made by Gabriela Ionita

translation by Iolanda von Wunderstein

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