Critics mock and sympathizers defend President Traian Basescu's daughter, a model who has now won an EP seat.
By Paul Ciocoiu for Southeast European Times in Bucharest – 12/06/09
Although turnout figures show the EP elections failed to captivate voters, some of the individual candidates did. Romania fielded a number of unusual candidates, several of whom went on to win seats.
Among them is Elena Basescu, a model who happens to be the daughter of the president.
Basescu, often dubbed the Romanian Paris Hilton, won a parliament seat as an independent with 4.2% of the vote. However, she will align herself with her father's Liberal Democratic Party (PDL) when attending parliament sessions in Strasbourg.
"The media portrayed me as an uneducated woman, but I showed during this campaign that I was worth more than that," Basescu, 29, told Radio France Internationale.
Bloggers couldn't resist comment, much of it sardonic.
Elena "does not know either if she is the product of an independent candidacy or the result of the liberal-democrat support, or of her father accompanying her to the voting section," writes Cotidianul's Cristian Teodorescu.
"If she really wanted to bring back to PDL the independent percentage, she should have gone there alone, not with her daddy," he adds.
Victor Roncea, senior editor of the daily Ziua, is more understanding. Elena's critics, he suggests, are taking cheap shots.
"The stakes of the operation 'destroy Elena Basescu' were … to sabotage her father's candidacy in the presidential elections this fall," he writes. Her victory, he adds, settles the question of whether Traian Basescu will run again.
Another winning candidate was Steaua football club owner and alleged criminal George Becali, who teamed up with Greater Romania Party (PRM) leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor. The PRM ended up nabbing three seats in the EP this year.
Writer and journalist Ioan T. Morar presented a challenge to his readers. "It is clear the great friendship between Vadim and Becali is one of conjuncture … The two [are] worlds apart. … So I believe a break-up is imminent. How long do you think the alliance will last?"
Costi Rogozanu downplays the matter. "Romanian extremism is a joke and has to stay like that. I'm beginning to think that Vadim and Becali help it remain just a sign of foolishness shown by a part of the electorate and nothing more…The absence of the circus-like extremism tempts the large parties to borrow their speech." Analysis shows "how much the ultra-aggressive and extremist elements have multiplied," he adds.
This content was commissioned for SETimes.com