#2019PresidentialElection/INTERVIEW Diaconu: Order of law must be respected in letter and spirit, only path for Romania

Mircea Diaconu, independent candidate for the presidential election supported by the "Un om" (A human being) electoral alliance, made up of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and PRO Romania, said in an interview with AGERPRES that he does not deem necessary a modification of the Constitution, inasmuch as everything should first be laid down on the existing "order of law". Diaconu stated, regarding Romania's accession to the Schengen area, that this topic should be settled at the Luxembourg Court of Justice. In his opinion, the way in which Romania is represented in Brussels should also be clarified, as it has to do with domestic politics, "because we are Europeans", while foreign policy means "to try to go, make efforts, both diplomats and concrete, to link your country to other spaces, to open new paths for commercial markets, for relationships with other areas of the world". He would like the Presidential Administration to stop functioning in the Cotroceni Presidential Palace and is considering the restoration of a historical building, with tradition, among those left in a "totally derelict state". Last but not least, Diaconu reiterated that, should he not win the elections, he will not join a political party, but will continue to remain independent, as he has assumed since 2014, when he was elected for the European Parliament. AGERPRES: You are running for the presidential election supported by an electoral alliance consisting of ALDE and PRO Romania. If this support did not exist, would you have enrolled in this electoral race? Mircea Diaconu: Chronologically, I firstly signed up. I took the step myself, asking for public support to anyone who can help me, because alone in this approach, it is practically impossible. And the next day I was called and invited to Parliament to discuss with the two leaders, with Mr. Tariceanu first, Mr. Tariceanu called me and invited me to Parliament to discuss and he also invited Mr. Ponta and they invited their staff and they asked me questions. And I took a form of exam there, in front of everyone, there were about 20 in all, and they asked me questions on all sensitive topics or of interest to them. I answered them how I position myself and they said, yes, we support you. I said: okay if you support me, thank you, but I want to discuss the terms of this support, because my statute is independent from 2014, when I ran for the European Parliament, and this is how I existed, with this statute declared and written in all the annals of the European Parliament, I was independent, working within the Liberal group in the European Parliament. And I discussed these terms and they are perfectly working. It's not about support here, it's about logistical support, that's what I have asked for and I got it. People argue that they don't see cohorts of young people dressed in Mircea Diaconu, chanting with vuvuzelas, as it is done (...), with US-like standards I couldn't care less about, and I am afraid that the Romanian citizen does not care about and ignores them, they have no effect, it's just wasting away money. Because this kind of campaign is not visible, people feel that they [ALDE, PRO Romania] do not support me. Yes, they support me logistically. What does logistics mean? It means two floors, one is posters and materials to take and put up all over the country, I can't do this alone, I couldn't have done it in Bucharest, let alone in the whole country. And people, representatives in the polling stations, something to which, again, I wouldn't have had the right on my own, not that I would not have had people, but there are 18 thousand people who should be everywhere in the country. This alliance was thus formed between the two parties with the sole purpose of my support. The electoral alliance is called "One Man", to support candidate Mircea Diaconu, and co-chairs are Norica Nicolai from ALDE and Sorin Cimpeanu from PRO Romania. When the elections are over, on November 10 or 24, this alliance disappears. What is going on in Parliament and the destinies and positions of these two eminently political parties in Parliament and with the Government and what we see, is quite another path. There, if you notice, they have no alliance, they have different opinions, different viewpoints. In the meantime, another party has been supporting me, the Neoliberal Party, a party of business people, very lively, very strong in Romania, but still very young, it barely has two years and this honours me. I have the backing of several trade unions, associations, NGOs, but also in this way: symbolic or logistical and that's it. Why do I want this? Why did I ask for this kind of support? To be able to direct my campaign and public advocacy as I deem fit, in the style and arguments I build, it is my advocacy, which is why I am called "One person" and that is why I am independent. AGERPRES: Regarding the name of the alliance, "One Man", do you think that anyone can be the president of Romania, aren't some special qualities needed? We are nonetheless talking about someone who takes on the responsibility of leading a country. Mircea Diaconu: And he/she must be a person, with two hands and two feet, and I also have a claim and a request: he/she should have a head. That's about it, actually. If there is a visible or necessary difference between a person, in general, and a person who represents Romania, he/she should have a head, but as a whole, he/she is a person, representing us all. To be like all of us, to be no different than all of us, no alien, no mutant, no robot, no other beings that look like humans, but are not humans. That means a person and that's it. On the other hand, that person who should, and you said that he/she must lead, you are mistaken, I will correct you, the president does not lead, he presides. There is a huge difference that very few have understood or understand, this is my kind of case. Let's make a very accurate distinction between words, you know, for this, it's true, you have to know Romanian and read a little in the Constitution or in the laws of the country, to understand what is required, because if we do not start from the everybody's obligation to respect the order of law and not the rule of law ... and if it is not clear I am making the distinction in the explanation. The order of law means the legislation of a country, accepted, legal, active and in force, starting with the Constitution and which must be respected in its letter and spirit. That is the only way I see for our country, our situation. AGERPRES: Why should the Romanians vote for you and not another candidate? Mircea Diaconu: Ask them, it's a personal choice. All kinds of speculation were made here. (...) There have been all kinds of Romanian-style attacks. That is: he was a Securitate (communist secret police) man, look at this picture where General Vlad, Iulian Vlad, and Diaconu can be seen at the Revolution. And look how Diaconu is talking to General Ioan Vlad and, therefore, he is a Securitate man. There was a great number of people, among them was this old man whom I did not know because at that time, the Securitate generals did not appear in Cinema magazine. I was appearing in the pages and on the cover of Cinema magazine. So it can be said that he was talking to me, not I to him. There are slight differences in meaning. And of course I was talking, I didn't know who he was, if that's the problem. After that, that Diaconu brought Iliescu. They faded away and disappeared into nothingness, because Diaconu did not bring Ion Iliescu, then at the Revolution, but Mr. Iliescu himself, another Iliescu who later became General Iliescu, the head of the SPP [the Guard and Protection Service]. On the other hand, Diaconu was exactly in the '90s one of the most important, of course together with others, founding member of the Civic Alliance, which was the most notable and important enemy of the power at that time, the FSN [National Salvation Front - e.n.], of everything it meant, with Mr. Iliescu at the helm. I was deputy chair, Emil Constantinescu deputy chair, and Ana Blandiana chair. It's hard to believe that I brought Mr. Iliescu or how it said on the networks: Diaconu brought the red plague. All this has gone, they're in the void, they are soft. But one thing remained, I noticed it last night as well; Diaconu doesn't even want to be President, in fact. It's what I said, but I was misquoted or not exactly understood. You asked me why should they vote for me. Well I don't know why they should vote for me. This is the truth. My goal is not to become president, my goal is to make myself understood, to explain, to convince. If I convince, if I find the right words, becoming President is a consequence, not a target. I have something with words in Romanian, let them be very clear, because otherwise I'd do anything in the world to become President, because that's the target. That's not the target. My target is to make myself understood; if I make myself understood fully or if I feel that all this effort and suffering was worth it, and people understand that in all this demarche called presidential elections and in exercising the position there were mistakes made for 30 years, it is profoundly wrong and unconstitutional, that's another path; it's another trail that remains not walked, not sowed, not weeded, not cared for, it's another one. This is what I am trying. If I am not president, but people understand me, I will be very pleased and content. If I will be President, I'll be even more content. AGERPRES: President-player or president-mediator? Mircea Diaconu: Dialogue hides between words. The President does not dictate, does not fire, does not enter the concrete political space as a political player, on the contrary, the President is a mediator and - I'm quoting from the Constitution - consults, collaborates, those are the verbs I extracted from the President's activity, according to the Constitution. He does not request the government's dismissal, he does not fire prosecutors, he does not appoint the Prime Minister and, in no case, he does not topple the Prime Minister, in no case, he isn't even allowed to ask the resignation of a Prime Minister. The mechanism through which the Prime Minister and Government are toppled is Parliament. Regarding representation, I want to say that it is one of the theses that I understood and talking to constitutionalists, professionals, noted professors, we have in Romania truly enlightened minds. Representation is the basic principle of our democratic world, of our country. The dilemma - the President - so say the politicians, especially those who support him, talk of his political group (...), the offer today, on the election table, contains political groups with their chairs at the head, on one side, and on the other side, myself and a few others. I am better placed, it seems, than the others who have the same kind of discourse as me, as I'm an independent. And everyone says so: the President is the most voted person in Romania, he is the leader, we need a presidential republic, let's change the Constitution. Wrong. As long as the Constitution is in force, and it is, and the President, according to the Constitution, is called upon to watch over the enforcement and observance of the Constitution, the last person in the world who has the right to say that the Constitution is bad, that is the President. And they're the ones doing it. They never get enough. One of the candidates, Mr. Barna, I don't know how many points he made, because it's like this, you make 10 points of intent, the first is changing the Constitution, because I want more prerogatives, he says, as future President, meaning he wants to be more of a President. Let's see what it's about, representation means public vote, the citizens' vote, and their votes turn into power or mandates. When they vote in Parliament, unanimously, their votes transform into mandates and they all move to Parliament. So Parliament has representation, in unanimity, any vote given can be found in Parliament. When the President is running, half plus something vote for him, so not all. You can say a large part of society doesn't vote for him/her. Then which of these institutions has more democratic representation? Parliament is the answer and not the President. You may see it as strange for someone like me to plead for this, to want less prerogatives, or the right ones, well, that's what it is written in the Constitution, that's what it's about. If we push a law to the side so we're content, then on this theory, anyone in this country has the right to push aside any law, because I don't feel like going on green, I'll sometimes run a red. No, rule of law means the effective respect of all that is legislation in Romania. It's the only solution in the generalized disorder in which we find ourselves now. AGERPRES: You stated that in case you become President you will not conduct your activity in Cotroceni Presidential Palace, but will request a different headquarters. Where do you believe it's appropriate for the Presidential Administration to conduct its activity? Mircea Diaconu: The position I'm in implies being able to discuss or comment principles, not decisions, this is about decisions. Regarding my principle, my plea is the following: the Cotroceni Palace is a royal palace with a destination, through royal testament, which is not this one, therefore, even during Stalinism, with Russian tanks here, the Cotroceni Palace was the Children's palace and generations of children learnt there all sorts of nice and good things, even then. The first of the Presidents that painted the walls and got ready to go there was Ceausescu, then they all barged in, one after the other, our Presidents in the Royal Palace, on top of the hill. Why am I saying and emphasizing these things? Because there was a build-up of ego for this person until, unfortunately, and most, not all, had their wheels turn in their head and they started to believe they're statues, slightly off the ground and this cannot happen to ordinary people because, unfortunately, even presidents - a physics professor from Sibiu becomes President, a sailor from a ship becomes President. And then, you tell me, the President is supposed to be different, not like all of us. So it was alright that it was a professor and a sailor, but something happened with their minds the moment they had these prerogatives: SPP [Protection and Guard Service - e.n] on top of SPP, carpets and carpets, the hill, the palace, etc. and the poor people... As one of my grandfathers who participated in World War I used to say: man, my boy, tolerates the worst when it's too bad, but even more so when it's too good. Too good is a big problem for the poor man. Something happens with his brain. That is why, and not only that, I believe we must begin to break away, as they say, you change the place, you change your luck - that's what they say in this country, among the people, at poker tables and regarding destiny. Something must be broken, in any way we must return to a common sense form, with which we are accustomed to, we've forgotten it exists, in a measure of things, a decency, a modesty that must start at the top and through personal example. If it's not so, nothing works anymore, the overcoat effect shouldn't exist anymore, or that thing that Basescu used to do: Do you know who I am? I'm the boss. I hate these things and that is why I want to give these kind of signals at once, strongly, so there is understanding of what we need to discuss and what's the style I propose. AGERPRES: I understand that you wouldn't agree for the President to have extra powers, to allow him, during a crisis, to dismiss the Government or dissolve Parliament? Mircea Diaconu: But such a thing doesn't exist in the Constitution, neither the head of state nor the dismissal of the Prime Minister. It's clear as day, so there is no constitutional way, in no crisis whatsoever, for the President to dismiss the Prime Minister, only Parliament can dismiss the Prime Minister, there are some principles. Those who put you there are those who dismiss you. Whereas the Prime Minister is designated by the President as a person, in a procedural demarche to accede to this position. AGERPRES: The question was whether you would agree with a change of the Constitution ... Mircea Diaconu: I agree with no change and this is because our situation as a democracy, as the European administration that we are, is of a disorderly type and until you put everything in perfect order you don't even know if this is really necessary or not. There is a generalized legislative and behavioral chaos, we must first settle on the existing law order, all provisions are in force but nobody respects them, and yet we still want to change something. This is crazy, as a matter of principle. On the other hand, this can only be done provided that there is a huge, willing and active majority in Parliament for this. But this is not the case. So this talk is just a waste of breath, firstly. And secondly, this is the country where Ceausescu had all the powers in his hands, to give somebody powers in Ceausescu's country is historical stupidity. AGERPRES: Is there a broad commitment of the political class required, based on a sealed agreement, on subjects that will lead to Romania's sustainable development, and if so, how will you proceed to assemble such an approach and on what topics? Mircea Diaconu: As I was telling you about the verbs used in the Constitution for the President's actions, the fundamental law has all these verbs set down. He mediates, what does this mean? That's what he does, he mediates between the parties, whichever they are, he acts as a mediator if there are disagreements, he mediates if there are proposals. (...) He cooperates - it's written there - with everyone, for a certain purpose, not otherwise. He consults, this automatically means that he doesn't know everything and doesn't decide on everything, so he does not simply come up with a project of this type, of the weight you mentioned. I know, there's this buzzword - country project - every once in a while someone gets it out of the pocket: do you have a country project, or do I have a country project? This couldn't be more wrong and more false. A country project is a matter of such importance and difficulty that it takes generations, not just one man, it could never be signed by one man alone. Let me give you an example, Martha Bibescu says this, at one point: the Romanians have never passed down a large-scale project from one generation to another, except for the Union project. When one says the Union project, we see it has taken so many generations and years to carry it out, there have been many who have worked for this project, it doesn't belong to someone in particular. It took shape from public debate, out of public necessity, out of our need, it simply built up, it gained shape, after which the politicians and not just them, the intellectuals and everybody put in effort until this project was accomplished. This is a country project, this is the scale of a country project. The other trivia are just ankle bells, anyway, they are just petty things. Another country project was our EU and NATO accession. No one can put his signature on this, entire governments of various political hues have worked on this goal, this is a country project. As for the rest, like 'Educated Romania' - the project of Mr. President [Iohannis], the only one proclaimed, heralded around and left unaccomplished, anyway it's just being talked about. 'Educated Romania' ... This would also require a bit of sanding off the edges, because it automatically assumes that Romania is uneducated and requires education. So, I would have polished the text a little, the meanings, the differences are difficult to understand for some of us. Well, this is not the problem, the problem is the following, that this is a reasonable project of administrative or national level, this is not debatable, but it falls within the competence of a government, it cannot be carried out exactly without the incumbent government, so it's not the President ... The President may raise for public debate the need for education, as a principle of development, but that's all. I mentioned education and here we hit on a problem that seriously bothers me. (...) We say education, everybody agrees, yes, we have to start with education and everybody starts talking about the school without understanding, without the idea occurring to them, that education is everything, it's not just school, it's family, it's the society, it's the community, it's context, it's everything. Nature too is a form of education of man, and vice versa. Education is such a complex term, and this is the President's altitude, to see things as a whole, in interconnection, adverse effects included, and so on. He is the President of the parties, not of one party, of one problem, he does not solve one problem or another, but the phenomena. And he must look at things as a whole because otherwise the minister in charge has a spot-on approach in his area of responsibility and solves a particular issue or pursues a particular target. But if that thing, which at a first glance seems OK and necessary, disturbs or disrupts or modifies another system by influence, the minister won't be able to see this because he only deals with a subject, and then, stop. (...) The President must see things as a whole, understand everything, the phenomena, the country risks, this is his level of concern and activity. Have I made any mention about replacing ministers, sacking prime ministers, effectively entering the political space? He is not allowed to do that, therefore I insist on this subject. Let me give you an example, to make it clear for everyone. The banking system is a unitary, balanced, delicate, sensitive system, with balances that are kept in place, it sometimes may get just slightly out of equilibrium (...); it also has this mediation and balance-keeping structure that is the National Bank of Romania. Imagine for a moment that [central bank governor] Mugur Isarescu would come out publicly and say about a specific bank: out with it, it's bad, let it collapse! Can you imagine what could happen? Well, that's exactly what our President Iohannis has been doing for years, wanting "a government of his own"; what does this mean "one's own government"? I knew it was the government of Romania, for God's sake. (...) This is where we got and it seems normal, so many people in this country are not even surprised. Well, they are not surprised and I'll tell you why, it's not the people's fault that in such a long time, for 15 years anyway, things have been playing out this way. There is that theory about 'the banalization of evil'. Evil's banalization appears in your life, it scares you, annoys you the first time, then less the second time, even less the third time and the fourth time you say: well, if that's normalcy ... This is where we stand. These things need to be dealt with. How? By switching to the other side, breaking up with everything, even with the Cotroceni Palace, the destination, the location ... You ask me where? What do I know where? If I make it to the runoff I'll start telling you where, but what's the use now, it's just a waste of time. I'll find a location and I wish this increasingly more, just like that, I increasingly more wish to make it to the second round and even the third round, which is longer, it spans five years, because there are some sensational and traditional places in Romania, with history included and which have been left in perfect dereliction. And I will find something like this in Romania and we'll save it by refurbishing it and establishing it as the destination for Romania's presidential hopefuls, but it's not the Cotroceni Palace. AGERPRES: What is the main foreign policy goal you would promote as President of Romania? Mircea Diaconu: Apart from what I've just said, the country projects that might occur (...). For instance, the presidential behavior in foreign relations should be clarified, meaning that his advocates claim or are wrong when saying (...) that the president's action in Brussels is foreign policy. It is not foreign policy, it is domestic policy because we are European, because Brussels is for the President of Romania and the Romanian Prime Minister just an office or something and that's it. It is not foreign policy, let's put that aside. Foreign policy means an entirely different thing, it means one attempts to get there, make efforts, diplomatic and palpable to connect their country to other areas, to open new ways, new trade markets, to connect to other areas of the world, this is what foreign policy stands for. And another very important path is the relationship with one's neighbours. You've noticed, we all have neighbours, if one doesn't get along with one neighbour it is a nightmare, life over there is a nightmare. No, one cannot be allowed to do that, one must make all possible efforts to have very good and correct relationships with their neighbours. (...) Now I'm saying how it should be or what should be done. Romania used to have large markets all over the world, wars were started for these markets, big wars. Or, we had those and we lost them, just like that, out of negligence, out of indifference, sometimes with ill-intention, but a Romanian-type one, because everybody wants to take you out of the market, it is about another. This is normal, it must not be a surprise, but one should not give up. I will give you as many examples as you want, of big markets, I'm giving you ARO, I'm a specialist in this matter because I have an ARO vehicle and because I'm from around Campulung and I know the whole story. There was an operation there, it is not simply a mere market loss, we used to have a world market and we were fighting from the same positions on large areas of the world, on continents, we were fighting with the big companies of the kind. We were fighting and we were winning on the same principle that today the Duster and the rest win the markets. (...) Let's say one goes somewhere in another country, in another area with this kind of intention, you, as President going there you must go with Romania, and not with your wife, to visit museums and take photos there. You don't go there as a tourist, you go with everything that Romania means, with people of culture, with business people, with everything it takes to show as good, about you and make connections of collaboration and co-productions of any kind, (...) to inform the world what you've got, how good you are, what your resources, your talents are. This is what a president must do, open new markets, and not change ambassadors, this is what any director general with the ministry can do, the President only has an opinion on it, this is not the main matter, not at all whatsoever. AGERPRES: How can President Mircea Diaconu influence topics such as joining the Schengen Area, the US visa lifting for Romanians and the CVM cancellation? Mircea Diaconu: These are different topics. The USA is foreign policy, the rest is domestic policy. The USA, there is a difference (...) between being invited and being summoned. When summoned and be given a "to do list", and I'm saying "to do list" because this is how it is accustomed, it's a list to be done, a buying list like my wife is giving to me when I go shopping, I have a list and I am not shopping anything else, I have to purchase this and that, I never buy anything my wife is not asking me to. It's a joke, don't worry, if going shopping, Diaconu won't have a list from his wife, he will have a list from Romania. I take anything from Romania, not that I take, I want it, Romania has to give me lists when going abroad, to-do-lists. As for the Schengen, I have been saying for a long time and I'm saying it wherever I go, although I have no other quality than what I am and what you can see. (...) Look how simple it is with the Schengen, there are treaties, after all we have signed certain treaties, we have been admitted legally within the EU, it is a partnership, there are some rules. These rules too can be failed sometimes, every now and then, when enforced or if not very clear. Then a body was fathered to regulate, mediate this kind of misunderstanding and its name is the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Look how simple it is, our President who attends the Council - because the Council matters over there, of most of the European bodies, heads of states and governments. Decisions are made there, as regards the risk or important topics that are to be regulated or do not function well and from there, after they decide that the topic must me fixed, it begins its course to the Commission and after that, in Parliament, to be voted, but the decision leaves from there - they, over there, there is the President is, and our President, too, if going there with Romania and not as a political party member, a right-wing party as we know our last two presidents, looking to his right to the said party, with its main HQs in Germany, at Mrs. Merkel (...). There he has to vote for Romania, and not for the European People's Party through our president. (...) Alright, if Romania is with him, he says the following: dear colleagues, we love you and everybody, this is not the point, we have nothing to share with anybody, but here it stays written in the Treaties that no state can be discriminated in relation with other states and here, a list of Romania's discriminations, 1, 2, 3, since they are many. We start with the Schengen, it is a technicality included in the treaties, where it is written clearly in what circumstances it is lifted, how it is lifted and so on. We made the investment, it was technically checked, it's ok, it works, but politically it is not lifted, yet it has nothing to do with the politics, nothing at all. "Well no, because there is the CVM"... What's the connection, that's a completely different topic. So, it is an absolutely abnormal pressure. (...) The President should say the following: the Schengen, therefore, I argue, is alright, it's technical, we did it, we have it, it's validated, after which we stay for a while because we are colleagues and so on, then we get the treaty, we make our file ready and go to the Luxembourg Court of Justice to arbitrate this misunderstanding, this is what I'd do, this is what we'd do, this is what Romania should do. They didn't do it at all, they sit on half a chair, they look to the said party and that is all, they play some games. And, as if a fatality, no, they simply laugh at us. Why? Because we sit like this. What I'm saying is not anti-European, but exactly the other way around, I want and plea for a larger integration within Europe, a more serious and more profound integration, tailored to our potential, nothing else, this is exactly what I want. And they will be very pleased. I'm resorting again to the old Romanian saying: if one doesn't respect themselves, no one will respect them, this is our saying. And you bet it is so: let us respect ourselves and you'll see how everybody will respect us and give us what belongs to us. AGERPRES: What about the CVM lifting? Mircea Diaconu: The CVM is another matter, it is a donkey-horse, a bizarre thing, how should I put it, it was pinned due to our own ... a kind of excessive zeal on our behalf, pinned to the Treaty. Wait, wait, so to speak, the train was leaving the station and we attach to it an empty can...but it is us who have attached it, and not another. Which is why I'm saying it is odd, it has no method in black and white, no lifting procedure. It is just decided and that's it! So, nobody knows how to remove it, therefore they take no notice of it or use it as if a small crowbar, a thumbtack, every now and then, there, because it is drafted, one can see how important or unimportant it is, by an intermediary structure with the European Commission, not even by the select committee, the legal one. No, some girls over there are doing this based on some information they receive from Romania - and they were always one-sided and false - or from various very applied NGOs, from Romania as well, and they hit us with it and that's it. It is our fault, it is a garden of ours, we do not weed it, do not take care of it, we are not careful with it. On the other hand, there are already tools in Europe that are doing exactly the same to the other countries, and such an assessment is mandatory, a pretty high pressure from Parliament anyway (...) upon everybody to kick off a form of control, of verification for all the Member States, not only for Romania, Bulgaria, if that matters. That is why the people are not attentive over there, surely we are amazed, they are making some politics, making the CVM, they make politics and nothing else, but it is fading away and naturally, I wouldn't consider it almost at all. AGERPRES: What are the minuses and pluses you have noticed so far in the electoral campaign? Mircea Diaconu: In general, the electoral campaigns in Romania have failed for a long time. Why am I saying this? Let's take the freshest example, the one with the 26 May election for the European Parliament, where talking was about whatever one wished for but the topic, the topic was not talked about at all, and now these presidential elections, one makes the talking in the visible, important area, simply on some corridors, on some targets in keeping with the governing, with the economic parameters, that are not related to the constitutional line of the President's tasks. It is not discussed, not even now, and this is why I almost desperately got out in the public space manifesting my wish to run so I could say things such as: we do not address what it needs to be addressed, in this sense, as a plea. Then, it is hard to understand, some political people are getting ready for a certain approach, so to say I have to jump to I don't know what height, I'm getting ready, you've seen the athletes, they focus, whatever, and in the meantime, while already kicking off toward this height, you make three steps as an athlete and say oh, let's change my right boot, and stop, change the boot, when you have to jump. This one with the Government ousting, when we are already engaged in this demarche, I find it absolutely impossible to understand, I give you my word on it, although it is a political reality. I don't know, either you are doing this or you are doing that, and then the two topics are jamming each other, this situation is an almost no go. Surely these are undebated presidential elections. AGERPRES: A recent survey, conducted by IMAS, places you second in the electorate preferences. How do you see yourself at this moment? Mircea Diaconu: I see me in no way, I don't lose time with such things also because the surveys in this period are so different from one another and eventually I don't know, it is good business that is made on sociology right now, because they are in demand, everybody needs surveys and there, these things occur. On the other hand, they exist and function as sociological manipulation forms, I'm not saying on behalf of the sociologists, there are this kind of technicalities, let us defuse the electors of ... so they have the impression that if they cast their vote there, they cast it for nothing, (...) somehow to push somebody's option to another side based on this criterion. They are, you know, manipulations. I do not believe in them, in the numbers, I'm not very attentive to them, I don't even have the time for them, because I don't get enough of my minutes, let alone my days, to do what I have in mind. The only correct poll will be, hopefully correct, and here I've got big doubts, the one on 10 November. AGERPRES: How do you imagine Romania at the end of your tenure as President, what would you like to change? Mircea Diaconu: I don't imagine, no, I won't change anything, because the President changes nothing, he/she helps for a change, he/she determines a change, yet he/she never imposes the change. He/she is not an executive factor, although he/she is part of the executive power structurally, but with other attributions, of mediation, of balance, of consultancy. So, he/she doesn't have to make a change, as a person, as an institution, so to speak. If I simply wish to be allowed to use other evaluation criteria, such as the smile of the person in the street, I want the people in the street, I wish they are not, I don't know, that fallen, that sad. I want us to live smiling, to enjoy to a bigger extent the small achievements of life, of the friendship, to see each other, to never pass by heads to the ground or on the opposite side of the road, because the other one is coming or something. This is the small happiness, this is what I wish for and that's it. Otherwise, we will discuss within five years. Do ask me in five years' time. AGERPRES: Are you going to remain in politics after the elction, should you not become President? Mircea Diaconu: But I'm not in politics. I'm an independent and this is my statute, this is my public contract concluded in 2014 which I'll never ever leave. This doesn't mean I have something against politics, I'm not anti-system, there are some who come and say: all politicians should go to the waste hole, I'm another person, here we go again, they only behave worse than the worst, more versatile politicians. I am not, am not at all (a politician), yet I'm saying that for this kind of job according to the Constitution, one doesn't have to exhibit a genuine political service, on the contrary, arbitration is needed exactly for the political world to function, in a polemic way as it is, democratically as it should be. So, no, no, no, I'm not going to join any political party, because this is what you are asking me. Many have asked me: are you going to enroll? No, this is my public contract and this is how it will remain.AGERPRES(RO - author: Daniel Florea, editor: George Onea; EN - authors: Simona Iacob, Razvan-Adrian Pandea, Simona Klodnischi, Maria Voican, editors: Simona Iacob, Maria Voican)

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