PSD to have single nomination for presidential elections

Social-Democrats will not hold primary elections in order to establish who the party’s best candidate in the presidential elections is. Victor Ponta will be PSD candidate, sources say.

PSD’s National Executive Committee (CExN) decided yesterday, in an informal meeting in Orastie, Hunedoara County, to stake on a single nomination for the presidential elections, the formal announcement set to be made at the National Council meeting on August 1, party sources have stated for Mediafax. This decision basically means that the party will no longer hold primaries. According to the aforementioned sources, some leaders stated that Mircea Geoana should not file his candidacy in party primaries, opining that the party has to have a single nomination.
“The speeches went in this direction (support for a single nomination – editor’s note). The decision will be taken on August 1, at the National Council,” the aforementioned sources stated. Sources from CExN said however that Victor Ponta will be the candidate of the party for Presidency.
Before the CExN’s informal meeting, PSD President Victor Ponta had stated that primaries will be held only if there are several persons willing to run for president, and that for him things are clear on this issue and he will discuss them with his colleagues.
“Here things are very clear for me and I will discuss them with my colleagues too: if there are several bids we will respect the Statute and hold primaries. If there aren’t several candidates – if there is only one – we will hold only the Congress, naturally, since we’re not going to hold primaries with a single candidate, because that would be pointless,” Ponta said. He also pointed out that this issue will not be put up for vote within the CExN meeting, the meeting being informal. “Of course we will talk about what we have to do this autumn, I’m not going to say we are not going to talk about the presidential elections. But we are not taking any decision here,” the PSD President added.

PSD Executive President Liviu Dragnea stated that the Social-Democrats he talked to during the CExN informal meeting on Sunday evening in Orastie want Victor Ponta to run for president without holding primaries. “Most want this (the single candidate – editor’s note). In fact, there is no exception. Everybody I talked to said this, that they don’t want to stake on two candidates, on primaries,” Dragnea said. He pointed out that the Congress meeting scheduled in September will surely officially validate the presidential candidacy, while the National Council meeting scheduled in August will probably see the official filing of the candidacy or candidacies.
Oprescu: If I’m backed by PSD, I’ll run for president
On the other hand, Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu expressed his openness toward running for president provided he has PSD’s and the “PSD people’s” backing. The statement was made on Sunday evening, on Antena 3, when the mayor was asked for his comment on a statement that Premier Ponta made on June 10, according to which PSD’s list of potential presidential candidates includes him and Sorin Oprescu.
“I am trying to be as honest as I can. (…) I am honoured by what Victor Ponta said, I believe anyone would be honoured by that because the office of president is one of dignity in the state. The issue is this: I am well aware that if I were to be in this situation I would need a strong, left-wing platform because the left wing is where I come from. (…) I am aware I need a part of civil society to back this, because otherwise I won’t go just for the sake of being there. I will go if such be the case and if I am in this position. (…) It’s not indecision, I say it loud and clear: if these elements we are openly talking about here are met, yes, I will go; if not, I’ll continue minding my own business,” Oprescu stated. In his opinion, the President should be independent in what concerns party membership. Asked who would be the person he would appoint as Premier if he were to win the elections, the Bucharest Mayor answered: “I have three names: Victor Viorel Ponta.”
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said yesterday he would like Sorin Oprescu to run for President on behalf of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), but this is a decision that has to be taken at party level. “First of all, I watched with great pleasure the interview of Mr. Oprescu last night [Sunday night]. He remained the same man whom I got to know and whom I appreciate a lot, he is actually one of the great leaders of PSD, although he is no longer a PSD member, because he is the only Social-Democrat who won the elections for Bucharest mayor, we must not forget this fact. I don’t know, we shall talk about this, I don’t rule out this possibility, on the contrary, I am in favour, but it’s a decision we should take together,” said Ponta.
Ponta: Dragnea, Cazanciuc to stay with the Gov’t
Premier Victor Ponta stated yesterday in Orastie that he will not ask Liviu Dragnea to leave the government in order to handle PSD’s presidential campaign, pointing out that Robert Cazanciuc will continue to be Justice Minister too. “How could I ask him to leave the ministry? He has to stay, he is Deputy Premier and coordinates one of the most important portfolios: Regional Development,” Ponta said, referring to Dragnea.
In his turn, the PSD Executive President Liviu Dragnea pointed out that he rules out resigning from the government in order to handle the party’s presidential campaign. “I won’t comment false news. I understand where they are coming from (…),” Dragnea said. The Social-Democrat also dismissed the information concerning his possible bid for the leadership of PSD after the presidential elections. Asked how he will work with Dan Sova in the presidential campaign, as its spokesperson, he pointed out that he can work with anyone and that PSD has room for all.
We remind our readers that Sova announced on June 24 that he resigns from the helm of the Transportation Ministry, after almost four months in office, in order to dedicate his energy to the “electoral battle” in the presidential elections.

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