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March 23, 2023

National round-up

Ponta: Those who love Basescu have no place in PSD

PSD leader Victor Ponta said yesterday that Social-Democrats who “love Traian Basescu” have no place in the party he leads. His comment came in response to statements made by Voluntari mayor Florian Pandele, who was expelled from the Social Democrat Party after voicing support for Basescu. Ponta said that because of this reason, all party branches with an interim leadership, which is the case of PSD Ilfov too, will find themselves under the direct coordination of secretary general Liviu Dragnea in the following period “in order for him to take all the election re-organization measures and to remove those who love Traian Basescu from the party.” “We will take statutory measures so that people who love Basescu will join the group of those who are in love with Basescu, also known as the independent group,” Ponta said. Voluntary mayor Pandele said he backs President Basescu’s initiative to reform the state and that he wants to see the group of independent MPs, led by Gabriel Oprea, succeed in creating a new political party that would represent “the new left wing of Romanian politics.” The local party branch led by Marian Vanghelie suspended Pandele’s party membership for one year.

Iliescu slams Communist Party succession rumours

Ex President Ion Iliescu rejected allegations that he was involved in preparations Communist Party (PCR) leadership succession that would have propelled him into Nicolae Ceausescu’s office. Romanian Intelligence Agency (SRI) former chief Virgil Magureanu recently said the operation was devised in the 1970s. “These are fantasies that can only be explained by some people’s feelings towards me. Virgil Magureanu approached me in the ‘80s. He must have felt close to my stance, which was rather critical of the communist rule at the time,” Iliescu said, according to daily ‘Romania libera’. The Social Democrat Party honourary president added that, in July 1971, he was removed from PCR central bodies, and therefore finds the idea that he could have been Ceausescu’s successor totally unsubstantiated. “I was accused of intellectualism. I was removed from all central leadership bodies and banished into the country,” Iliescu also said.

The former president was a top PCR member, climbing the communist ladder up to the Central Committee. He held various offices, including that of youth minister.

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