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March 21, 2023

Mircea Geoana may have to step down as Senate Speaker

PSD contests Geoana’s office, arguing he has a personal agenda.

The Speaker of the Senate Mircea Geoana became once again a target for his colleagues in the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), whose leader he was between 2005 and 2010. All started from Geoana’s statement that he did not rule out running again for president in the 2014 elections, an announcement rejected flat or in an ironical fashion by his colleagues. Under the terms of the agreement between the Social-Democrats and the Liberals within the Social-Liberal Union (USL), the Union will be represented in the next elections by the team made up of Crin Antonescu (the National Liberal Party/ PNL leader) as presidential candidate and Victor Ponta (PSD leader) as future prime-minister. Thus, after the PSD secretary-general Liviu Dragnea jokingly advised Geoana to join PNL if he intended to run for Cotroceni, the Speaker of the Senate replied, in a post on Facebook, that the USL protocol did not stipulate the selection of a presidential candidate from the ranks of PNL, but rather “of the individual who ranks highest in a nationwide opinion poll”.

Sources within PSD quoted by Mediafax revealed that Geoana had been criticized during Monday’s National Standing Bureau (BPN) and was to be summoned by the central leaders to provide an explanation. The sources argued that Geoana had also been called for task for the meetings he had been organizing to promote the National Development Committee, which some BPN members argued was an attempt to recruit PSD members. Furthermore, the Speaker of the Senate was called to task for his “poor communication” with the PSD group within the Upper House. Thus, at the proposal of the PSD honorary president Ion Iliescu, BPN members decided to call on Geoana to account for his recent statements, which they argued could undermine the cohesion of the Union. The meeting with Geoana will most likely take place next week, in the presence of Victor Ponta and Ion Iliescu, as well as other party members. Indeed, Ion Iliescu stated on Monday for www.gandul.info that Geoana had been nominated Speaker of the Senate with PSD’s mandate and, consequently, should not pursue his own agenda. “The man was sanctioned by the party, but, after the sanction expired, he started pursuing his own agenda. He is the Speaker of the Senate, appointed on behalf of PSD, not as an individual. The problem should be solved within the party and this is why he was summoned to a meeting with PSD leaders, so we can figure out what he intends to do,” Iliescu stated, quoted by the same source.

The online daily “Gandul” reports that several Social-Democrat senators called, on Monday, on the party leaders to replace Geoana from the helm of the Senate, during a meeting with the president Victor Ponta, arguing that Geoana’s statements were detrimental to the party’s image. “We called on Victor Ponta to replace Mircea Geoana from his office as Speaker of the Senate,” the PSD senator Cosmin Nicula stated, quoted by the aforementioned paper. Furthermore, one of senator Nicula’s aides launched, on Facebook, the scenario that Geoana had allegedly negotiated with the National Union for Romanian Progress (UNPR) his switching allegiance to this party, alongside a number of PSD senators. The senators who called for his replacement from office also include Iulian Badescu and Daniel Savu, as well as Miron Mitrea.

As regards Geoana’s visit to the United States, senators claim it had not been approved by the Senate. “We don’t understand in which quality he went there. We were given to believe that he had introduced himself in America as the leader of the opposition,” sources within the PSD group in the Senate stated, for the same newspaper. The Social-Democrat leader Victor Ponta stated, in turn, that he had not been advised of Geoana’s visit to the US and that he didn’t know in which quality Geoana had travelled there.

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