Geoana remains Senate Speaker despite Ponta’s opposition

The Social-Democrats seem to be forced to abandon their measures to revoke Mircea Geoana from the Senate Speaker office because they are at risk of losing the office to the current ruling coalition.

By    Daniela Baragan

A surprising development took place in PSD’s bid to replace Mircea Geoana as Senate Speaker. Yesterday the Social-Democrats ceased their measures to revoke Mircea Geoana from office, worried that they may offer control of the second most-important office in the state to PDL.

The announcement was made by no other than Adrian Nastase, President of PSD’s National Council, who stated that according to the Constitutional Court’s decisions the Parliamentary group that nominated the Senate Speaker (PSD – editor’s note) should also nominate his replacement, but since ruling coalition MPs did not accept that principle PSD will no longer carry on its measures to revoke Geoana. Asked whether the former PSD leader still has a place in the party, Nastase avoided giving a direct answer, pointing out that Geoana’s relation with PSD is a different matter that will be discussed in the following days.

In his turn, PSD Honourary President Ion Iliescu confirmed that the party will not carry through its measures to vacate the Senate Speaker office because “the reality within the Senate” shows that the party will lose that office. “The talks that took place within the Senate on Monday showed that the Senate Speaker office should first be vacated and only then should a PSD representative be appointed. That would mean a new vote in the plenum, something that changes everything. There is the risk PSD will lose the office because PDL, UNPR and UDMR have more votes. So the situation remains as it is now,” Iliescu said.

According to Iliescu, the decision that PSD’s Permanent National Bureau (BPN) adopted on Monday was taken as a reaction to Geoana’s recent “behavior.” Thus, Iliescu reproaches the former PSD leader of “not adapting” to the situation within the party after losing the party president office and of growing distant “through actions and public statements.” He pointed out that Geoana’s attitude will be analyzed by PSD’s Integrity Commission and, depending on the latter’s report, the BPN will take a decision in his case.

Nevertheless, PSD President Victor Ponta is adamant. He wants Mircea Geoana kicked out from the party and the Senate and seems willing to go “all the way” to see that happen. Thus, Ponta stated yesterday that PSD will persist in its attempt to replace Geoana from the Senate Speaker office, but will not proceed with the revocation because that process may lead to the party losing the office.

On the other hand, Victor Ponta states that Adrian Nastase and Ion Iliescu expressed personal opinions when stating that PSD will not insist on revoking Mircea Geoana, pointing out that as party president he will apply the decisions that the BPN and the Social-Democrat Senators took on Monday. “I want to reiterate PSD’s position towards Monday’s events, a position I express as PSD President: the unanimous decision that the BPN took on Monday, as well as the decision taken within the Senate group, won’t change,” Ponta pointed out. The PSD leader is so determined to get rid of Mircea Geoana that he is ready to convene the party’s highest bodies – the Executive Committee and even the Extraordinary Congress – “if the position of most BPN members towards these decisions changes.”

Although Ponta is for the time being unable to budge Geoana, he nevertheless “threatens” him with the party’s Integrity Commission, having in fact already filed a complaint yesterday, accusing the former Social-Democrat leader of failure to respect the PSD statute. “The party’s Commission for Arbitrage and Moral Integrity will analyze Mr. Mircea Geoana’s infringements of the statute and will propose the necessary sanctions,” Ponta said. Asked whether Geoana still has a place in PSD, he answered negatively: “No, he no longer has a place within PSD.”

Sources: Geoana could set up party if excluded from PSD

While Mircea Geoana’s situation within PSD remains uncertain, sources from his entourage claim that he could set up a new left-wing party if he is excluded from PSD. According to the aforementioned sources, contrary to speculations that appeared within PSD, Geoana is not taking into account the possibility of joining UNPR or any other party. The same sources state that if Geoana is excluded from PSD he could even try to force the organization of an Extraordinary Congress, this scenario however having slim chances of success. On the other hand, if PSD gives up its measures to revoke him from the Senate Speaker office, Geoana could keep his office even as an independent MP in case PSD’s BPN will decide to exclude him from the party, the aforementioned sources show.

There are other scenarios as well. Sources quoted by Hotnews say Geoana is expected by UNPR, although negotiations have failed for the moment. Another variant is to join Cozmin Gusa’s PIN together with Marian Vanghelie and than merge with the People’s Party. The third scenario points to the possibility that Geoana and Vanghelie might set up a new party.

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