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September 23, 2020
POLITICS

Geoana-Ponta war splits PSD in two rival camps

Although Victor Ponta enjoys majority support in the party, some of his prominent supporters – such as Ion Iliescu –  reject the idea of expelling Geoana from PSD.

The war between Mircea Geoana and Victor Ponta has divided the Social-Democrats into two camps. So far, the acting leader of PSD seems to have the upper hand, as he is supported by the old guard of the party (the trio Iliescu-Nastase-Mitrea), recently reactivated after staying in the shadow for some time in the past (during Geoana’s mandate as president of the party).

PSD honourary president Ion Iliescu yesterday lashed out at Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana in an interview for ‘Gandul’ newspaper, accusing him that he has “the stuff of a traitor” and deserves no concession from Social-Democrats. Although he admits that Geoana has an “irresponsible” behaviour and his open letter (sent to the members of the National Executive Committee) “only poured oil on the fire,” Iliescu is against excluding him from PSD.

“We must analyse and sanction (him), but I am not for expulsions from the party. These youngsters are too impetuous (an allusion to Ponta); when they take the power, they want to expel the others. I don’t think this is a solution,” the former PSD leader warned. In fact, he also sticks to his initial opinion about replacing Geoana from the position of Senate speaker, saying that a vote in plenum for Titus Corlatean would be equivalent to “collective suicide.”

“Either we take the risk of losing the top position in the Senate, by going in the plenum – which looks like collective suicide – or we calm down, leave things as they are and make a very strict analysis of Mircea Geoana’s attitude,” Iliescu added.

“The heavyweights of PSD must support Victor Ponta,” thinks the former minister of Interior, Ioan Rus, who does not necessarily see as a mistake the idea of calling an extraordinary Congress of the party, as he said yesterday on RFI. “I don’t want to make a mistake, because I don’t know in detail what lies behind these things. However, the so-called heavyweights of the party (Iliescu, Nastase) must certainly support Ponta,” Rus said, quoted by Mediafax. Despite this statement, the Social-Democrat shares Iliescu’s point of view that Geoana still has a place in PSD: “He is a former president of the party, I granted him my complete support (…) as I believed in his ability to organise and set in place a sound, efficient and competent party structure.

”In his turn, PSD vice-president Valeriu Zgonea wrote in a post on his blog that “Victor Ponta represents the party today, and the party will stand besides its leader,” while accusing Geoana of having his own agenda and no longer being a “loyal” member of the Social-Democrats. “Everything that is happening to our party today starts from Mircea Geoana’s incapacity to control his own fate,” Zgonea accuses.

On the other hand, Mircea Geoana further relies on the support of the Dolj County branch of PSD. “In the county organisation, all mayors, without exception, were against sanctioning Mr. Geoana. (…) PSD does not mean Ponta-Sarbu-Daciana, it means the Social Democratic Party,” the mayor of Farcas commune, Ilie Nemtaru said, quoted by Mediafax. A meeting of PSD Dolj gave branch leader Ion Prioteasa and PSD vice-president Valeriu Zgonea – who is a Deputy of Dolj – the mandate to oppose expelling Geoana from the party, and removing him from the position of Senate speaker.ponta: the only variant i accept is the expulsionPSD President Victor Ponta however does not seem willing to lose the war against Mircea Geoana. He told the Gandul newspaper yesterday that he will not stray “one millimeter” from the decisions of the Permanent National Bureau (BPN) – to replace Geoana from the top position in the Senate and to expel him from PSD.

“I will not change my position, no matter if others, who have voted a certain way in BPN, are doing it now (an allusion to Iliescu and Nastase),” Ponta said. Plus, he would disagree any decision of the Moral Integrity Committee other than the expulsion of Geoana, he added. Referring to the hypothesis of calling the National Executive Council (CEx) – an idea supported by Geoana – Ponta said that such a meeting will take place at the end of November anyway, and answered the Senate speaker that “not everybody may summon the CEx.”

Does Geoana plan to found a new party?

According to adevarul.ro, the president of the Senate is fueling the rumours about the possibility of founding a new party, saying that if he is expelled from PSD, he “will continue to do politics.” “I will continue to move forward and do politics. I still don’t know how and with whom. I am a man with deep political convictions, I am a profound Social-Democrat, I may be called a centrist, or center-leftist. I am a man that also understands the need for ideological sub-currents in our party. (…) I believe that the Social-Liberal message, too, is important. (…) I think there is place even for a Social-Christian current,” Geoana said in an interview with The Money Channel, quoted by adevarul.ro. Asked about the possibility of getting closer to Teodor Baconschi’s Christian-Democratic platform, Geoana said he is on a different trajectory.

Sources close to the former leader of PSD claim that a possible name of the party to be founded by Geoana is “The New Left.” The new party already enlisted the support of three County Council presidents, six presidents of PSD branches from Moldavia and southern Romania, and about 15 members of the Parliament, added the sources.

Message from the senators of the ruling coalition: “Little Victor, you don’t even know how small you’re becoming”

The leader of PSD was the target of irony voiced in the plenum of the Upper House by senators of the ruling coalition, who blame him for embarrassing PSD with the proposal to remove Mircea Geoana from the second-highest position in the Romanian state. “The true leaders of PSD, Ion Iliescu and Adrian Nastase have reprimanded the little Titulescu, by slapping his little head of all-knowing prosecutor, and decided that Mircea Geoana will stay where he is and will escape with just a party saction,” UNPR Senator Vasile Voicu said, quoted by adevarul.ro. Plus, the senators of the ruling coalition also mocked Ponta, by adapting the famous irony invented by Traian Basescu for Adrian Nastase: “Little Victor, you don’t even know how small you’re becoming.”

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