PSD’s request to replace Mircea Geoana as Speaker of the Senate was not submitted for voting by the Standing Bureau yesterday because the request did not fulfil the conditions of the Regulation.
By Daniela Baragan
The Social-Democrats have definitively tuned arms against Mircea Geoana. While at the beginning they seemed satisfied with just removing Geoana from the presidency of the Senate and replacing him with Titus Corlatean, the former PSD leader’s categorical refusal to let go of his office, combined with his critical statements recently eventually set PSD heads against him even more bitterly, who are now determined to get rid of the ‘uncomfortable character’ as soon as possible.
The National Standing Bureau (BPN) of PSD yesterday reconfirmed in unanimity a decision made last week to replace Geoana. The announcement came from PSD President Victor Ponta yesterday, who said the Senate Speaker had caused ‘grave damages’ to the party and that he could be accused of ‘sabotaging the USL construction.’
According to him, the ‘verdict’ to oust Geoana from the party will be given by the PSD Executive Committee on November 22, where the ex-president of the party is going to be invited. ‘We cannot count on Geoana for the battle we are going to have in 2012. He never really accepted his defeat in 2009. He has made a choice no other hardcore member of this party had ever made before: he chose the position over the party that had supported him,’ Ponta said.
He does not seem worried about the possibility of losing the office of Senate Speaker, arguing that it had been won by PSD via the senators’ votes and therefore it belonged to the Social-Democrats. ‘We are going to try to win it again for USL and for the opposition. It is not the office of one person, you cannot keep a position like that if you have no one’s support or if you have the concealed support of PDL or UNPR,’ said the PSD president. He added that ‘the BPN decision on Monday shows that Vintu, Gusa or UNPR no longer decide in PSD and that the decision-maker is the PSD leadership.’
PSD Honourary President Ion Iliescu in turn said, after the BPN meeting, that Mircea Geoana ‘had built a fire under himself’ with his public statements and ‘unnatural games’ in relation with PSD. In their haste to discard Geoana as soon as possible, the Social-Democrats yesterday made a written request to the Senate Standing Bureau to have him replaced with Titus Corlatean. However, PSD’s request was not submitted for voting for the reason that it was ‘not according to the regulation’.
‘You cannot speak about <replacing> someone with another person. The PSD request is not consistent with the way the Senate regulation operates,’ said Senate deputy Speaker Petru Filip (PDL).
Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana yesterday once again asked his colleagues to give him another chance. In an open letter sent to the members of the Permanent National Bureau (BPN), he wrote that the decision made Sunday by the Arbitration Committee is “non-statutory and illegal.” Furthermore, he claims that the decision infringes the provisions of the Law on Political Parties, and even that the old Committee has ceased to exist by right, following the adoption of the new Statute in 2010. In the context, Geoana asked for a new meeting that will allow him to defend his point of view. Answering the accusations, the chairman of the Arbitration Committee, Dan Sova told Geoana to go in court if he believes that the Law on Political Parties has been infringed, in his case. “Geoana has been called, but did not come,” Sova said.
Oro and against expelling Geoana from the party
Instead of calming things down, the decision made by the Arbitration Committee of PSD poured gas on the fire. The former head of the PSD Bucharest branch Marian Vanghelie, who fell in disgrace with the acting party leadership and was deprived of his job in the party, believes that the meeting of the Integrity Committee in which the decision to expel Geoana was made was very similar to “a Stalinist execution.” “It is a huge error, and the ordinary members of the party disagree,” he said.
“That he <Geoana> was not given the opportunity to defend himself cannot happen in the Romania of 2011,” Mediafax quoted the PSD vice-president as saying. Asked about his stand on Geoana’s exclusion, he said: “I won’t agree for somebody to be kicked out this way, the session should be closed when he emerges, without defending himself. If we accept this compromise, it means, tomorrow, we could all be expelled from the party”.
In his turn, PSD General secretary Liviu Dragnea told Antena 3 by phone that Social-Democrats should examine “carefully and impartially” in the Executive Committee session all the consequences of Geoana’s potential exclusion and, he believes the party could regain its trust in the Senate speaker. “The main reason for this action package is due to the party leadership no longer trusting Geoana. I don’t rule out this trust may get rebuilt in the coming days,” realitatea.net quoted the PSD general secretary as saying.
Adrian Nastase, president of the National Executive Committee, holds a different view. In a personal blog post, Nastase said that Geoana proved that the Social-Democrats cannot rely on him, the former premier adding that the Arbitrage Council “overwhelmingly voted for Geoana be excluded from the party due to his non-compliance with party decisions.”
PNL sticks to Ponta…
The National Liberal Party’s stand on the Ponta-Geoana war is not really news, as they expressed their support for the PSD leadership right from the start. “PNL wishes this crisis in PSD were resolved fast, in the sense of authority being consolidated in the PSD, as we need a strong, fully legitimate partner in all its decisions,” PNL President Crin Antonescu reiterated yesterday, also saying that PNL will not put forth a Senate Speaker nominee but endorse the PSD candidate, Titus Corlatean.
Ruling coalition will have own candidate
Democrat-Liberals would not miss out on a chance to also hold the second most important state dignity. They announced yesterday they’re going to vote in favour of Mircea Geoana’s revocation as Senate Speaker and have a candidate of their own for the job. “After Mr. Geoana is revoked, the coalition will have its own candidate, and I am convinced that, in the electoral battle, the coalition candidate will win, which is natural, given we hold Senate majority,” Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) spokesman Sever Voinescu said.