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May 22, 2022

Crucial day for Mircea Geoana…

The Speaker of the Senate had low chances of winning the war against the PSD leadership, over 80 per cent of the party members that took part in last evening’s meeting stating they were in favor of having him excluded from PSD.

By    Daniela Baragan

It took the Social-Democrats that met last evening at the Palace of Parliament more than three hours to give a vote on the exclusion of Mircea Geoana from the party. The final result of the National Executive Committee meeting held behind closed doors was not yet to be announced while Nine O’Clock went to print. According to Antena 3, more than 80 per cent of the PSD members that took part in the meeting were in favor of having Geoana expelled from PSD. Social-Democrat sources stated that Ponta asked Geoana to leave the room the moment the voting started, however Geoana refused and asked for an open vote.

There were voices that came to the former Social-Democrat leader’s defence, condemning the “Stalinist purges” that the party’s current leadership is conducting. The same voices claimed that Geoana’s exclusion from the party would mean “the beheading of PSD in the following period” and will lead to a split among the ranks.

Victor Ponta did not seek only to exclude Geoana from the party, but also to remove him from the Senate Speaker office. Social-Democrat sources quoted by Mediafax said that during the meeting held behind closed doors Ponta allegedly asked Geoana to give up that office in favor of Vice President Ioan Chelaru. Thus, it seems the PSD President gave up the idea of replacing Mircea Geoana with his younger colleague Titus Corlatean. According to the aforementioned sources, during yesterday’s meeting Geoana reproached Ion Iliescu and Adrian Nastase of “endorsing” Victor Ponta in his attempt to have him excluded from the party.

PSD’s former leader reiterated yesterday, ahead of the Executive Committee meeting, that the meeting taking place at the Palace of Parliament is not about “Mircea Geoana’s exclusion,” concerning instead the party’s overall direction. Although he admitted that his chances against the party’s current leadership are minimal, the Speaker of the Senate claimed that he does not intend to “trample his dignity.” “I won’t go there to ask anyone for anything but a talk on the party’s real situation and the real causes of this frame-up,” Geoana said. Moreover, he claimed that the real question is whether PSD can carry on without Mircea Geoana, not whether Geoana can carry on without PSD.

On the brink of being excluded from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana nonetheless carried on his struggle against the party leadership. In a personal blog posting right on the eve of last evening’s National Executive Committee (CExN) meeting, he wrote that his exclusion from the party holds “low stakes” for the PSD, as the real stakes should regard the party’s future and fate in the elections. “Truth is, the PSD has been sinking in a deep crisis strategically speaking for the past one and a half years. The decisional debacle is made obvious by the no fewer than five strategy changes in 2010, by using confusing, and therefore inefficient, tactics, incomplete and incoherent approaches, by means of illogical, difficult to justify, steps,” Geoana said, in whose view, the PSD “follows the wrong track”, or better said, it follows no track at all, but still groping”. He also said the opposition will be soon facing an electoral context where the rules will have changed, and therefore, it “couldn’t be wronger” for the “collective energy” of the party to be channelled against him. “Colleges are redrawn, the number of MPs is shrinking, regionalisation appears imminent, and merger will become a reality,” the former PSD leader said.

PSD honorary president Ion Iliescu shares Mircea Geoana’s view that an Extraordinary Congress of the party needs to be convened. Iliescu told “Gandul”online that a Congress is “even recommended” in order to provide the party with a direction, with the leadership structures of the party going to examine such decision. “If a congress were to be held, it should happen after the New Year, as problems tend to crowd at the end of the year,” the former PSD leader said, adding that the Social-Democrat offer needs to be updated. Not only that, in his opinion, it <the Congress> could decide whether it could also be the scene for party leadership elections. In other words, Iliescu suggests that the current leadership of the party could no longer be in place were an Extraordinary Congress to be convened.

Ponta would not even hear about such notion as an Extraordinary Congress being convened. He reiterated that there is no room for the Senate speaker in the PSD anymore. “Mircea Geoana’s fate and ours, Romania’s, has been decided, unfortunately (…) by his visit to Vintu <Sorin Ovidiu Vintu before the presidential ballot in 2009>. “We can’t turn back the clock,” realitatea.net quoted the PSD leader as saying. Ponta dispelled the rumours about alleged departures from the party after Geoana’s potential exclusion from the PSD. “No departures are at stake here, but a pressure that Mr. Oprea and the UNPR (National Union for the Progress of Romania>  have put on our MPs for about one and a half years, using the method you’ve known by now, criminal dossiers, on one hand, budget money, on the other,” Ponta concluded.

CExN President Adrian Nastase <Ponta’s mentor> showed more restraint, saying: “I believe we should watch the CExN session carefully. (…) I don’t think we must hold the view that absolutely exceptional things will happen. The issue of Mircea Geoana’s relationship with the party is surely a topic, among others, to be discussed with great attention. Such discussion is necessary (…) we will see the conclusions,” Mediafax quoted Nastase as saying. He also said he finds it very difficult to give his assessment on Geoana’s chance to remain in the party, making the point Committee members will hear both viewpoints, <Geoana’s and that of the Integrity Commission, which proposed his exclusion from the party> and only then the decisions will be reached.

How many votes are needed for Geoana to get expelled from PSD?

The Nastase-led PSD Executive Committee is made up of 57 members, including Social-Democrat leaders Liviu Dragnea, Titus Corlatean, Ion Iliescu, Dan Nica and Marian Vanghelie. Under the PSD statute, the CExN could sanction, under exceptional conditions and by a vote of two-thirds of its members, any PSD member with exclusion from the party for serious violations of the party statute. According to Social-Democrat sources, 38 of the presidents of the PSD county organisations are mandated to vote for Mircea Geoana being excluded from the party. The CExN membership and the lobbying conducted by the PSD leadership in favour of Geoana’s exclusion from the party make the vote outcome predictable to a large extent.

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