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February 4, 2023

The night and day of the long knives in PSD: Voices in the party ask Dragnea’s resignation

After its failure in the presidential election, PSD is sitting on a gunpowder barrel, with more and more voices demanding a serious analysis of the factors leading to Victor Ponta’s defeat as well as the taking of responsibility by those believed to be guilty of what happened. One of the most often heard names in this respect is the one of PSD Executive President Liviu Dragnea, who was also the head of Victor Ponta’s campaign.

Victor Ponta’s defeat is PSD’s third consecutive resounding failure in a presidential election after the defeat of Adrian Nastase in 2004 and of Mircea Geoana in 2009.

On Monday, at the PSD national headquarters, one of Victor Ponta’s advisers urged Liviu Dragnea to resign all offices in the party, accusing him of having ‘stabbed’ Victor Ponta.

‘I am here to ask my colleagues in the leadership how many more campaigns Mr. Dragnea has to lose before anyone seriously raises the subject of him resigning all offices he holds in the party. I cannot go on with Liviu Dragnea. After he failed with Geoana’s campaign, he stabbed Ponta. I cannot go on with Mr. Ponta. I am urging him to resign’, said PSD MP Radu Popa.

The tone was set by Bucharest District 3 Mayor Robert  Negoita, his district reporting the lowest turnout in the whole of the capital, who demanded that PSD should exit the Government.

‘The people is never wrong. The people has chosen in an overwhelming proportion. I believe it is a lesson to all of us and I think we should take a step aside, if not back, and, yes, far too many times both myself and we all have felt the need for a different kind of politics. My opinion is that, after this vote, we should give a chance to Mr. Iohannis’ team to take over the government in the sincere hope that he will show us how a different kind of politics can be done, so that we can all learn. As a consequence, I think we should no longer cling to the government, but on the contrary’, Negoita said.

Liviu Dragnea’s reply came promptly, noting that no one needed to resign.

‘Last night and today I have talked to most county organization presidents and the quasi-unanimous view is that we should keep on ruling and strengthen as soon as we can’, PSD Executive President Liviu Dragnea said after the Social Democrats’ leadership meeting yesterday.

This meeting will be concretized as a meeting of the National Executive Committee, Dragnea rejecting the possibility of holding a new Congress because – he says – priority should be given to a thorough assessment of the result of the presidential election. ‘We are making analyses, not a Congress (…) We are not talking about a Congress. What can we analyze in the Congress?’ said the PSD leader.

Invited to comment on the decision to resign of PSD Mures leaders, Dragnea said: ‘I am asking my colleagues to keep their calm. The party is moving on and people should not resign when we are all heated’. The Social-Democrat also declined the hypothesis of a breakup of the ruling coalition. ‘I had a through talk with the presidents of UNPR and PC, and with Mr. Tariceanu last night. We want to keep on going after two years of successful governance. Whom can we give the government to?’ Dragnea said.

Another person from Victor Ponta’s entourage, his former partner in the law firm, Senator Dan Sova, firmly attacked Liviu Dragnea whom he urges to resign as Executive President of the party.

‘I believe Mr. Liviu Dragnea I know to be a reliable political figure and a reliable man will have to take a step back. This campaign was obviously failed first of all because of him, because he was the chief of campaign. If we accepted a different rationale, it would mean that, should we have won, Mr. Dragnea would have had no merit. What I’m saying is that Mr. Dragnea should voluntarily take a step back (…) in the party, from the office of Executive President. That would be the normal thing to do (resign – a/n)’ Sova said at the PSD headquarters on Monday.

Ex-PSD leader Marian Vanghelie deems it’s necessary to analyze mistakes in the organization of the campaign, one of the persons responsible for the result of the presidential election, unprecedented post-1990, being the party executive president, Liviu Dragnea.

‘It’s a bad result. We need to make an analysis together with all organizations, mistakes have been made and we must see where they happened. 26% in the runoff, which is what Mr. Iohannis got in addition is a score never obtained ever since 1990. I believe there were flaws in the organization of the campaign. I believe there are people responsible for the organization and we need to swap places, for we can’t afford to act like that in the next campaigns – lose and don’t know why we lose. All the people in charge of organization, heads of campaign, I believe Dragnea is also responsible. We were all a team, one way or another. Ponta is prime minister and we will have to see what we can do, also in line with what President Iohannis said, not all power should be on one side. One gets Cotroceni, the other one keeps the government’, Marian Vanghelie said at the PSD headquarters in Monday.

In as far as the Amnesty Law is concerned, Vanghelie said ‘it will have to be rejected by Parliament, and also fast’. In his opinion, another matter that needs to be discussed is also the MPs’ immunity, as ‘Parliament must not be a safe heaven for some’.





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