Freshly excluded from PSD during the stormy meeting of the National Executive Committee (CExN) of PSD a week ago, Mircea Geoana said during the ‘Jocuri de Putere’ Realitatea TV talk show that the people of the new PNL were astute enough to unseat Ponta from the helm of the Government by holding a snap election which would most likely follow street protests against Ponta and not necessarily a no-confidence vote as everybody expected. ‘As long as we have a majority around PSD, if Ponta keeps going down the same line of clinging to the chair, even if that buys us time, the effect on PSD will be catastrophic in 2016. Here’s the true plan of the current Opposition: there are enough astute politicians in the new PNL – I’m going to tell you how they will act: they are not going to take down the PSD Government, but will trigger a snap election through pressure being put by street protests. This is why the longer Ponta remains at the Government, the deeper we will sink. (…) Any reshuffling with Ponta as Prime Minister will bounce back negatively politically speaking. But, in my opinion, PSD should make a daring move on the chess board in the game with the new president. While you have a majority, why not go to the new president and tell him: <You have here 3, 5, 7 names of possible premiers, please choose one you can work with>. PSD has a minimal chance. Should Mr. Iohannis say he wants a new majority, how is he going to do that? Is he going to talk to Mr. Oprea? Mr. Iohannis is not yet the President of Romania, but he is an honest person, I have known him ever since 2009, when he was due to become prime minister. (…) You need a partnership, you need a minimal national consensus. (…) PSD’s chances in 2016 are dropping with every day that goes by as long as Ponta is still the Prime Minister. PSD deserves one last chance, and the chance of it transforming itself, reinventing itself with the same leadership that caused the most catastrophic defeat is virtually null’, Geoana also said.
Asked if he would back a possible no-confidence vote against the Victor Ponta Government, Geoana said: ‘No. I would remove Ponta from the party with my own hand and I would kick him out of Victoria Palace. On the other hand, I am not going to unseat my own government with my vote, this is not something I would do’.
Ponta, No. 1 public enemy in Romania
During the ‘Jocuri de Putere’ TV show Monday night, ex-Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana has launched a series of tough criticism against Premier Victor Ponta, who – he said – is ‘No. 1 public enemy in Romania’ as well as the main reason for which PSD has been so violently denounced. Geoana believes Victor Ponta ‘holds PSD and the future of the party prisoner’ and ‘Ponta’s clinging to chair’ will sink PSD even deeper in the polls.
‘Never before have people in Romanian politics gone so low with personal attacks. Where can you go any lower than that? Under such conditions, how can anyone believe that the current president will be able to work with the current premier, hit by the train? He is a hologram, he is no longer a living political person. He’s holding PSD and the future of this party prisoner’, said the former leader of PSD.
Geoana went on to say that ‘there is a possibility for a new prime minister with the same majority’, and stressed that it would be in PSD’s best interest to keep the government.
‘I want PSD to keep the government. I believe it can be done now. I am trying to look at this situation with a clear mind, setting anger aside. I am a lucid person. I am saying this in all seriousness: at this point there is a possibility for a new prime minister with the same majority (…). It is in PSD’s short to medium term best interest to keep the government, because we are under an obligation to rule, there are also a few good ministers: Banicioiu, Teodorovici, Valcov. Let’s not say that it’s all bad. The problem of substance is Victor Ponta, he is no. 1 public enemy today in Romania (…). At this time, I’m afraid that Ponta’s clinging on to the government will take us down in the opinion polls. If we are not careful, we will go so low that we will break our spine, which are the PSD locally elected officials’, the former foreign minister added.
In what regards the local and parliamentary elections in 2016, in Geoana’s view, if PSD wants to stand a chance, it has to drop ‘the people who attract so much negative energy’.
‘No one talks in the party these days. They are afraid to talk. Everybody knows Ponta is a stone bringing down PSD’s chances of reinventing itself. (…) The problem PSD has today, for the first time in 25 years, is that, also because of the very tight electoral calendar – local and parliamentary elections in 2016 – PSD is now experiencing the most awful trial in its existence. Replacing Ponta and Dragnea is a must. When you have suffered a catastrophic defeat, that would be a gesture of minimum democratic hygiene and a survival instinct. (..) Never before have the dissatisfaction and negative vote against the PSD candidate been bigger than against Ponta, the public’s fury against Ponta is huge. Strictly from a political point of view and considering PSD’s interest, if we want to have a chance in 2016, if we keep the government, we will need to discard the person who attracts this amount of negative energy. Victor Ponta is not from this movie. The longest he stays, the higher the feelings against PSD\ will be. PSD has never been so violently contested by someone and the main cause is that Victor Ponta is still at the helm of the Government’, said the ex-foreign minister.
Geoana stressed that ‘Dragnea, Ponta and Ghita, who are the people most responsible for the electoral catastrophe, must take a step back’.
‘Looking at what Ponta is trying to do with Dragnea and Ghita, if they cling on to power and if they manage, by undemocratic means, to keep the leadership of PSD, they will make a tiny staff party. I am looking at my colleagues in the second and third tiers. The first tier are clearly caught up in the government, but authentic people of PSD who have no immediate government interests know that they must urge and compel Dragnea, Ponta and Ghita, who are the people most responsible for the electoral catastrophe, to take a step back. Such people have a party survival instinct. The other ones have a suicide instinct.’ Mircea Geoana also noted.
“Iohannis, a honest person”
Mircea Geoana said he has a good opinion on Klaus Iohannis whom he knows since 2009, when they should have been partners. Geoana also said that, after the election, Iohannis has become a kind of superstar.
Mr. Iohannis is not yet the President of Romania, but he is an honest person, I have known him ever since 2009, when he was due to become prime minister. (…) You need a partnership, you need a minimal national consensus. (…) PSD’s chances in 2016 are dropping with every day that goes by as long as Ponta is still the Prime Minister. (…) Klaus Iohannis is managing his capital of sympathy very carefully, he is a kind of superstar today. My advice to Mr. Iohannis: he will have to choose a prime minister from PSD because that’s the normal thing to do. If you don’t want to use Basescu’s methods, just give PSD the government and help it get rid of Ponta’, Geoana said at ‘Jocuri de Putere’.