PSD’s central leadership met on Monday for the National Standing Bureau (BPN) in the midst of one of the most delicate situations for the party since losing the presidential elections.
Against the backdrop of the legal problems of some of its members (Mazare, Valcov, Sova), the ruling party finds itself in the position of trying to manage these lightning crises and seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place.
On the one hand, this concerns the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) request to detain Senator Dan Sova, Premier Victor Ponta’s business partner and old friend. PSD has to take the political decision concerning the Senate vote on the DNA’s criminal prosecution request. The situation grows more complicated because the party decided at its recent National Executive Council meeting in Sinaia, at the end of January, that “the PSD’s parliamentary groups will vote in favour of any kind of requests that have to do with immunity or incompatibilities revealed by courts of law.”
“We have adopted a decision of the parliamentary groups last week-end in Sinaia, and we will vote every time in favour of all requests that concern criminal actions or incompatibilities, because there are various cases in which the courts have issued final and irrevocable rulings on incompatibilities and then of course we will vote in favour,” Victor Ponta stated at the time of the vote on the DNA’s request to have Elena Udrea arrested.
On the other hand, Senator Darius Valcov, one of the most promising PSD members, is being criminally prosecuted. Finance Minister Darius Valcov had just drafted the ultra-liberal Tax Code that left the opposition speechless and that foreshadowed a rebirth of the ruling party. Premier Victor Ponta has to very quickly find a replacement for him at the Finance Ministry, a “kamikaze” as the Premier put it.
This was the last National Standing Bureau before the National Council of the party scheduled on Friday-Saturday. The hot topic on the agenda have concerned the political sanctions that Victor Ponta wants to enforce against PSD members with legal problems. The measures are categorically rejected by several PSD local branches but also by some central party leaders that consider that such a measure would excessively weaken the party. In reply, Victor Ponta stated that he is putting his party presidency on the line and if the idea is not backed by the party then PSD should look for a new leader.
13 ministers with legal problems in Ponta’s four governments
Resigning Finance Minister Darius Valcov is the 13th minister with legal problems in the four governments that Victor Ponta has led so far, digi24.ro informs, presenting the list:
- Darius Valcov – resigned on Sunday following corruption charges.
- Daniel Chitoiu, Finance Minister – the Lower Chamber rejected the request to have him criminally prosecuted for malfeasance in office and for setting up an organized crime group in the ASF case.
- Varujan Vosganian, Economy Minister – saved by fellow Senators after he was charged of malfeasance in office and setting up an organized crime group in the Romgaz case.
- Ovidiu Silaghi, Transport Minister – in his case Traian Basescu approved the DNA’s request to investigate him for influence peddling in favour of Nelu Iordache.
- Relu Fenechiu, Transport Minister – under arrest after he was sentenced to five years in jail, executory sentence, in the Transformer case.
- Dan Sova, Transport Minister – DNA has filed a request to have him arrested in the Rovinari-Turceni case.
- Ioan Mang, Education Minister – charged with eight counts of plagiarism.
- Ecaterina Andronescu, Education Minister – the Senate approved the start of the criminal prosecution against her in the Microsoft case.
- Corneliu Dobritoiu, Defence Minister – sued for the illegal distribution of housing from the Defence Ministry.
10. Victor Paul Dobre, Administration Minister – charged with malfeasance in office in the referendum case. In his case the MPs voted against the start of criminal prosecution.
11. Dan Nica, Communications and Information Society Minister – in his case the European Parliament has to approve his criminal prosecution in the Microsoft case.
12. Cristian David, Disapora Minister – under arrest, being charged with receiving a bribe of EUR 500,000.
13. Liviu Dragnea, Regional Development Minister – sued in the referendum case.