Social Democratic Party (PSD) members that are sentenced in the court of first instance for corruption will be suspended from the party, according to a change to the party statute proposed by PSD President Victor Ponta. The changes brought to the PSD statute will be discussed at the National Council meeting. The event precedes the PSD Congress meeting in which the party’s leadership will be elected.
The National Council’s debate on the new PSD statute will start on Friday, after talks took place at the party’s central headquarters on Tuesday.
“It’s an amendment that I filed, the [statute] commission included it in the proposals that will be made on Friday and that entail a certain type of political responsibility, of political decision for those colleagues of ours, headed by me of course, that are in various stages of corruption lawsuits. And that means: if you are a defendant, meaning if a criminal probe has started, you can no longer be a minister or speaker of the two Chambers. If you are arraigned in court for corruption, you will be suspended from political offices. If a sentence belonging to a court of first instance appears, your party membership can be suspended and, of course, in case of a final sentence you will lose all offices, political offices,” the PSD President stated.
Asked what will happen to Senator Dan Sova, Ponta pointed out that the statutory rules will be applied to all PSD members.
“If we adopt some rules the rules are for everyone and will be applied from the party president to the party member that joined today,” he said. Asked whether he is at risk of being left without some of his important party colleagues, Victor Ponta stated that PSD is the largest Romanian party of the last 25 years. “600,000 members. Of these, a lot of them are MPs, ministers, secretaries of state, local representatives, mayors, chairmen. There will never be a leaderless PSD, don’t worry about that,” the PSD President added.
The changes to the PSD statute will come into force after the National Council meeting (March 20-21) adopts a resolution in this sense.
“Through the National Council’s political resolution these issues that have to do with political responsibility will basically be implemented immediately after the National Council, because from the National Council until the Congress meeting scheduled at the end of the year we will have elections in all party structures, starting from the grass roots, the basic organization, to the commune, the apartment buildings, cities, counties and then the national congress,” Victor Ponta explained.
Codrin Stefanescu: “The point proposed by Victor Ponta, simpler and more radical than that of PNL”
PSD Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu stated that Ponta has a proposal that concerns the exclusion of party members with legal problems, one that will not be applied in bulk but that will have nuances.
“The point that Victor Ponta personally proposed is simpler and more radical than that of PNL, but it’s not absolute. It’s not as senseless as PNL’s, which wants to cut left and right. In our case it’s a measure meant to protect the party. That’s what Ponta wants to do. You will read the point, because it will be presented on Saturday at the National Council and Victor Ponta may propose a resolution on this point before that, apart from the statute. Namely it would be included in the statute at the Congress but would come into force starting on Monday. And this is what the National Council will have to debate and vote,” Stefanescu said, being quoted by dcnews.ro.
He pointed out that the new regulations will not concern the party who are under investigation for malfeasance in office, suggesting that this was applicable to Liviu Dragnea. “The crime Dragnea is accused of, of using undue benefits, is associated to corruption too, it’s unbelievable,” Stefanescu said.
Another proposal that will be discussed at the National Council will have to do with lowering the number of party vice presidents from 21 to 9 or 11. After this is done the vice presidents’ power “will be great and extremely legitimate,” he pointed out.