PM Victor Ponta’s withdrawal from the leadership of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) has heated spirits inside the party. The fact that Ponta has decided Labour Minister Rovana Plumb would “inherit” his position, without seeking advice from the members of the extended leadership of the party has caused discontentment. Members of the National Executive Council (CExN) were summoned in Bucharest for Wednesday without being requested an opinion. The list for the position of PSD President is still open, and both Liviu Dragnea and Valeriu Zgonea are rumoured to be interested in the position. Nonetheless, interim President of PSD Roxana Plumb has declared that Liviu Dragnea did not communicate her anything and they had no discussion whatsoever about any intention from his behalf to run for PSD Presidency. “Mr. Dragnea did not communicate me anything and we had no discussion regarding his intention to run, up to this moment”, Rovana Plumb declared. Asked whether other PSD leaders expressed their wish to run for Presidency inside the party, Rovana Plumb mentioned “it was a mere position of interim President, and obviously, there are many of our colleagues who are members of the National Executive Council and are endowed with all qualities and entitled to be granted a chance to apply for this this position.”
Rovana Plumb also added that she was “a member of the team”.
“And I asked my colleagues, considering the fact that I had assumed this responsibility, to support me so that we could go further, united in our most difficult moments, with a strong Government, supported by a solid coalition, with an unquestionable leader such as Victor Ponta, Romania’s Prime Minister”, the interim President of PSD mentioned.
Dragnea: I am angry with Ponta, sunt I understand him, because he is not very “stable”
The political coordinator of PSD, Liviu Dragnea, made a series of harsh statements on Sunday evening, referring to Prime Minister Victor Ponta, outlining he was mad at Ponta for the latter having resigned from the position of party leader without announcing him and seeking his advice, yet mentioned he understood the Prime Minister, because he “is not very stable at this point”.
Also, Dragnea questioned once again, for TV station Antena 3, Rovana Plumb’s term at the Presidency of PSD, mentioning that the Social-Democrats’ status did not include the position of interim President.
The former Executive President of Social-Democrats narrated for Antena 3 how he found out about Ponta’s resignation from the leadership of PSD.
“Somebody called me on the phone and told me, and I did not believe it. They told me it was published on Facebook. Ponta did not seek my advice. We have had several conversations since he left to undergo left knee surgery in Istanbul.
He was very troubled and I understand him. He has had his reasons. I think he has made a mistake. All of the reasons that have contributed to this decision are supported by arguments”, Dragnea declared on Sunday evening, mentioned that, by resigning from his position of PSD President, Victor Ponta “did not disappoint me, he angered me.”
“I understand him, he is experiencing a very tough period, he is not very stable at this point and I can get all of these. I do not have a problem with Victor Ponta. (…) Nonetheless, he is still the President of PSD, the biggest party in the country, a solid and stable party that needs a firm and very accurate leadership”, the former Regional Development Minister mentioned.
In Dragnea’s opinion, “PSD members need to come to their senses”.
“I think that, at CExN, PSD must come to the station. First of all, we need to talk normally to one another”, Liviu Dragnea further declared.
In the meantime, PSD political coordinator outlined the importance of stability, both inside his own party and in PNL.
鄭 stable PSD and a PNL that should become stable would also grant stability to this country; political and economical ones. An unstable PSD causes a loss of balance in Romanian politics and stability and, soon, we could get into a completely unpredictable situation.
I do not want to exaggerate, but we should get out a little bit from the yard of PSD, and see that this is no longer PSD’s own business”, Liviu Dragnea mentioned.
He declared about the Congress of the party that the day it would be due to take place, but outlined that, regardless of how boring it may sound, the party is running according to a status”.
The former Vice-Prime Minister thinks that the “adrenaline stirred by Ponta’s resignation should not destabilize all Social-Democrats.”
“CExN may decide whether they will summon a National Council due to establish the date of the Congress. We have to strengthen the leadership of the party. There will be a vibration until the last cell of PSD”, Dragnea declared.
He mentioned that, in PSD, “Victor Ponta’s gesture has caused bewilderment” as the party “was used to be led firmly.”
Moreover, Liviu Dragnea mentioned that he could establish a team with “almost anyone in PSD” and responded to Ilie Sarbu, who had told him that he had “no quality whatsoever in the party”. “I do not think he was properly informed, I have not bought the respective attributions at the book shop. But everyone knows how much these statements are worth.”
Moreover, the political coordinator of PSD claimed that there was no such position as interim President of the party in PSD. “We cannot discuss about the position of interim President in PSD, as it is not mentioned in the status. We may only discuss about the interim assumption of attributions for a limited time.”
Liviu Dragnea also mentioned that, if he was demanded to accept the position of interim leader of the party, he would not refuse it: “If they will ask it again from me, I will not be able to refuse; I could not continue living my life with the thought that I could have done something for my party and I did not.”
Moreover, asked whether he would be vulnerable to eventual attacks from behalf of PNL, if he overtakes the position of interim President of PSD, the political coordinator of the party declared: „Some people have told me that I would be vulnerable in face of other institutions as well”.
“If I have to die, I will die standing on my feet”, Liviu Dragnea declared.
He also mentioned what happened on Monday, before Victor Ponta went to the DNA. “After a conversation with Victor, he went to the DNA and I went to the party. We established the path we would follow in the party. There were unbelievable reactions, that made me think quite seriously. I have headed the struggle against the Basescu regime, I was sent to Court by DNA”.
A heated week for PSD
Liviu Dragnea declared on Monday as well, after Victor Ponta has resigned as President of PSD, that this gesture has been an “error” and that he regretted this step from behalf of the Prime Minister. Afterwards, the former PSD Vice-President had several public exchanges of replies with interim PSD President Rovana Plumb.
Also, there were discussions inside PSD regarding the opportunity of organizing a Congress of the party. Dragnea appreciated that this thing would be the worst possible option for Social-Democrats.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, also declared in a statement for Associated Press that PSD is going through a crisis, as its leader Victor Ponta is defendant in a legal trial, while Vice-President Liviu Dragnea is convicted.
Liviu Dragnea to announce on Tuesday whether he will run for PSD leadership
Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that he will announce on Tuesday whether he will run for PSD’s leadership at PSD’s National Executive Committee meeting that will decide who will become the party’s interim president until the party’s next congress when a new party president will be elected following Victor Ponta’s resignation. At the same time, he said that Ponta’s resignation “hurt him.”
“Ponta’s resignation hurt me because I would have wanted him to continue as president. On the other hand, I understand him. He is going through a difficult time and I am by his side in thought and action. Victor Ponta is loved within the party, he is the legitimately elected and re-elected party president. Each party member who cares for him was troubled by this gesture. Nobody wanted Ponta to give up his position as president,” Dragnea said.
He also talked about how Victor Ponta is doing, pointing out that “he is walking with great difficulty” and there is “very high public pressure” on him. “He has to feel that the PSD family supports him,” Dragnea emphasized.
In what concerns his candidacy for PSD’s presidency, Dragnea said that one more day is left and his decision will be determined by one thing: “It depends on my talk with CEx colleagues that could convince me that such a gesture would help the party during these difficult moments, over a strictly limited period.”
Asked whether his possible candidacy could be construed as betrayal, Dragnea answered: “What, if I were to run would I run against Ponta? We will remain friends and comrades like we have been so far too.”
PSD Interim President Rovana Plumb stated on Sunday at a press conference that Liviu Dragnea did not inform her so far about his possible intention to run for PSD’s leadership. “Mr. Dragnea has not informed me and we have had no discussion about his intention to run for office, up to this moment,” Rovana Plumb stated. Asked whether other PSD leaders expressed their desire to run for the party’s leadership, Rovana Plumb pointed out that “we are only talking about the position of interim president; of course there are many colleagues who are members of the National Executive Committee and who have all the qualities and are justified to be able to hold this position.”
Madalin Voicu: I would propose a woman for PSD’s leadership
Social Democrat Madalin Voicu explained on Sunday on Antena 3 that everyone should calm down within PSD and admitted that he would propose a woman at the helm of the party, but avoided naming names.
“At this moment I believe PSD should be left as it is, there should no longer be any commotion, irrespective on whether Rovana, Zgonea or Dragnea come, instead there should be a team that works. All will be clarified on Wednesday probably, because this party has to work. And if the person that should lead the party will be elected within the Congress then everything will be alright. I would propose a woman. Because, on one hand, women too have to prove they can lead entities like PSD, and I would like to see what the boors will say after a woman voted in office will put the party in order. And so I want an educated person, who has a bit of the culture of politics but also the politics of culture. I don’t want to name names for the time being, because I want to see what happens on Wednesday.”
Ivan: PSD is in the worst situation it has ever experienced
The declarations made by the political coordinator of PSD, Liviu Dragnea, last Saturday evening, in reference to Victor Ponta, have caused reactions among Social-Democrats.
MEP Catalin Ivan thinks that the only person entitled to hold the position of interim President is Rovana Plumb” and he has pointed it out during a phone intervention for Realitatea TV, after being asked whether Liviu Dragnea could be interim.
“Liviu Dragnea is entitled to run for any position he wishes, but the party does not want him anymore. We ended up here because of him. The new modified status would not allow him to run, but it does not matter anymore”, Ivan declared.
On his turn, Deputy Ovidiu Iane thinks that the party is stable.
“I do not see the problems as they are attempted to be circulated in the media. We have a status, the status will be respected as far as the interim situation is concerned. It is not a party living on other people’s success, as UNPR. PSD is living out of their own success. UNPR is living out of PSD’s success”, Iane also declared for Realitatea TV.
The fact that the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, “needed to appear in foreign media to issue messages means that his voice is not listened to in the party” PSD member of the European Parliament Catalin Ivan pointed out.
He had declared for Realitatea TV, that PSD is in the worst situation it has ever encountered and that, at the time being, there are no more debates inside of the party.
“It seems that there are no longer random executions in PSD. It is the moment of truth. The entire situation, seen in an overview, all that happens to the Government, the two important leaders of the party, Victor Ponta and Liviu Dragnea, the entire situation encourages other people as well to say what I have been saying for years.
The party is in the worst situation it has ever experienced. (…) There are many members who want a real change inside the party. It means a change of faces, definitely. In PSD, we have no disagreements at this time. The fact that Valeriu Zgonea needed to appear in foreign media, to issue messages, means that his voice is not listened to in the party, and it is not a healthy thing for the party”, the Euro-Deputy declared.
Zgonea attacks Ponta and Dragnea: PSD is in a crisis; its leader is prosecuted and its vice-leader is a convict
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, criticised the former leadership of PSD – Victor Ponta and Liviu Dragnea -, showing that the party is going through a crisis, because the head of the party is being prosecuted and the second is a convicted offender.
“We are in a situation of crisis, as our leader is prosecuted and our vice-leader is a convict”, Valeriu Zgonea declared for the agency Associated Press, that described him as “a longtime member of PSD”.
The leader of the Chamber of Deputies demanded a thorough reform inside the governing party after Prime Minister Victor Ponta was prosecuted for corruptions and sequestration was issued on his goods, a first-time situation in Romania, the quoted source mentioned.
“In Romania, the system is a remain of the “Communist” mentality that affects our credibility. We need a change in mentality, and this is what the young generation keeps telling us. Unfortunately, parties in the opposition are even less reformed”, Zgonea further declared.
He added that PSD needed, besides thorough reforms, the fast organizing of a Congress in order to elect a new President. Associated Press mentioned that the Romanian media had pointed out that Zgonea was a possible candidate for this position.
Plumb: Let us not create ourselves more crises
The interim President of PSD, Rovana Plumb outlined that Social-Democrats should be careful not to create themselves “more crises than they need to”, after Zgonea has criticised the former PSD leadership – Victor Ponta and Liviu Dragnea -, showing that the party was experiencing a crisis, as the first is a defendant and the second is convicted, in a declaration for Associated Press.
“It is obvious that there is pressure being made, and I do not think that we have to avoid saying this thing. As for the Congress, as I have said each time, the date of the Congress will be established by the Executive Committee, and, as far as the rest of the things are concerned, I think that we have to pay attention not to create more crises than needed to ourselves and to seek solutions together, so that we could go further”, Rovana Plumb declared for Realitatea TV.
The head of the National Council of PSD also added that there is already too much pressure from behalf of the Opposition to make PSD leave from the Government.
“I have not had the chance yet to talk to Mr. President Zgonea. It is about the pressure made by the members of the Opposition to force us to leave the Government, and I want to tell you that this thing is not going to happen. The Ponta Government will continue their activity with Victor Ponta as Prime Minister inside the Government coalition, besides UNPR and ALDE. Obviously, there are the permanent pressures we keep hearing about”, Plumb declared.