Internal fighting over Ilie Sarbu’s position at helm of PSD Senators

Social Democrat Party (PSD) Senators Serban Nicolae, Ecaterina Andronescu, Constantin Mitu, Gabriela Firea and Mihai Fifor are rumoured as possible replacements for Ilie Sarbu, the leader of the group of PSD Senators. Sarbu could give up his position at the start of the new parliamentary sitting bound to start on September 1, according to Antena 3. The gesture would be followed by his resignation from the position of PSD Vice President.
Ilie Sarbu, the father-in-law of Premier Victor Ponta, confirmed the fact that he will no longer run for the position of leader of the party’s parliamentary group, but he did not explain very well why he took this decision. “This is more of a step back than a resignation,” Ilie Sarbu stated, being quoted by the aforementioned source.
The PSD veteran allegedly seeks to win the position of Vice President of the Court of Accounts, according to Realitatea TV, and in order to do so he will have to be appointed in office by Parliament.
Ilie Sarbu will allegedly announce his resignation from the position of leader of PSD Senators during a meeting on Sunday, a meeting that will also be attended by PSD Interim President Liviu Dragnea. His replacement could be announced on the same day.

Mihai Fifor: “We have to discuss some more within the group”

Mihai Fifor, previously proposed by Victor Ponta as Transport Minister but refused by President Klaus Iohannis, has the biggest chances to become leader of PSD Senators, according to Digi24. He stated on Tuesday for HotNews that being the replacement for the current group leader “is an idea.”
“It’s an idea, we can prepare, but for the time being we have to discuss some more within the group. We are discussing this option, it’s interesting,” Fifor said.
He pointed out that “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow,” PSD’s group within the Senate will take a decision in what concerns the new leader.

Serban Nicolae: “Irrespective of who the group leader will be, his mission is the same”

Senator Serban Nicolae stated for PSnews.ro that he considers running for the leadership of the PSD group within the Senate.
“I too have heard this hypothesis. It’s an option I am considering. I, to be fair, had a different proposal in what concerns me, a different request, but I wouldn’t make it public now because – I repeat – I would first want to present it to the group colleagues, not through a press statement. At any rate, I am not taking anyone’s position. In general, I try to avoid conflict situations, especially when it comes to this issue of “I have a good idea: you step down so I can take over!” I don’t know how true the story about Mr. Sarbu is either. After all, he doesn’t have to formally file a resignation. If he informs us at the start of the sitting that he no longer wants to be group leader then we will have to elect someone else,” Nicolae stated.
Asked what will he do in case he is the one elected, the PSD Senator answered that the important thing is for the balance to continue to be maintained within the Senate.
“I don’t believe there is a lot to change. We have the same commitments as a majority that backs the Government. We have no special projects. At any rate: irrespective of who will take Mr. Ilie Sarbu’s place as group leader, he will have the same mission of making sure there is balance within the Senate, dialogue within the coalition, but also dialogue with the opposition parties on those issue over which we do not manage to come to an agreement, without there being anything spectacular to do,” Serban Nicolae concluded.

Daniel Constantin: “Ilie Sarbu stepping down would not affect the parliamentary majority”

ALDE President Daniel Constantin stated on Tuesday that Ilie Sarbu stepping down from the position of head of PSD’s group within the Senate would not affect the parliamentary majority, thus commenting on the unofficial information according to which Sarbu will give up his position within the Senate.
“It would certainly be a loss if Ilie Sarbu were to step down from the helm of PSD’s parliamentary group, because Ilie Sarbu has parliamentary experience and him stepping down or, better put, being transferred to a different position would be a loss, but I am sure PSD has resources and it will go forward. Ilie Sarbu’s resignation would not affect the parliamentary majority, because the majority is very solid. There will be no split during the sitting that is about to start next week,” Daniel Constantin stated.

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