PSD’s Dragnea reiterates support for Ponta, says his situation after indictment to be discussed within ruling coalition

Social Democrat Party (PSD) interim chairman Liviu Dragnea says that he maintains his support to Prime Minister Victor Ponta. He pointed out that Ponta’s situation after his indictment on Thursday will be discussed within the party and the ruling coalition.

“PSD continues to support remaining at rule and we shall also discuss with the colleagues in the coalition and in the party about this situation (…) We aren’t talking about supporting or not a commune mayor,” Dragnea said on Friday at a conference of the Prahova County chapter of the PSD in Ploiesti.

He stated that he still supports the prime minister and believes the party will do, too.

“I personally continue to support Victor Ponta, but we must discuss seriously within the party. (…) We shall also discuss [n the PSD’s Executive Committee meeting] about the situation of the prime minister and I believe the party will continue to support him,” Dragnea said.

Answering some questions, he appreciated that the situation created by Ponta’s indictment was “very difficult, because there are very important consequences equally for the party, for the governmental stability and for the country.”

“I do not think PNL’s motion of censure stands any chance”

Liviu Dragnea said Friday in Ploiesti that he does not think a motion of censure of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) stands any chance of passing, adding that the action cannot generate the replacement of Victor Ponta as the prime minister.

”I do not think [the motion of censure] stands any chance. PNL announcing yet another motion of censure is no news (…) It is not the PNL motion of censure that can generate the replacement of Victor Ponta,’ Dragnea said in response to a question.

He also showed that PSD wants to stay at rule, insisting that this is the most complicated situation that has ever faced PSD while at power.

Also in response to some questions, Dragnea said that PSD is not looking for another prime minister, but if they were to seek a person to be nominated in Ponta’s stead, PSD will not be hard pressed, because it has very many resources.

“PSD cannot stay in a gov’t without holding PM office”

Dragnea has admitted on Thursday, after Ponta ‘s indictment that current Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea could cope with being a prime minister, but the PSD could not stay in a government without holding the office of the prime minister.

“I believe Mr Oprea could cope with being the prime minister, because he has enough experience (…) but, politically speaking, the PSD cannot stay in a government which prime minister is not decided on by the PSD. It just cannot, politically speaking (…). It is the largest party in the ruling coalition and it has to have the leadership of the government,” Dragnea told B1TV private television broadcaster, adding that he is not convinced Ponta will resign so that this scenario may come true.

Asked whether he has any agreement with the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) in case Ponta resigned, Dragnea said, “No. We cannot generate a conversation with the PNL on such topic. Categorically no, we do not have any agreement, any discussion with the PNL. Should it come to this [Ponta resigning as PM], which I do not know because the decision is his to make – but I hope he will stay strong – we will sort things out inside the coalition, we have nothing to discuss with the PNL.”

Dragnea added that there is no guarantee that President Klaus Iohannis will nominate another PSD member as prime minister if Ponta resigned, because he has not heard the President saying anything on this.

“He did not say so. (…) This is something the President has to say. (…) The President has a constitutional right to nominate a candidate for prime minister. (…) What I know is that Mr President Iohannis has so far talked about his wish to have his own PNL government,” added Dragnea.

“It is no surprise that Ponta was sent to court, it is a given. A PSD stance is not easy to take under the current circumstances”

Dragnea, also said Thursday that PSD wants to stay at rule, adding that he did not talk to Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

“It is no surprise that Ponta was sent to court, it is a given. A PSD stance is not easy to take under the current circumstances, and I cannot say what that is now because it is a decision with serious consequences to the party and the government. What I can say is that PSD naturally wants to stay in power; that is the wish of any party, the reason to be of any party. Victor Ponta leaving the helm of the government may to put the party in a bind in that there is no guarantee that President Iohannis will designate a candidate for PM from the PSD,” Dragnea told B1 Tv private television broadcaster.

He added that in the days ahead he will have a conversation with Victor Ponta, because, in the end Ponta’s decision is very important.

“I have not talked to Victor Ponta today; I haven’t called him; had he called me, we would certainly have met to discuss, but I believe it is important for him today to put order into his thoughts – and I guess that is what he did. The situation in which he finds himself is unfortunate, and I find it natural for me to leave him put order in his thoughts. According to his decision, we will have a discussion inside the party and the ruling coalition because the consequences of one gesture or the other are very serious. I am a supporter of the party’s interest, which is to stay at rule; I have had many conversations with my party colleagues and the overall opinion is that we do not want to risk pulling out of ruling, we want to stay in power throughout December 2016,” said Dragnea.

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