The leader of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, on Thursday appeared extremely annoyed by the members of his party who whisper ‘at the corners’ and warned that all those keeping busy with ‘intrigues’ in the party would be ‘automatically excluded’.
Liviu Dragnea was asked on Thursday to comment on the fact that Robert Negoita and other party colleagues were saying in secret that the Congress Regulation helped him and that it had been especially designed to make him a unique candidate for president of PSD.
‘I would like people to speak freely. If you or anyone else believes that we have put together a set of rules to favour myself, someone without a chance in the party, I feel like going out there on Facebook too and post an interesting message. Definitely not. I hope it is an invented thing.
But if there are colleagues who talk in the backstage, at the bathroom or behind the curtain, I am reminding them of one important thing. We were three who opposed the system at that National Executive Committee meeting. I, Victor Ponta and Mr. Buzatu from Vaslui voted against the condition that a candidate should require the support of a local organisation. We tried for an hour to convince them that such thing was not needed. (…) Mr. Robert Negoita and the rest who are now talking in the backstage – that’s why I don’t think he said anything – voted for the system with both hands up. I am upset about what your colleague said people were saying in the backstage.
They should have the courage to speak freely. You are not going to beat them up, bang them with your microphones in the head, no one will kill them. Let them come and speak up. This Byzantine manner of whispering at the corners, where n one takes responsibility for anything, doesn’t help them or the party. It will slowly but steadily come out and this healthy body PSD is turning into will throw them out. People want responsibility, they want leaders who take responsibility for what they say’, Dragnea said.
Asked if he was threatening to expel PSD members keeping busy with plotting, Dragnea said: ‘There will be a natural process. Those who will uphold a non-transparent style and intrigue in the party will be automatically excluded. Not be me, but by the organisations, because they are not having that anymore.
However… I don’t know what to do. I am being honest about this – I didn’t want to say this – but I have talked to some organisation presidents trying to convince them to endorse some candidates and they got mad. What can I do?’
Reaction to Negoita’s attacks and withdrawal: ‘We don’t need to kill him now’
Dragnea also said on Thursday that he had taken note of Robert Negoita’s decision to withdraw from the race for the election of a new head in PSD, but that he would like to see as many candidates for the position of president as possible, for he is a fan of competition.
Wednesday night, Robert Negoita posted a video message on Facebook with the announcement that he was no longer running for president of PSD and that he would support Liviu Dragnea’s candidacy.
‘I took note of his renouncing the candidacy just as I took note of his candidacy. There is nothing for me to comment, nor do I wish to. I am taking the support in the same way I took the attack. I simply took note of his candidacy and of his renouncing the candidacy’, Liviu Dragnea said on Thursday.
Asked if Negoita had undermined the party by launching his attack on him and the PM, Dragnea said: ‘That’s for the party members to decide. I am not substituting myself for the party, I do not afford speaking for all the members of our party’. Asked how he had felt the message of the mayor of District 5, the interim leader of PSD answered, ironically: ‘Sensational’.
‘The right to stand for election is safeguarded in PSD. I mean, I understand that it may not have been the most ordinary thing but, on the other hand, we shouldn’t exaggerate and kill Robert Negoita. He had some drives that pushed him to stand for election and some other drives that pushed him back form that decision’, Dragnea also said.
Liviu Dragnea is to make his candidacy for president of PSD official and says he would like to have more candidates and that those who have already announced their intention to run not to pull out.
‘I would be very disappointed if they all withdrew. I would very much like to have genuine competition. I have always been a candidate since I joined politics and have won. So far. I believe it would be a very healthy thing for PSD to have competition’.
As for his possible candidacy for the mayoralty of Bucharest, Liviu Dragnea said: ‘We have agreed to come closer to having a proposal for candidate of mayor in Bucharest and the districts of Bucharest sometime at the end of November – beginning of December. So it is too early to be speaking of candidates for Bucharest. At this point, I am telling you in all honesty that no party has a solution for the Capital city. It doesn’t mean that we cannot have one tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But, right now, PSD, UNPR, PNL or anyone else has no reliable solution for Bucharest mayoralty, I mean a candidate who is able to continue with important projects if elected as mayor. But it doesn’t mean that we will not find one.’