Liviu Dragnea, the only candidate in the PSD internal election held on Sunday, was elected as president of the party with 97% of the vote. According to the final official data, 2.2% of the PSD members who went to the polls, representing approximately 10,000 persons, did not vote for Dragnea.
The turnout to the internal election of the president on Sunday was 85.8%, PSD MP Florin Iordache informed on Monday..
According to him, 97% of the voters voted YES and 2.2% voted NO. Iordache explained that approximately 10,000 PSD members had not given their vote to Liviu Dragnea.
Of the total number of votes, 0.8% were null.
The counties with the highest participation rate are Bucharest, Vrancea, Dambovita, Neamt and Galati. On the other hand, the counties with the lowest turnout are Harghita, Covasna, Calarasi and Tulcea.
According to Iordache, the organizations with a turnout above 95% are Olt, Ialomita and Gorj. In Cluj, Bacau and Valcea the turnout was approximately 72%.
Internal election, good x-ray for the party’s organising capabilities
The leaders of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) on Monday met on the National Executive Committee to analyse the turnout to the internal election of the party president on Sunday. ‘Internal elections are a good x-ray of the party’s organising capabilities’, Liviu Dragnea said on Sunday. On the other hand, he noted that it would be just an evaluation for the future and no sanctions would be enforced.
Dragnea, very happy with the turnout of internal elections
Dragnea said he was ‘very happy’ with the turnout of the Sunday internal election, in spite of the adverse weather conditions in most of the country.
‘My colleagues have attended in large numbers and continue to come in very large numbers. It actually makes a difference. Although there was a single candidate, the turnout on a day like this says a lot on their trust and hopes’, Dragnea noted.
The PSD leader explained that, apart from ‘the democratic exercise’ which was the election, it also said a lot on the ‘reality’ in each branch and the party’s organisational capabilities.
‘Those who came to the vote (…) are active members, members we can count on’, Dragnea said.
‘It is one of the points under debate, the turnout to the polls, each colleague will say what they felt (…). They should each conduct an assessment and see where they stand with the organisation. It’s important, it’s an x-ray’, said Dragnea.
No sanctions will be enforced
However, asked if sanctions ere needed, considering the situation in counties such as Cluj, where the turnout was quite low, Dragnea said it was not the case. ‘I am not that mean. It’s just that we now know where we each stand’, said the PSD leader.
PSD decides on new leadership formula. Executive president position promised to Zgonea to be removed
A hot topic on the agenda of the PSD National Executive Committee on Monday was the new leadership structure. Liviu Dragnea was announcing in the past weeks that he would like to team up with Valeriu Zgonea, who would like to become executive president of the party, an office Dragnea used to be in. In the meantime, however, the leader of PSD has proposed in the party a new leadership formula consisting of four prime vice-presidents elected among the national vice-presidents, according to the number of votes obtained during the congress. The proposal came accompanied by the abrogation of the position of executive president, the ‘number two’ in the party. This is an opinion shared also by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who proposed, during the Monday’s meeting of the Social Democrats, the abrogation of this position. Ponta explained that this position was included in the party’s statute only for the situation when the president of the party holds also the office of prime minister, which is not the case anymore.
According to the quoted sources, Liviu Dragnea would prefer the variant of four prime vice-presidents to the one with an executive president. Valeriu Zgonea, who was seeking the executive president post, has been reportedly promised a prime vice-president position, but the Chamber speaker has turned down the offer.
Most likely, the new leading structure would be voted on by the members of the Executive Committee. According to the same sources, the vote could be quite tight, as Zgonea has the support of an important number of organizations. However, Liviu Dragnea’s position on the matter would most likely make the difference.
The president of PSD was expected to propose a set of changes to the leadership scheme, including a minimum number of women on the new National Standing Bureau – between 4 and 6.
The decisions the Social-Democrats made on Monday will need to be approved by the congress next week.
“I feel a huge responsibility not to repeat the mistakes and compromises made by PSD”
Liviu Dragnea also said on Sunday, after the end of the internal party election, that he felt a huge responsibility not to repeat the ‘mistakes’ PSD had made and ‘the compromises that have ground’ the party, recognising the need to admit to past errors.
‘I feel a huge responsibility. On the one hand, I feel the obligation of not making the mistakes that have been made in this party, of not making the compromises that have ground this party’, Dragnea said, asked how he felt at the end of the election.
Dragnea spoke about the new PSD project where the leaders should take into account both the good things done by the former presidents of the party and ‘the mistakes that have been made in this party, which we must admit to with a lot of sincerity and with a lot of courage’.
‘PSD must not and cannot miss the opportunity to become the first modern political party in Romania’, Dragnea said.
The Social-Democratic leader thanked the party members who had come to the vote and sent a message to both the PSD supporters and to its detractors.
‘They came to this vote with confidence, they came to express their hope in a new political project and I want to transmit something to them, both to them, my party fellows, and to those who are not party members and who, with a few exceptions, have been expressing suspicion about my actions and the party actions in the coming period, for a few days now. I want to assure everybody that I will have no hesitation to fulfil all the commitments we have made, all the actions that we have mentioned lately’, said Liviu Dragnea.
He said that, during the extraordinary congress on 18 October he would say things with much more emphasis and would try to obtain a vote of confidence for this political programme. ‘I will not have any hesitation because PSD must not and cannot miss the opportunity to become the first modern party in Romania, that builds its public policies after broad consultation with the citizens and that takes account of what the citizens in general and civil society say.
I would like to reassure everybody that, also during the congress, I will say things with more emphasis, better explained, and will try to present to the congress and obtain a confidence vote for a political programme that should actually be a cornerstone for the next political cycle, accommodating everything I have done well in PSD all this time, everything all the PSD president have done well until today, but also taking into account the mistakes this party ahs made, which we ought to admit to with a lot of sincerity and a lot of courage’, said Liviu Dragnea.
PM Ponta: New PSD president will be legitimate
Prime-Minster Victor Ponta said on Sunday it was a very good thing for PSD to elect its president through universal suffrage and stressed that the future leader of the party would be a legitimate one.
‘I think it’s very good that PSD, for the first time in Romania, elects its president through universal suffrage, by its members. It’s an idea I and Liviu Dragnea included in the Statute of the party in 2010, and, anyway, in spite of the criticism, I believe he will be a legitimate president, anyway more legitimate than… Mr. Iohannis to take you and place you… take some young lady and have her lead the opposition party. In PSD you are not put there just like that’, Ponta said at the party national headquarters.
He stressed he was and would always be a member of the Social-Democratic Party, that he would help the party and its leadership.
‘I hope that, though our very good common governance and work of all those who have voted, next year, both in the local and parliamentary elections, we will be as everybody expects us to be. In the first position’, Ponta also said.
Asked how he would answer two of the questions included in the questionnaire sent to the voters: which is the best measure taken by the Ponta Government and what made them most unhappy – PM Victor Ponta said the best measure was the reduction of the value-added tax for food.
‘We have many good measures, 9% VAT for food. The worst – the fact that we gave in, we changed some laws, if we had not, we would have dismissed Basescu in 2012 and things would have been good for Romania. Crin Antonescu would have been president and Romania would have looked different, a hundred times better’, was the PM’s conclusion.