TSD congress marked by heated open conflict between Sturzu and Dragnea

Mihai Sturzu resigned from PSD, TSD has a new leader

The Congress of young Social-Democrats, gathered on Saturday at Romexpo in order to elect the new leader of the organization, was held on hip hop rhythms and marked by an extremely harsh verbal conflict between former President of the Social-Democrat Youth Organization (TSD) Mihai Sturzu and party chairman Liviu Dragnea.

At least at the beginning, the TSD Congress was peaceful. The stage of Romexpo hosted speeches about combating poverty, human rights and “the national interests”, and then, the speech by former president of the youth organization Mihai Sturzu stirred massive reactions at this congress as well, after Sturzu demanded Liviu Dragnea to suspend himself as chairman of PSD because of the Referendum file, Mediafax reports.

Mihai Sturzu once again attacked PSD President Liviu Dragnea, whom he requested to suspend himself as chairman of the party due to the referendum file, in which he was initially convicted.
“Suspend yourself, according to the new statute of PSD, from the position of chairman, summon a fair PSD congress, lacking lists, just as you wanted it and let us start, as it is already too late, to prepare adequately for the year 2016”, Mihai Sturzu declared in front of the delegates attending the TSD Congress.

He proposed that any member of PSD should be suspended from the party, at the point he is sued for any criminal action committed deliberately.

“Any member of the party should be suspended at the point he is sued for any criminal deed, let us not avoid it anymore”, Sturzu stated referring to the fact that Dragnea had always claimed that the new stipulations of the PSD Ethics Code were not applied on him, as his file concerning the fraud of the 2012 referendum is not included within corruption deeds.
“I do not even know how to ask you this, because I am ashamed, but ‘Liviu Dragnea’ is written on the website of the High Court, in the Corruption section”, Sturzu further added.

Sturzu asked PSD leader Liviu Dragnea to assume the changes he had proposed to PSD. “Assume the fact that perhaps we are not entirely living in a world of objective realities and of people’s perceptions on reality, and that political parties are operating with perceptions of reality and truth. You should also commit to what you have always instructed us to do and place the interest of the party above your personal interest”, Sturzu mentioned.

A massive number of delegates applauded Sturzu’s idea that Dragnea should suspend himself from this position, but a similar number showed their enthusiasm when the former President of the youth organization announced in his speech that he intended to leave the party if Liviu Dragnea kept his position.

In response, Liviu Dragnea accused Sturzu of having proposed to create a political movement based on the tragedy of Colectiv Club, a movement PSD would later establish an alliance in the Parliament with.

“Mr. Aviator Mihai Sturzu told me something I could not just disagree with; he told me something that made me sick. He suggested us to exploit the emotion that appeared after the tragedy in Colectiv and to appear at the headquarters of PSD with a group of young people, to argue with me, to make a dramatic scene, to make me a few proposals I would not accept and to create a movement from this point and, afterwards, to make an alliance with me”, Dragnea declared in the midst of delegates’ applauses.

The scene peaked with the act of “divorce” of the two politicians, as Sturzu announced he would leave PSD definitively and that his intervention at the Young Social-Democrats Congress was his last attempt of reconciliation with the leadership of the party he had entered an open conflict with since the Congress in October, when he had got into a fight with Liviu Dragnea, the sole candidate to the leadership of the party.

Dragnea ironically commented that “this gentleman” had awaited to be begged to stay and, as far as he had noted, nobody had asked him such thing.
“I understood that this gentleman had awaited to be begged to stay and, as far as I have noted, nobody had asked him such thing, so I do not know what is to happen next. There are two years in the life of the Social-Democrat Youth due to be ignored after all”, Dragnea declared.

Mihai Sturzu resigned from PSD

Deputy Mihai Sturzu, former leader of the Social-Democrat Youth announced this Saturday, after the new open conflict with Liviu Dragnea during the TSD Congress that he was resigning from the party and denied the accusations launched by the PSD President.

“I cannot go on like this under the circumstances that we do not keep the things we are voting for. (…) I am not joining any other party. I think Romania needs a thorough reset of the political class”, Sturzu declared for Mediafax.

He denied the accusations launched by Liviu Dragnea regarding his alleged proposal to politically exploit the emotion stirred by the tragedy at Colectiv, by founding a new movement.

“Mr. Liviu Dragnea lied and manipulated as if attending the FSN manipulation school. I have had this conversation with Mr. Dragnea after attending the protests against Piedone and Gabi Oprea and I have said that what people were yelling in the square is totally correct and people are completely right, and PSD needs a reform and we can start out this reform from inside PSD. What Mr. Dragnea understood and what he declared on the stage hurt me deeply, but I have nothing to do about, we attended different political schools and we bear no comparison. He is the huge Goliath and I am a small David besides him”, Sturzu explained.

Before TSD Congress, Sturzu had declared for Mediafax that, regardless of who wins the elections, “the great winner is Liviu Dragnea”.

Dragnea: I support nobody for TSD leader. I remember my adventures as a student and my rock band

Liviu Dragnea told the young members of the party that they are free to choose whomever they wish as leader of their organization and, after criticising the former leaders for wanting to be “cool” and turning the TSD congress into a performance “in jeans”, he started discussing the rock band he had performed in.

The PSD President transmitted the young persons gathered on Saturday at Romexpo, for the TSD Congress that the party has entered a new stage, as the leader no longer tells Parliament members whom to pick as leader of their group, nor organizations whom to choose as President.

Dragnea claimed on Saturday at the TSD Congress that former Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Nicolae Banicioiu, former leaders of the Youth Organization, were not invited to the event by Mihai Sturzu and declared such thing was unacceptable, pointing out that this gesture had annoyed him.

“It is unacceptable that the former President of TSD omitted to invite (Victor Ponta – editor’s note) to this Congress, as he was supposed to make the invitations. In a Congress, invitations are launched by the present President not by someone else. It is unacceptable and I was very annoyed for the fact that Victor Ponta and Nicu Banicioiu were not invited by Mihai Sturzu”, Dragnea stated.
Moreover, Dragnea mentioned, referring to Mihai Sturzu’s resignation from the party that “he did not know what would happen” and that Sturzu’s two years of leading TSD are wasted.
Dragnea claimed that he had received phone calls from a few young persons in PSD who asked for his permission to run for the Saturday elections. “I told all of them: forget this mentality; anyone can run.” He also outlined that they were free to vote for whomever they wanted. “The worst thing I could have done was to tell I was supporting X. (…) Now, I can say with full honesty that I want Gabi to be a President, one of them”, Dragnea declared, referring to the fact that there were two candidates left, Gabriela Podasca and Gabriel Petrea, after the withdrawal of TSD Vice-President Andrei Tinu.
If Liviu Dragnea made his entrance to Romexpo on the song “Instead of Lying”, his exit was accompanied by the rhythm of American rapper Coolio, and his hit “Gangsta’s Paradise”- “Been spending most their lives, living in the gangsta’s paradise”.

Gabriel Petrea, new President of TSD

Then, the counting of the votes followed, and during this activity, Romanian hip hop was mostly played. The songs of the artists BUG Mafia, Guess Who and Bitza reminded young Social-Democrats that “we are living in a crazy, crazy world” and “instead of lying, you better leave”, but also that “change is one vote away”.
Having gained 801 votes to no more than 189 that went to Gabriela Podasca, Gabriel Petrea, the ex-Secretary General of TSD became on Saturday the new President of the young Social-Democrats.
He held a short speech thanking his team and the seniors of the party. Nonetheless, Petrea did not enjoy the same audience Dragnea and Sturzu had had, as no more than 50 of the 1,000 young Social-Democrats attending the event stayed until the results were announced.

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