POLITICS

Liviu Dragnea, Victor Ponta meet to discuss future collaboration. Former PM refuses proposal to run for the Mayoralty of Bucharest

Social Democrat Party (PSD) chairman Liviu Dragnea, declared on Monday, after having met the former leader of the political party Victor Ponta, that he was not founding another party and that he would support him “morally”, adding that he was waiting for Ponta at the meetings of the Permanent National Bureau and of the Executive Committee, as PSD was the party that granted plenty of satisfactions to the former Prime Minister.

Monday’s meeting marks Victor Ponta’s first visit at the PSD headquarters in recent months, with Ponta having avoided public appearances after his resignation from the Government. Dragnea reiterated that since the start of the year he has had several talks with Ponta on the topic of his future within PSD.

PSD President Liviu Dragnea discussed with Victor Ponta his possible candidacy for the Mayoralty of Bucharest; nonetheless, according to the Social-Democrat chairman, Ponta refused, as he intends to run for the parliamentary elections due this autumn.
“We discussed and he does not want to run for the Mayoralty of Bucharest, he does not want to run for anything else than the parliamentary elections in autumn”, Dragnea declared, asked whether he wanted the former Prime Minister to represent PSD at local elections.

“Victor pointed out quite clearly that he did not intend to run for Mayor. (…) I asked him whether he wanted to run, I told him I wanted him to be our candidate for the Mayoralty of Bucharest and he answered he was not considering this idea and that he completely overruled it”, Dragnea explained.

Under these circumstances, Dragnea also declared that Victor Ponta was to run for parliamentary elections in November, on PSD lists in Gorj.

“Victor Ponta is not leaving PSD, he is not making another party, the foundation he founded is an initiative that has all my support, it is natural that I do this because he has a lot of experience, he has plenty of knowledge and knows how to use it”, Liviu Dragnea declared on Monday, at the end of the meeting he had had at PSD headquarters with Victor Ponta, mentioning that the former Prime Minister is inclined to get involved in the activity of the party.

“He will get involved, he will support the party in the times he will spend in the country, he will attend BPN, I told him I was looking forward to see him at any BPN or Executive Committee meeting when he is in the country. (…) Victor is awaited at BPN when he has the time to come and he will not act as other leaders of this party may have acted, which is to get angry with the party. He cannot do this; PSD has offered him plenty of satisfactions, many high positions in the Romanian state, he cannot forget this, he will not forget this and he will get involved”, Dragnea pointed out.

On Ponta’s foundation, Dragnea mentioned that it was a structure destined to have most of its activity abroad and that the ex-Prime Minister would be abroad quite often. Asked whether he would have any role in Ponta’s foundation, Dragnea gave a negative answer.
“I am supporting him, it is a foundation he founded and I support him with anything I can, obviously, in the limits of law and common sense. First of all, I am granting him moral support, which means that I encourage him to continue his work on this foundation. (…) Any of my colleagues is free to join this foundation, with the condition that it would not affect their activity within the party”, Dragnea also mentioned.

On the other hand, another topic approached by the PSD leader at the meeting with Victor Ponta was connected to the collaboration with UNPR.

“There are some of my colleagues, presidents of organizations, who would like this common candidacy with UNPR and there are others who would not. This is the reason why I invited all of them to have discussions with party organizations so that, when we reach the final decision next week, after the meetings with parliamentary groups, each of them would tell their point of view concerning a wider legitimacy inside the organization, as it is a highly important decision and it may even be a strategical political alliance decision”, Dragnea mentioned.

PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea declared before his meeting with Ponta that the former Prime Minister could provide plenty of help to the party in this year’s two electoral campaigns and that he needed Ponta’s political experience.

“Victor is too young to be an adviser; he is an active man, a person whom I hope to have as involved as possible in the activities of PSD in 2016”, the President of PSD mentioned, when asked by journalists what would be Victor Ponta’s role in the near future, in the party.

Also, when he arrived at his meeting with Dragnea, Ponta told journalists he would come “with great affection” whenever PSD needed him.

Social Democrat Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday on Antena 3 that he will meet former Premier Victor Ponta on Monday in order to discuss the ways in which he will get involved in PSD’s future projects, stating that Ponta continues to enjoy support.

“I’ve had several talks with Victor in recent weeks. I can tell you I talked with him right before this show. Tomorrow (Monday – editor’s note) we will meet at the party, he will come especially for this meeting, because I want us to jointly see what are the ways, actions, means through which we could work together. PSD needs Victor Ponta,” the PSD President said.

Asked about Ponta’s future within the party, Dragnea said he will have “a very good fate” and the former Premier “has a serious future in politics and in the party.” “He is not my friend, he is my close friend. We were good friends and we remain good friends,” Dragnea added. The PSD President pointed out that Ponta “categorically” has a place secured on the party’s lists in the parliamentary elections.

In what concerns the foundation that Victor Ponta plans to set up, Dragnea pointed out on Sunday that he wishes him good luck and has nothing against the idea, having been informed about the former Premier’s plans right from the start. “He promised he will invite me when the foundation is launched, and I will gladly attend it, so as to be by his side. I encourage him to set up this foundation, because it could only do good,” Dragnea said on Antena 3, adding that he clearly knows that this foundation has nothing to do with some political project.

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