The Social Democrat Party (PSD) will finalize in the first half of February its lists of candidates for the local elections, PSD President Liviu Dragnea (photo) announced on Saturday at Piatra Neamt.
“On January 27, 28, 29, we will convene the parliamentary groups; also then, we will hold a National Executive Committee [meeting] that will set, among others, the party’s alliance policy for this year’s elections. I have asked the party branch presidents to hold, by the time of the next meeting two weeks from now, an ample discussion, even a formal one, with every county branch, with the statutory structures, so that the decision we will adopt two weeks from now would be the decision that has the widest support within the party. In the first half of February we will hold final talks and we will establish the candidates for all localities and for all lists,” Dragnea said at the end of PSD’s National Executive Committee (CExN) meeting.
He pointed out that on Friday he met each party branch, conducting an assessment of the political situation on the ground.
Marian Neacsu – PSD campaign coordinator
PSD General Secretary Marian Neacsu will be the coordinator of the party’s election campaigns this year, CExN decided on Saturday at Piatra Neamt.
“In the following week, Marian Neacsu will set the main elections strategy, political actions and elections campaign lines for the upcoming period. Likewise, he will form a campaign team and propose it to the National Executive Committee,” PSD President Liviu Dragnea announced at the end of the party’s CExN meeting.
Dragnea: Membership fees backlog of RON 1.7 M. Debt situation to be resolved
PSD President Liviu Dragnea confirmed on Saturday that one of the party’s bank accounts has been frozen, but pointed out that the situation will be resolved by the end of the month, otherwise the list of candidates could not be filed since there is a membership fees backlog of RON 1.7 M.
Asked about the freezing of one of the party’s bank accounts for a debt of EUR 55,000, incurred by the party when launching Victor Ponta’s presidential candidacy on the National Arena in 2014, Dragnea confirmed the information but added that measures have been taken.
“The situation will be remedied by the end of January, because it has been decided – and each party branch has taken this commitment – that all membership fees left unpaid will be paid. The end of January was the deadline established jointly with the party’s treasurer. (…) The frozen accounts should be unblocked, because if you have frozen accounts you cannot file the list (of candidates in the elections – editor’s note). We have established that this style, this approach, through which the party membership fee is no longer paid, is profoundly incorrect and erroneous,” Liviu Dragnea said at the end of the CExN meeting in Piatra Neamt.
The PSD President criticized the attitude so far shown by party members, who have not paid their membership fees, stating that the fee amounted to at least RON 1. “It’s a very high, very hard to pay membership fee,” Dragnea sarcastically stated.
“Ponta has to run in the parliamentary elections – he is a valuable and promising man”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Saturday in Piatra Neamt that Victor Ponta has to remain in politics and should run in the parliamentary elections.
His statement comes against the backdrop of Ponta’s announcement that he will run in the parliamentary elections, seeking to win a seat as a representative of Gorj.
“It’s a normal announcement; I had this talk with him, he said he wants to run and we want him to run too. I talk with Victor often; we did not show up publicly together, we will do that too. It’s natural for him to run in Gorj. Victor Ponta should not leave politics. Even though he is going through a period in which he is less visible in politics, he has to remain in politics. He is a valuable and promising political man. I repeat, I encourage him to go forward with that foundation and I can hardly wait to be invited to its launch when it becomes official, when the paperwork is approved by the court,” Dragnea said.
PSD’s alliance policy, to be set by the end of January
Most Social Democrat Party (PSD) branches do not won to run alongside the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) in the local and parliamentary elections, one of the reasons being UNPR’s bad public relations but also the results of some surveys that show that PSD could win more votes by running alone, Social-Democrat sources stated for Mediafax.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea asked the heads of party branches to present, at the CExN meeting at the end of January, when the party’s alliance policy will be set, an analysis on cooperation with UNPR. The heads of local party branches will have to consult party members, including the party branches’ regular members, in order to come up with a clear answer two weeks from now.
Nevertheless, according to Social-Democrat sources the vast majority of party branch presidents have already decided against an alliance with UNPR in the future elections, their opinion being shared by the party’s central leadership too.
According to the aforementioned sources, UNPR President Gabriel Oprea insists on forming an alliance, with a series of direct talks with Liviu Dragnea having already taken place. On the other hand, the PSD leader publicly stated that he will no longer tackle this issue with Gabriel Oprea until the Social-Democrats take a decision, suggesting that there could be no negotiations over this issue and UNPR will have to accept PSD’s decision whatever it may be.
In what concerns the reasons why PSD’s local leaders oppose a joint ticket, the main reason is UNPR’s bad PR, the Social Democrats being no longer willing to associate themselves with it. The scandals in which UNPR President Gabriel Oprea was involved last autumn contributed to UNPR’s slump in the polls, and an alliance would not be electorally advantageous. Moreover, PSD has ordered and conducted surveys according to which the party’s score in the local elections would be better if it runs independently, in contrast to an alliance with UNPR.
Another reason why PSD leaders are leaning toward rejecting a joint bid in the local and general elections consists of the attitude shown by UNPR leaders last autumn, which ranged from the case of motorcycle policeman Bogdan Gigina, who died while on mission as part of Deputy Prime Minister (at the time) Gabriel Oprea’s motorcade, to Oprea’s refusal to resign at that point. There are PSD leaders that see Oprea as the main culprit for the fact that PSD lost the government, Social-Democrat sources stated for Mediafax.