Liviu Dragnea meets EP President Martin Schulz in Brussels: PSD’s challengers put pressure to amend election legislation; we might boycott elections

National leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea on Wednesday met in Brussels President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz saying that the political adversaries of PSD are putting pressure on the Government to modify election legislation, adding that PSD is considering boycotting this year’s local elections.

In a PSD press statement released on Wednesday, during the talks Dragnea presented the political situation in Romania, mentioning that for this year’s elections, PSD has started a programme of modernisation and openness toward the citizens.

“Chairman Dragnea also mentioned that the political adversaries of PSD are putting great pressure on the Government to modify the election legislation under an emergency ordinance, which the Social Democratic Party (PSD) finds unacceptable, and the party is considering boycotting the local elections,” reads the statement.

Martin Schulz is quoted as having suggested a meeting of the leaderships of the Romanian and German social democratic parties this spring.

Also discussed at the meeting was the refugee crisis, which is a main theme of the campaign for elections to the German lands this March, as well as the latest development in the Republic of Moldova.

PSD to receive help from European Socialists in electoral campaigns

PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea was assured in Brussels by PES representatives, that Romanian Social-Democrats would be granted “assistance” in their electoral campaigns for local and parliamentary elections in order to intensify relations between PSD and “other Socialist parties in Europe”.

The PSD leader “was assured by chairman Stanishev that PES will grant assistance to Romanian Social-Democrats in electoral campaigns, as an initial step towards intensified relations between PSD and other Socialist parties in Europe. Moreover, the two leaders agreed to collaborate more closely on regional-policy related matters, referring especially to the situation in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, but also to the launch of a common European program for youth”, as announced by a PSD press release.
The Schengen space was another topic on the agenda of discussions.

Under these circumstances, Socialist EP leader Gianni Pittella pointed out that the suspension of the free circulation agreement and the reintroduction of border customs by the member states of the Schengen space was not a solution but, on the contrary, it might lead to the destruction of Europe. Under these circumstances, the PSD leader agreed with Ms. Marita Ulvskog to intensify relations between Romanian and Swedish Socialists, especially concerning the coordination of groups in the European Parliament concerning bilateral relations of the two states, especially that, considering their experience of 44 years of mono-colour governing, Swedish Social-Democrats may provide valuable models to their Romanian counterparts, while we may provide countless business opportunities to Swedish investors”, the same source mentioned.

On the other hand, Liviu Dragnea proposed the organisation, in Bucharest, of a conference of Socialist leaders in Europe, “an occasion to hold discussions concerning a common future of the left wing and to identify proper solutions for people’s needs.”

Liviu Dragnea met on Tuesday, at the European Parliament, with Sergei Stanishev, the chairman of PES, Gianni Pittella, president of the EP Socialists Group and Marita Ulvskog, leader of the Swedish Social-Democrat delegation at EP. Discussions were attended as well by PSD MEPs Viorica Dancila, Victor Bostinaru and Victor Negrescu.

The latter had declared that the Head of PSD discussed with Sergei Stanishev “about a better collaboration between PSD and the Party of European Socialists (PES)”, stiripesurse.ro reported.
“PES has an agenda it implements in all member states besides affiliated parties, by which it provides training, support throughout electoral campaigns by providing specialists and training, to modernise the patterns of electoral campaign PSD wishes to use. They will send PSD specialists and electoral campaign experts that have organised campaigns in other member states as well”, Negrescu declared.

“The affiliation to anything the European left wing means is a priority for us. It will show in our campaign through the projects we will propose for local public administration and through our manner to interact with citizens, by opening our electoral lists for Local Councils to citizens and civil society, which proves that we have understood that, besides public policies, it is important that we change our attitude, to grant a higher left-wing focus in our action. PSD must prove every day that it is the party of the regular citizens”, Negrescu declared.

PSD starts campaign four months before local elections

The Social Democrats have already beaten the gun in the elections campaign, despite the fact that local elections are scheduled not earlier than early June, ‘Jurnalul National’ claims. The “PSD gives you power” slogan has already dotted Bucharest’s boulevards, despite the fact that, according to the law, the elections campaign officially starts 30 days before the date of the elections. The Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) shrugs this off and says there is nothing illegal going on.

“They don’t have to ask for a permit. Who could ban parties from advertising themselves? The law only stipulates what parties should do during the elections campaign,” AEP’s Marian Muhulet stated, according to the aforementioned source.

The slogan “We want change. PSD gives you power” was proposed and adopted at national level at PSD’s Executive Committee meeting in Piatra Neamt last week.

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