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April 12, 2021

Will ex-premier Victor Ponta hold the third-highest office in the state? Incumbent Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea says he will “fight to the end” those who are trying to remove him from office

Over 120 PSD lawmakers, members of the Lower Chamber, have signed a list of support for Victor Ponta’s appointment as Lower Chamber Speaker, after Valeriu Zgonea’s party membership was revoked, ‘EVZ’ daily shows. Although Victor Ponta (photo L) at first allegedly rejected the rumour that this office appeals to him, it seems he has accepted the offer and will officially announce what he and PSD President Liviu Dragnea have decided.

PSD’s Lower Chamber lawmakers have decided, in a meeting of their parliamentary group, to officially demand the removal of Valeriu Zgonea from the office of Lower Chamber Speaker. A request in this sense has been filed at the Lower Chamber’s Standing Bureau. Thus, the Social Democrats’ group unanimously decided to propose the Lower Chamber’s leadership bodies to remove Valeriu Zgonea from office, the latter no longer being a member of PSD. The office of Lower Chamber Speaker would go to PSD. Valeriu Zgonea’s party membership was revoked last week, following a unanimous vote cast by the members of PSD’s National Executive Committee. The decision was taken because Zgonea asked Dragnea to resign. Valeriu Zgonea (photo R) announced on Tuesday that he will challenge the decision. PSD sources have told ‘EVZ’ that Zgonea will be replaced next week when PSD, UNPR and ALDE will mobilize their MPs.


 Zgonea challenges revocation request


Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea has filed a challenge during the Standing Bureau’s meeting, claiming that he was excluded from PSD and is hence a non-affiliated MP with no group leader.

According to the Lower Chamber’s Regulations, amended in 2015 at Valeriu Zgonea’s initiative, the Speaker can only be revoked at the request of the parliamentary group whose member he is. In this context, Valeriu Zgonea claims that since he does not have a group leader the procedure is being violated.

“This is the reason why today they filed a law that is not in line with regulations,” Zgonea said on Wednesday at a press conference. He explained again that “if you’re excluded you become non-affiliated MP,” and pointed out that “when they kicked me out of the party they knew they were losing this office too.”

Zgonea has levied accusations against those who want to remove him from the Lower Chamber Speaker office, stating that their goal is in fact “to get hold of offices and to solve their personal problems.”

“I will fight to the end those who think they will occupy this office and would change all laws in their favour,” Zgonea said, pointing out that “legality will remain in the Romanian Parliament as long as I will hold this office, and whoever takes my place will have to do the same thing.”


Mircea Geoana: “We are in fact witnessing a regrouping of anti-reform forces in Romania”


Senator and PSRO President Mircea Geoana does not have a favourable view on this return, claiming that “the interests of a multi-partisan group are in fact hiding” behind it.

“In fact, the talks about replacing Zgonea and Victor Ponta’s possible arrival at the Lower Chamber hide the interests of a multi-partisan group that wants to stop the judiciary’s fight against corruption. This is the worst bearing. I’m not saying what is going on within PSD is not important, it’s a large political party in Romania, but in essence we are in fact witnessing a regrouping of anti-reform forces in Romania and this is really severe and has to be watched very carefully,” Mircea Geoana wrote on his personal Facebook page.


Senate Speaker following events “with great preoccupation”


Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu commented on Wednesday on Romania TV ex-premier Victor Ponta’s return to high-level politics.

“Of course, I am following with great preoccupation the events on the political scene and within PSD. However, it’s not my role to make appreciations about the most suitable person. What’s certain is that Victor Ponta has the political experience that recommends him for important offices. The office of Lower Chamber Speaker is a key-office,” Tariceanu stated.

He pointed out that politicians “should restore credibility to Parliament and should remodel it as it was.” “In today’s Romania we are noticing Parliament’s withdrawal from this function and a rule of law in which democracy no longer dominates,” the Senate Speaker pointed out.

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