PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Thursday in Slatina that the procedure to remove Valeriu Zgonea from the office of Lower Chamber Speaker will resume next week.
“Every man, at least once he comes of age, decides on his own how ridiculous or awkward he wants to be. (…) With the decision to cancel his party membership adopted, the Speaker of the Lower Chamber is now a man without a political party. The office of Lower Chamber Speaker is not an administrative office obtained through competition. It’s a one hundred percent political office. The holder of this office is nominated by a party, by the party whose member he is, by the relevant parliamentary group. The moment the party cancelled his party membership, as happened in our case, that person should automatically have resigned. He has chosen to hang on to debatable procedural loopholes. The procedures can of course resume next week. I don’t know whether there is the need to change the regulations in this situation, but we will see in upcoming days,” Dragnea stated according to Mediafax.
Dragnea was in Olt County, alongside Victor Ponta, the latter rumoured to be Valeriu Zgonea’s replacement in the office of Lower Chamber Speaker. The PSD President stated he does not want to name names until the office becomes vacant.
“In what concerns the future Speaker of the Lower Chamber, the first condition that has to be met is to have a former Speaker. The moment that office becomes vacant, the Social Democrat Party will make a nomination, through my voice. Until then, we don’t want to name names. There is still a character, who is now running for the Bucharest City Hall, who was boasting abroad that he is “the prime minister to be elected,” meaning he kept saying he will be Prime Minister. Let the office remain vacant and PSD will immediately nominate someone who will be voted too,” Liviu Dragnea pointed out.
Ponta: I have no problem with public offices
“I have no problem with public offices. I’ve held plenty of public offices and I will probably hold some more. Let’s win the elections however. I have a major problem in Mr. Zgonea’s case, but also in other cases, in the sense that I nominated him. Meaning I’m guilty. I never imagined that when the issue is raised he will run off with the office. I never ran off with the office, any office, and I don’t understand those who do so. I’m sorry for Vali, I honestly am, leaving all other things aside. I’m sorry he puts himself in this position, which is more than embarrassing,” Ponta said.
The former Premier also announced he will get involved in the elections campaign.
“I came here at the request of party president Mr. Dragnea, of the president of PSD Olt, Mr. Stanescu, and I will visit other parts of the country too. They all asked me for one commonsense thing, to support the party in the electoral campaign both in the local and parliamentary elections in which I will in fact be a candidate too, again in Gorj County. Why commonsense? First of all, because I have a duty toward the Social Democrat Party, which has always supported me, for 15 years, in all the public offices and positions for which I ran. And secondly, because I have the absolute conviction that, in 2016, PSD is a far better, not perfect, option for local and national leadership than the Iohannis-PNL option and than what we have today, especially than the technocrat government,” Ponta added.
He pointed out that for the time being he is ruling out the option of holding any political office within PSD until legal procedures run their full course.
“I don’t want and I won’t hold any political office within the Social Democrat Party until the moment I will finalise all of my legal procedures. But I don’t really have to hold a political office by all means. I have a fairly powerful voice and when I want to say something people hear it, with your help, with the help of the press and social networks,” Victor Ponta added.
Basescu: Dragnea kicked Ponta down the stairs and now wants him back
Ex-President Traian Basescu stated on Wednesday evening that PSD President Liviu Dragnesa kicked Victor Ponta down the stairs and now wants him back, adding that PSD needs the ex-Premier because he scores well in opinion polls and “Michael the Brave’s brother” can no longer hold office at the Lower Chamber.
The PMP President stated, referring to the fact that Victor Ponta might become Speaker of the Lower Chamber, that the ex-Premier is hastening and that he would have the chance to return to political life once he solves his legal problems. “I believe he is hastening. I always said he has the chance to return to political life once he solves his legal problems,” the PMP President stated on Romania TV.
On the other hand, the former Head of State said that PSD has a problem because Valeriu Zgonea can no longer be Speaker of the Lower Chamber following the cancellation of his party membership.
“Herein is the problem, this process, which started with the exclusion of Zgonea, can no longer be contained. The Speakers of the Chambers were clearly the results of a majority. The problem is how can the brother, the cousin of Michael the Brave (Valeriu Zgonea – editor’s note) manage to secure a majority. (…) On the other hand, PSD knows that Dragnea scores well below the party in approval polls and Ponta enjoys the highest approval [among Social Democrats],” the former Head of State added.
Asked why did the Social Democrats shoo Ponta away and now want him back, Basescu commented sarcastically on the relationship between Dragnea and ex-premier Ponta. “Why did they shoo him away? They shooed him away because Dragnea wasn’t there, had he been there he would have stopped him (from resigning – editor’s note). Dragnea kicked him down the stairs, and I’m not saying that was bad… Now I see statements according to which he allegedly would have stopped him. It’s Machiavellianism at the top of PSD, that’s what characterises them. Now they want him back because he is the most popular politician alongside Iohannis,” Traian Basescu commented.
Basescu added that Zgonea can no longer remain Speaker of the Lower Chamber considering that he no longer has parliamentary support, adding that he reminds him of Mircea Geoana who was running away in order not to be replaced in the office of Senate Speaker. At the same time, the ex-president claimed that he does not understand when Zgonea became a defender of the judiciary, because he recalls what Zgonea was doing during his second impeachment in 2012.