Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday evening that his party will dismiss Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea within a week or two, after the Lower Chamber’s Regulations are amended, that Zgonea’s goal was to destabilise the party and that he often visited the Presidential Palace.
“I am waiting for my colleagues from the Lower Chamber’s Standing Bureau to finalise the amending of the Regulations and when that is ready, in a week or two, to proceed with the dismissal. (…) Valeriu Zgonea is worthy of a case study. I honestly do not know where Valeriu Zgonea ends and where Zorro or Michael the Brave starts,” Dragnea stated on RTV.
The President of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) stated that both he and his colleagues understood that Zgonea “acted against the party” and that the things he did “surfaced to a great extent” after Dragnea was sentenced.
“Unfortunately, for a long time this gentleman talked about our party in various places, and not in good terms, not in fair terms. (…) I am certain he did so at the Presidential Palace too, because I understood that he was visiting the Presidential Palace very often in recent months. I know about it and so did several of our colleagues. The city is very small and news travels, it’s very difficult to do something in Bucharest without it being known because there are no secret spots. Still, when you go to the Presidential Palace – that’s an institution with very many people. In recent days he carried out a package of actions meant to destabilise the party on the verge of the elections campaign, his colleagues did not forgive him for this,” the PSD President said.
” Meeting with U.S. ambassador won’t change decision to exclude Zgonea from party”
The PSD President sarcastically commented on the alleged support that the representatives of the U.S. are giving to the current Speaker of the Lower Chamber. Such interpretations appeared after the meeting between Ambassador Klemm and Valeriu Zgonea. Liviu Dragnea claimed it was an institutional visit, adding that as long as members of the U.S. embassy are not members of PSD, the decision to exclude Valeriu Zgonea from the party will not be changed.
“I understood that it was an institutional visit at the Speaker of the Lower Chamber. There were several curious things, from my point of view. There were some talks, among other things, about the public procurement law from what I understood. And the curious thing I mentioned is that Mr. Zgonea did not even vote for this law, but he is talking about it and boasting with it. It’s interesting. Apart from that, I don’t have much to comment on,” Liviu Dragnea said about the meeting that Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea had with U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea said on Monday that the entire party is focusing on the elections campaign and the Zgonea topic is “history for PSD.”
He explained that PSD Lower Chamber lawmakers will initiate, on Tuesday, the procedure to amend the Lower Chamber’s Regulations, but Zgonea’s dismissal will take place after the June 5 local elections. “He has three more weeks at this disposal to play around in Parliament.”
Dragnea also took aim at the U.S. embassy. “The decisions within PSD are taken by the party, they’re not coming from somewhere else,” Dragnea said, referring to the signal of support that the U.S. embassy gave Valeriu Zgonea.
The PSD President did not forgive “Zorro” Valeriu Zgonea: “As Zorro also says: the reform resists!”
Dragnea pointed out that there is no way for the decision to cancel Zgonea’s party membership to be reconsidered.
Asked whom he was talking about when he said someone is interested in seeing PSD entering dissolution, Dragnea said that he was talking about political opponents, including President Klaus Iohannis, and that the party would have entered a tailspin had he resigned following his sentencing.
Referring to the future Speaker of the Lower Chamber, Dragnea said that Ponta could be a good Speaker but he prefers not to name names.
“As long as this office is not vacant there is no point naming names because that would harm the person we would like to nominate. After the office becomes vacant, we will make the nomination. Victor Ponta can be a very good Speaker, just as he was a very good Premier. (…) The office of Speaker of the Chamber, if we are to talk very correctly, is not a very difficult office to hold, it’s not an office of significant power. Basically he is the Speaker of the Lower Chamber. He chairs meetings. He does not influence the vote, he does not block votes,” he said.
“I do not fear Ponta’s comeback at PSD helm. I’m not a faint-heart”
Dragnea also stated that he wishes Victor Ponta would not be sentenced around the time of parliamentary elections, and added that, after the elections, he expects to see Ponta as an MP representing Gorj and does not fear his comeback at the helm of the party.
“I wish there wouldn’t be a sentence,” Dragnea said on Romania TV when asked what would happen if Victor Ponta were sentenced in the Turceni-Rovinari case before the parliamentary elections. Ponta was arraigned for forgery of private documents, complicity to tax evasion (continued offence) and money laundering.
In what concerns Victor Ponta taking over the office of Lower Chamber Speaker, Liviu Dragnea reiterated that PSD has many well-trained members and, just like both he and Victor Ponta put it, the name will be announced when the office still held by Valeriu Zgonea will be vacated.
Asked where he sees the ex-premier after the parliamentary elections, the PSD President stated he primarily sees him as a member of the Lower Chamber, representing Gorj, but the Social Democrats could also hold the leaderships of the two Chambers and the Government if they win the elections. “I primarily see him as a Gorj MP. Afterwards, if we form a majority, we will hold the two offices in Parliament and the Government,” Dragnea commented.