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May 13, 2021

Victor Ponta loses Lower Chamber Speaker office he ran for without Dragnea’s endorsement: Florin Iordache remains acting Speaker until after the elections

Lower Chamber member Florin Iordache (PSD) will remain acting Speaker until after the parliamentary elections next autumn, the Social Democrats decided on Tuesday at the National Executive Committee meeting convened at the Palace of Parliament in order to decide who was going to replace Valeriu Zgonea.

Ex-Premier Victor Ponta stated that PSD President Liviu Dragnea decided to keep an acting Speaker in office until the autumn.

Before the party’s Executive Committee meeting, Ponta said he would run for the office of Lower Chamber Speaker only if he is endorsed by PSD President Liviu Dragnea. The day before, he had publicly announced his firm intention to run for the office, to the displeasure of the party’s president.

Ponta had announced on Monday that he will nominate himself Speaker of the Lower Chamber, against the backdrop in which PSD President Liviu Dragnea did not want him in that office at all.

Asked whether Liviu Dragnea supports him, Ponta said he last talked to Dragnea a month and a half before and he will see at the vote.

In fact, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday, before PSD’s Executive Committee meeting, that he will be the one who will make the nomination and some of his colleagues “will undergo a test of patience, intelligence and maturity” at the meeting.

At first, it was rumoured that Liviu Dragnea and his entourage had decided that Rovana Plumb should be Lower Chamber Speaker. Given that Victor Ponta had clearly announced on Monday that he wants the office for himself, open war would have started with the party president.

Victor Ponta stated on Tuesday before the meeting that he will file a bid for the office of Lower Chamber Speaker only if he has PSD President Liviu Dragnea’s endorsement, otherwise planning to give up in order not to generate tensions within the party. “I’m sorry if I’m ruining your news. I never woke up wanting offices, because I held offices. During the campaign, both Mr. Dragnea and my colleagues told me to get involved and I did, they told me it would be better for me to be at the Lower Chamber (Lower Chamber Speaker – editor’s note) and I said ‘fine, I agree.’ Now it’s very simple: if Mr. Dragnea backs me I will run for office. If not, I won’t, because I don’t want us to argue within PSD. He appoints whomever he thinks is better. There is no conflict. He endorses me – I’ll go; he doesn’t – I won’t go,” Victor Ponta stated before the PSD National Executive Committee meeting.

Party President Liviu Dragnea did not disclose who PSD was going to appoint Speaker of the Lower Chamber. “I will present a proposal they will surely accept,” Liviu Dragnea said.

Prior to that, on Monday, Dragnea had hinted that he was discomfited by the haste with which Victor Ponta announced his intention to file his bid for the office without discussing that first within the party.

“In our party, in general, whoever wanted an office expressed this desire within the party. Tomorrow, since our colleagues are already summoned at CExN [National Executive Committee] in order to discuss the stage of negotiations, of course we can also discuss this topic, which we could have discussed within the BPN [National Standing Bureau]. During this period, I abstained from saying whom I would see Speaker of the Lower Chamber, the main reasons being that I want to discuss these things within [the party]. If someone has announced his candidacy, we have two options: we either happily line up behind this desire, or we discuss within the party. It would have been good to discuss within the party first and then for these desires and decisions to be presented to the press. I think it maybe was good that things had been kept under control from this point of view. The results have been seen,” Dragnea said at the Palace of Parliament.

He added that there is certain anger within PSD for the fact that the talks the day after the elections focused on the office of Lower Chamber Speaker, not on the results of the June 5 elections.


Zgonea notifies CCR about amendments to Lower Chamber Regulations. Court to rule on June 21


Former Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea has recently notified the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) about the amendments brought to the Lower Chamber Regulations, stating that the Court will rule on June 21.

“In line with the Regulations, the Lower Chamber Speaker is the only one qualified, apart from parliamentary group. Of course I did [notify the CCR] and the Court will rule on June 21. I filed the notification several days ago, within the legal deadline,” Valeriu Zgonea stated for Mediafax.

He stated that in his notification he argued that the amendments brought to the Lower Chamber Regulations infringe on “everything strictly related to constitutional prerogatives.”

“I pointed out that, in their form, the amendments to the Regulations are infringing on CCR stipulations. (…) There are several notions that were modified, in an out-of-bounds manner, by the Regulations Commission, and were infringed all the way from Article 85 to Article 155. I warned that there are several terms that redefine the law and CCR is the only one that could rule on the constitutionality of the amendments brought to the Lower Chamber’s Regulations. The amendments are not respecting the spirit of the Constitution, in my point of view. They are enforceable, the Speaker was dismissed yesterday, which means that that is a legal act in line with the regulations, to use the term constitutional law experts use, but it is unconstitutional,” Valeriu Zgonea explained.

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