Because of the scandal generated by the Grindeanu Government’s amendments to the judiciary laws, the Social Democratic Party has lately faced either resignations, such as Aurelia Cristea’s, or statements that criticised the party’s conduct, of which the most vocal in recent days were those made by MEP Catalin Ivan and by Iasi Mayor Mihai Chirica, whose stances on emergency ordinance no.13 broke ranks with those adopted by the rest of the Social Democrats. Since the early days of the scandal, when large-scale protests were staged, Chirica asked for the ordinance to be repealed and for Justice Minister Florin Iordache to resign.
“I believe it’s a lesson that PSD has learned, a harsh lesson because, I repeat, nobody from the party, or almost nobody, knew the text of this ordinance, not even Mr. Florin Iordache’s government colleagues. I believe we are all paying a very high price for the demarche of a single member of the Grindeanu Government. (…) There were some modifications that were never explained to anyone, not even to the members of PSD, not even to the members of Government. It was drafted in a very strange way, furtively,” MEP Catalin Ivan said in an interview with RFI.
Mihai Chirica was even blunter and said he will apologise to multinational companies after certain PSD leaders linked them to the street protests.
On Tuesday, Chirica stated for Radio Hit Iasi that those companies present in Romania that felt “affected” by the statements made by some PSD leaders should receive public apologies and he is willing to apologise. “You can’t promote, in any form, a policy of containing, lowering access or even driving multinational companies away because that’s where Romanians who have families, who contribute to this country’s GDP, are working” Chirica said. He also talked about the anti-government protests, stating that he saw “a peaceful crowd, which did not seem coordinated by any obscure force and which was driven by obvious love for country and by the desire to feel secure at home.”
Dragnea: Iasi party branch to decide whether to exclude Iasi Mayor Chirica
On Wednesday morning, PSD leaders and Premier Sorin Grindeanu held a meeting in which the party’s local elected officials also took part. Mihai Chirica, Mayor of Iasi and PSD Vice President, was not present.
Referring to Mayor Chirica’s opinions, which differ from those of the party, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that the PSD Iasi branch will decide in what concerns Mihai Chirica’s exclusion from the party, the local MPs and mayors continuing to support the Grindeanu Government and the party’s leadership.
“That’s for their branches to decide. In Iasi for instance, Iasi County MPs and Iasi County mayors, minus Mr. Chirica, were present there and stated before all their colleagues that there is no kind of hesitation within the party branch, they continue to support the Government in implementing the governing platform and the party’s leadership,” the PSD President said when asked about the Social Democrats who expressed different opinions within the party.
Likewise, asked whether Mihai Chirica risks having his party membership cancelled, Liviu Dragnea said: “That’s for the local branch to decide. Maybe he wants that, but I don’t want to discuss this topic now.”
How much PSD lost after ordinance scandal
At the same time, Liviu Dragnea contradicted the Iasi Mayor’s claim, made exclusively for stiripesurse.ro, that the Social Democrats dropped over 20 percent in opinion polls carried out in Iasi County following the eruption of the scandal concerning emergency ordinance no.13.
“I don’t know what polling centre Mr. Chirica has. I saw a different opinion poll two evenings ago, conducted by a respectable polling centre. I don’t believe what Mr. Chirica said,” Dragnea said, adding that the poll he consulted showed PSD dropped by just 2-3 percent.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that per the most recent opinion poll conducted by a “respectable” polling centre, PSD lost “two or three percent,” far from the 23 percent drop in polls claimed by Iasi Mayor Mihai Chirica.
PSD to soon settle “mole” issue
In fact, the Social Democrats’ leader recently stated that in the following period the party will hold clarifying talks about the existence of “infiltrated persons” who broke ranks with the party as if on order.
Asked for his comments on some statements which suggest that there are PSD members who are following President Iohannis’s orders and that there are “infiltrated” people in the party, Dragnea said, according to evz.ro: “I won’t name names today, but even within the [parliamentary] group there were colleagues who raised this issue, both at the plenary meeting and in private. I don’t want to open this topic these days, but we will tackle it and clarify it as soon as possible.” “Firstly, I want these talks to be clarifying, for the whole party to find out why some adopt a different position in such moments,” Dragnea said early this week.
PSD leader: My colleagues reconfirmed the support for the Grindeanu Government
The leaders of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) have met on Wednesday morning, at the Social Democrat group room in the Deputies’ Chamber, to discuss both about the censure motion that should be voted in the joint plenum and about the local administration’s problems. Liviu Dragnea and Sorin Grindeanu, the Development Minister Sevil Shhaideh, several local representatives and Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea, attended to the meeting.
PSD’s Liviu Dragnea stated that local leaders, members of the party, whom he met at the Parliament, told him that they want the government program to be implemented and that they support the Grindeanu Government.
“I had a good meeting with the presidents of the County Councils and the PSD mayors. Several of my colleagues told me last days to hold this meeting, after the budget. My colleagues came to be sure that the government program will be implemented. Citizens in their communities told them to continue to support the Government, because they have great expectations. We have also discussed about the budget, about the decentralization project, about the pay law that must quickly enter into force. In political terms, we talked about the Government’s support, about the solidarity inside the party and about unity. Since there were difficult moments for PSD, no one had any hesitation. We talked about the desire that the ministers will start traveling in the territory” Liviu Dragnea stated after the meeting with the local PSD leaders.
A very good relationship with PM Sorin Grindeanu: “I support him, no one wanted him to go through what he went in the last days”
Liviu Dragnea reiterated the fact that he has a “very good” relationship” with PM Sorin Grindeanu, whom he continues to support. “I support him, no one wanted him to go through what he went in the last days. He has my entire support, the party’s support, the support of the local representatives and of the parliamentarians. He has all the levers to implement the government program” stated the PSD leader.
“We’ll support the PM’s option on the Justice Ministry”
Also asked which the option that he will propose for the Justice Ministry is, Dragnea answered: “That one which the PM will propose and we will support. We need a more elaborated discussion on the judiciary. As for the person, we should let PM to make the announcement. Regarding any reshuffles or vacant seats, the initiative must belong to the PM”.
This was the first meeting at which the local leaders have attended since the demonstrations in the whole country have begun, caused by the GEO amending the Criminal Codes.