Daniel Constantin and ex-PC members walk out of ALDE Standing Delegation, invoking its non-statutory character
The Standing Delegation of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) met on Sunday, at the Palace of Parliament, to decide the date of the party conference that will elect the party president, against the backdrop of tensions over this date.
Two currents have recently taken shape within ALDE – one centring on co-chair Calin Popescu Tariceanu, which wants a quick party conference after Easter; and the other centring on co-chair Daniel Constantin, which wants the party conference held next autumn.
ALDE Secretary General and Lower Chamber lawmaker Damian Florea pointed out in early March that realistically speaking the ALDE Congress can be held at the end of the summer, at the earliest. He pointed out that the holding of elections within the party’s county branches is necessary first, a process that could take several months.
“I talked with colleagues from all over the country about the way the ALDE conference can be held. (…) I told them too, realistically, that we can organise the party conference at the end of summer at the earliest. Although there are different options within the party at this moment, we cannot ignore the elementary democratic principles that ALDE, as a Liberal party, is obligated to respect,” Damian Florea stated in a communique remitted to Mediafax.
He pointed out that, based on statutory provisions, it is normal for elections to be first held at the level of county branches and for the party conference that will elect the party leadership to be held at the end of this process that could take several months.
“To promote elections from the top down, today, means contradicting our own principles, our own doctrinaire elements we agreed upon when forming ALDE. (…) I care very much about this project, being the one who filed ALDE’s constitutive documents in court. I would be disappointed for today’s ALDE to forget what we all undertook when this party was juridically born,” Damian Florea added.
He pointed out he does not understand the rush in holding a party conference.
“I recall how, in 2015 and 2016, while I was alongside the two co-presidents, Mr Tariceanu was talking about the importance of selections made through direct elections, not through middlemen, not through delegates to local party conferences. And, to have legitimacy, all members must vote. I believe this must happen now too, at the ALDE conference. I don’t understand this rush,” the ALDE Secretary General concluded.
In his turn, ALDE co-chair Calin Popescu Tariceanu pointed out, also early this month, that ALDE will stake on a single leadership formula after the party conference that “will most likely take place after Easter.”
“I discussed this with my colleague Daniel Constantin and we agreed that this transitional formula we have been using since the merger of the two parties will be abandoned after the party conference. So, we will stake on a single leadership formula,” the ALDE co-chair stated.
Asked for his comment on some public allegations that there is a conflict between ALDE’s two presidents, Tariceanu said only that he has no disagreements with Daniel Constantin in what concerns the ALDE conference, the first party conference to be held after the parliamentary elections.
“Regarding the party conference, we have no disagreements, for two reasons: firstly, because in the statute that we currently have – which we approved at last year’s party conference – we decided that a party conference will be held immediately after the parliamentary elections. Secondly, I had a political discussion with Mr Daniel Constantin before the New Year’s Eve; I don’t know if he has changed his point of view in the meantime, he hasn’t told me this. Considering these two issues, we will hold the party conference most likely after Easter. At this moment, there are a series of party branches that have demanded this within the statutory bodies,” Tariceanu added.
Daniel Constantin and ex-PC members walk out of ALDE Standing Delegation, invoking its non-statutory character
ALDE co-chair Daniel Constantin and the former members of the Conservative Party (PC) walked out of ALDE’s Standing Delegation meeting on Sunday, a meeting which was supposed to set the date of the party conference which will elect the party president, invoking the fact that it was convened in a non-statutory manner.
Constantin and several dozen persons walked out of the Standing Delegation meeting 20 minutes after it started.
Constantin and those who followed suit left the meeting hall of ALDE’s group within the Lower Chamber and gathered in one of the offices, where they gave a brief press statement justifying their gesture.
Meanwhile, the other co-chair of the party, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu continued to chair the Standing Delegation meeting.
In his press statement, Constantin said he cannot take part in a Standing Delegation convened in violation of the party statute and transitory norms.
Constantin: I can’t validate the convening of the party conference based on an inexistent Delegation
Daniel Constantin stated later on Sunday, after walking out of the ALDE Standing Delegation meeting, that he cannot convene a party conference based on a non-statutory Permanent Delegation.
“The Permanent Delegation convened today is not statutory. I agreed, we convened the Standing Delegation, however to a certain extent the secretariat summoned other colleagues and they are not the ones who should have been in the Standing Delegation. Two years ago, I agreed with the transitory norms which very clearly state: the Standing Delegation is made up of PLR’s Standing Delegation and PC’s National Council. This is very clear and I wanted to make it known in today’s meeting,” Constantin said.
“That is why my colleagues and I went there and said: ‘Folks, not all members of the Standing Delegation have been summoned. I can’t take part in or validate the convening of the party conference based on a Delegation that doesn’t exist,’” Constantin added.
Constantin on possibility of leaving Gov’t: I’ll talk with PM Grindeanu on Monday
After walking out of ALDE’s Standing Delegation meeting, Daniel Constantin stated he decided four months ago to no longer run for the party’s presidency, preferring the office of executive president instead, however he cannot accept a person from outside the party taking decisions in ALDE’s name. He pointed out he will meet Premier Sorin Grindeanu on Monday “and if the coalition’s decision takes one direction” he will not regret it, pointing out he will not leave the political party and will continue to support the current Government. He pointed out no member of ALDE’s PC wing will leave the party.
“I didn’t want us to end up in this situation but, unfortunately, it’s a delicate situation for ALDE. We won’t leave ALDE. I never cared about offices. Tomorrow I’ll have a discussion with Prime Minister Grindeanu and, if the coalition’s decision takes one direction, I won’t regret it. I was part of the Victor Ponta Government too and I believe I fulfilled a good mission for the parties I was member of. We – Mr Sorin Campeanu, Mr Razvan Cotovelea and I – helped out with the activity we had there. (…) I believe we always represented with honesty and we did it well. But we did not put our offices above the position that the people who put us in those offices should have. I care about people more than I care about offices,” Daniel Constantin said.
The ALDE co-chair underscored he will not leave the party, nor will the members of ALDE’s PC wing.
“We’re not leaving ALDE. It will remain a united party, but with the observance of the law and of the statute. No matter what happens, all the MPs present here won’t leave ALDE, they’ll remain and will back the Sorin Grindeanu Government. It’s a vote that was cast for this Government, for this coalition, and I’ll not jeopardise this coalition. I hope governmental activity, not scandals, will take priority,” Constantin pointed out after walking out of ALDE’s Standing Delegation meeting along with a group of MPs and four secretaries of state, arguing the meeting was not statutory.
Constantin emphasised that the court will be the one to decide the party conference case, because “juridically speaking” things are very clear.
“ALDE’s statute states that the Standing Delegation is the one that convenes the party conference in two cases: at the request of the Central Executive Bureau or of 50 percent plus one of the standing territorial delegations. The standing territorial delegations are not statutory. The PC-PLR merger protocol very clearly states that until the party conference is held the leadership bodies at county level are the Executive Bureau and the Territorial Bureau, not the Standing Delegation. These territorial decisions have been attacked in court, and on Wednesday – if I’m not mistaken – we’ll have a first court hearing in a county. And the court will decide what will happen, just like it will in the case of today’s possible convening of the party conference,” Constantin pointed out.
Constantin: I won’t run for party president, but I won’t accept someone from outside ALDE taking decisions within the party
Constantin also stated that four months ago he decided not to run for party president, preferring the office of executive president instead, however he cannot accept a person from outside the party taking decisions in ALDE’s name.
Daniel Constantin said there were no controversies within the party over the holding of the party conference and the name of the future ALDE President. “There is no agreement concerning the holding of the party conference. We agreed we will have a single president this spring, we agreed four months ago that I won’t run for the office of president but will hold the office of executive president instead. Consequently, this wasn’t the reason of these disputes which have unfortunately surfaced publicly,” the ALDE co-chair said.
His dissatisfaction concerned the way decisions are being taken within the party. “I didn’t and I don’t accept someone from outside the party taking decisions within our party with the consent of one of the co-presidents. This is the big problem we are having and this is the danger at this moment. (…) I won’t accept decisions being unilaterally taken within the party that I won’t leave,” Constantin added.
Daniel Constantin explained his gesture through the fact that not all rightful members of the Standing Delegation were summoned.
“The membership of the convened Standing Delegation is not the statutory one. On Wednesday, we agreed to convene the Delegation, however the secretariat has convened other colleagues and according to the statute not all of them should be within the Standing Delegation,” Daniel Constantin said.
He pointed out that the statute stipulates that ALDE’s Standing Delegation consists of the members of PLR’s Standing Delegation and the members of PC’s National Council. “I wanted to let them know: ‘folks, not all members of the Standing Delegation have been summoned,’” Constantin stated, adding that he cannot accept the party conference being convened by a non-statutory body.
ALDE’s Tariceanu about Constantin: I do not give political support; each should define objectives
Co-chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated, on Sunday, referring to the gesture of Daniel Constantin to leave the works of the National Standing Delegation, that “ego flare-ups are not normal”, emphasizing that each should set his own objectives.
“There was no discussion [e.n. – withdrawing support for Daniel Constantin as Deputy PM] of this because, together with my colleagues, we are leaving from the premise of a necessary collaboration in ALDE. If those who left demonstratively today wish to have a discussion and return to better senses, and to respect democracy and performance in the party, I don’t see why we wouldn’t do such a gesture. (…) I cannot change the character of people, nor their behavior. Yes, we can instate clearer democratic rules that would ultimately lead to decisions based on the vote of the majority,” said Tariceanu, at the Parliament Palace.
The ALDE leader added that he does not give political support personally.
“I do not give the political support personally, it is ultimately given by each leadership forum with rights according to the statute. We will see in the coming period. I believe these ego flare-ups are not normal, but ultimately everyone modulates their actions as they see fit. (…) Sure that we need to share the same set of values. If we have different objective, each should define them in part and, depending on the desire of the majority, we go one way or another. I, too, might not always find the necessary support for the direction in which I want the party to go. (…) If we hit the fancies of a person in the leadership… The party must ultimately move forward and the decision belongs to the Permanent Delegation, which is the only statutory forum,” the Senate President showed.
He emphasized that if there is a blockage in the party, determined by one of the chairmen, the party cannot stay “immobilized”. “And then there is this forum, which is higher and more powerful than the vote of one person, be them co-chairman, and it is the Permanent Delegation. According to the Statute it is enabled to take the most representative decisions. (…) An entire party to sit because of one person’s blackmail is not possible either,” Tariceanu also said.
Tariceanu to run for party president
ALDE Co-President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu announced at the end of the Standing Delegation meeting on Sunday that the members of the Delegation have scheduled the party’s extraordinary conference for April 21. At the same time, ALDE’s Standing Delegation also approved the party conference’s order of the day and the county branches’ representation norm, and Tariceanu announced his intention to run for the office of party president.
“The representation norm was established based on three criteria, namely: 30 percent of the number of delegates will be given by the party branch’s number of members, 30 percent by its local elections results and 40 percent by its parliamentary elections results. As number of votes won in the rankings of branch percentages,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu said.
Asked if he will run for the office of ALDE president, Tariceanu answered affirmatively.