A new political project, Pro Romania, was launched on Sunday, as announced by former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, alongside Daniel Constantin and Sorin Cimpeanu, both ministers in former Ponta Cabinet.
Victor Ponta, who also used to be the national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), together with the former Deputy Prime Minister and former leader of the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), Daniel Constantin and former Minister of Education Sorin Cimpeanu said in a news conference that the new political project, Pro Romania, is to be an alternative to the current parties’ offer.
Ponta: We’d like to offer the alternative to what is currently the market’s political offer
Former Prime Minister and former national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Victor Ponta on Sunday asserted that the project “Pro Romania” is the alternative to the parties’ offer, the project launched being a social liberal party.
“Firstly, we’d like to offer the alternative to what is currently the political offer in the market, the only party where I operated, the PSD, confiscated by a person and a group that use the PSD and the peoples’ votes for personal, petty interests, beyond that they are personal. An opposition that does not exist and has no chance to recover; I don’t want to get further into details, but the only economic ideas from the National Liberal Party (PNL) are by far of the Left wing than are the current PSD’s. And the current PSD, the one I’ve tried for years to make it a centre party, social-democrat, modern, has come to promote policies that only exists in Venezuela or in countries that are now experiencing the childhood of socialism” on Sunday said Ponta, in a news conference attended by deputies Daniel Constantin and Sorin Cimpeanu.
Ponta asserted that both he and Cimpeanu and Constantin have split from “political forces that currently represent no change anymore” and wish to “offer what the Romanian political and public scene do not have right now.”
“I will only tell you that we have thought together quite long, we have talked to other people, some present here today, some not, about what a start up party in a changing Romania means, what a modern political moment means where you won’t see – I for one don’t want to see anymore, after 16 years – neither Executive Committees with stormy applause, nor leaders mimicking the love of the people. We simply want to offer what it doesn’t exist right now on the Romanian political and public scene. A public scene where people who have voted PSD-ALDE last year are very disappointed, because they voted one thing and received another. I’m among them and so are the two persons here with me. We have voted, we believed that that governing programme was to be enforced. Obviously anything of it is enforced and whatever is enforced is not part of it. There are many people who perhaps have voted PNL or other political parties and ask themselves like I do ask too why there is no opposition in Romania right now, so that our stances are the only ones looking like an Opposition. And most of them are those who have not voted neither PSD-ALDE, nor PNL, nor any other party, never cast their vote in December 2016. And are worried with the direction Romania is going to,” Ponta said.
The three deputies announced the launch of a new political project “Pro Romania”. The PMP (People’s Movement Party) deputy Valeriu Steriu was attending, too, saying he was there “as a friend.”
Constantin explained that the party is not yet legally registered, pending to await for the Court to pronounce “after several terms.”
Ponta on Dragnea: A kind of Pablo Escobar, of Hugo Chavez; I could have a Ph.D. in moustachioed liars
At the press conference in which he announced his decision to join the Pro Romania party, Victor Ponta launched a series of attacks against PSD President Liviu Dragnea, saying he looks like the famous Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, or like former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, adding that he could have “a Ph.D. in moustachioed liars.”
“I can have a Ph.D. in moustachioed liars, because their moustache trembles [when they lie]. When they say they’re not interested, they’re in fact interested. (…) I don’t want Daddy to give me a call now and offer me some office, he has offered me so many offices that I’m sick of them. (…) If I want to promote someone to the Government, I pose with him and Dragnea immediately calls him up and offers him an office. Tell me who wants to be promoted. Or I’m saying ‘my friend so-and-so’; he immediately brings him to the Lower Chamber and gives him an office, puts him in a board of directors, hires his sister, his sister-in-law, his nephew. Romania is not Teleorman [County], we can’t all be working in the public sector, for Dragnea to give offices to all of us,” Victor Ponta stated at a press conference held alongside Daniel Constantin and Sorin Campeanu.
The ex-PM compared the PSD President with Pablo Escobar, also known as the king of cocaine, but also with former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
“Lately, in his behaviour within the party, Mr Dragnea has been a kind of Pablo Escobar, in his economic behaviour he is Hugo Chavez. Can’t he pick a role model from outside Latin America? To rule a country solely with your secretary, driver, and bodyguard… that doesn’t work,” Ponta said.
He claims that, alongside Adrian Nastase and Mircea Geoana, he tried to modernise PSD, but that Liviu Dragnea transformed the party into the former PDSR.
“Adrian Nastase, Mircea Geoana and I, we kept trying to make PSD a modern, European, progressive centre-left party. Mr Dragnea took it back to how that PDSR was, you know, the one because of which very many still hate PSD: a populist thing with which we trick only our own, make enemies out of others… this tale that some pensioners are good, others are bad, some companies are good but other companies are bad. Now, of course, we’re fighting the banks. Hugo Chavez fought the banks too, and he was saying the state is the best manager. It’s not true, a modern party no longer endorses these things that are entirely from the 1990s,” Ponta added.
The former Social Democrat leader claimed that he “kept” Liviu Dragnea in the party for his ability to maintain links with the barons and said Dragnea only cares about himself, least of all about the party.
“I’ve kept him [Dragnea in PSD] because he was a very good organiser and he did some things I was unable to do. For instance, his relationship with the barons. I couldn’t have done it, we were from different worlds. (…) Have you seen Mr Dragnea in any fight with the “system” apart from the times he caresses their leg cast? Mr Dragnea always negotiates for himself, PSD is an issue for himself personally. As long as Liviu Dragnea is the PSD boss you won’t see me in PSD,” Victor Ponta explained.
He said many PSD members allegedly called and asked him not to leave the party because “Dragnea will soon be gone, I won’t say where.” This was an allusion to the Social Democrat leader’s abuse of office dossier, in which he could face an executory prison sentence.