Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday, after the party’s National Executive Committee (NatExCom) meeting, that he disagrees with holding a party conference in the upcoming period in order to designate the party’s presidential candidate, stating that the candidate “would disappear in three months.”
“No, it would be a big mistake. If we were to designate a candidate, he/she would disappear in three months,” Liviu Dragnea said when asked whether it is advisable to hold a part conference to nominate the party’s candidate in the presidential elections.
He said the presidential elections are scheduled two years from now.
“We’re not discussing it now. (…) At any rate, the presidential candidate will be designated following a conference. The question is when. Just as I managed it in the last two and a half years, I have a different point of view in what concerns the date on which the presidential candidate must be announced. Not now. Not in the spring,” the PSD leader added.
Asked whether he rules out his potential candidacy, Liviu Dragnea answered: “We’ll discuss later who would be a potential presidential candidate.”
Badalau, PSD’s number-two man, in letter to party leaders: We’ve accepted the suspension of democracy. I can’t analyse Dragnea’s activity, but there’s room for much better
PSD Executive President Niculae Badalau has sent a letter to party leaders during the Executive Committee meeting on Monday. In it, he points out that PSD has accepted the suspension of internal democracy, something he considers to be an error for which the party must take responsibility. However, after the party’s Executive Committee meeting, Badalau said he is not in the position to analyse the activity of the party president, but there is room for much better.
“I can’t be the one who analyses the president’s activity. I can’t take the liberty. There’s room for better, that’s all I can say. There’s room for much better,” Badalau said when asked how he assesses Dragnea’s activity at the helm of PSD.
Badalau added he has a relationship of true fellowship with Liviu Dragnea and the latter should remain at the helm of PSD. “We have an elected president, a president who won the elections at the helm of the party, who is respected, and we continue to consider he must remain at the helm of the party,” the PSD Executive President said.
Asked whether he seeks to become the new president of PSD, Badalau answered negatively. “As I was telling you, we have a president with whom I have a very good relationship, he is my friend, I respect him, and I continue to support him.”
Likewise, Niculae Badalau claimed he proposed holding a future PSD conference, believing it is necessary for the party to establish a candidate for the presidential elections of 2019. “A potential party congress doesn’t change anything. We can’t hold elections at a party congress. I made this proposal (regarding the party congress– editor’s note). There is no deadline. Regardless of the deadline, we must establish a list of candidates that would be analysed. I want a list of candidates that would be promoted within the party,” Badalau emphasised.
Asked whether Dragnea could be a nominee, given his legal problems, Badalau answered: “Of course. He’s the party president. Yes, he has chances. He can win the presidential elections just like he won the parliamentary elections,” PSD’s Executive President said.
In what concerns Premier Mihai Tudose, Badalau claimed he has the party’s support in implementing the governance platform. “Mihai Tudose’s team is an extremely good team; I don’t want to give him advice, but at this moment I really believe Romania has a good Premier,” Badalau added.
Dragnea asked about relationship with Tudose and Badalau: A very good one, unchanged
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that his relationship with Premier Mihai Tudose and with PSD Executive President Niculae Badalau is a “very good” one, pointing out he does not believe he has any reason to tender his resignation.
“On my part, it’s an unchanged relationship both before the new Government and after… I have no problem,” Dragnea added.
He added he feels reciprocity from this point of view.
“For the time being, I haven’t seen something else,” the PSD President added.
“Why would I? (…) There’s been constant talk about it. We kept discussing it within the party until we – both my colleagues and I – became bored. So, I’ll no longer talk about it,” Dragnea said when asked what are the conditions in which he would tender his resignation.
Asked whether he feels the same support on the part of his party colleagues, the PSD leader gave a brief answer: “Pretty much yes.”
Referring to the modification of the party statute, he claimed Romanians are not expecting this kind of discussions from Social Democrats but instead expect to see whether “they continue to adopt, in 2018 too, the governmental measures and laws that make life better and bring welfare.”
PSD national leader on Badalau’s letter: A good document that will be discussed alongside other proposals
After the NatExCom meeting on Monday, PSD President Liviu Dragnea also stated that PSD Executive President Niculae Badalau’s letter is “a good document” that will be discussed at the next NatExCom meeting, alongside other “points of view.”
“I managed to take a brief look at it, but nobody could analyse it. It’s a good document, which is part of a set of documents that can be adopted at the Executive Committee meeting in Iasi, both in what concerns the activity of the party, the functioning of the party, the setting up of departments, regarding the way we will function and organise in 2018. It’s a good document, Mr Badalau’s point of view,” Liviu Dragnea stated, referring to PSD Executive President Niculae Badalau’s letter.
He added that Badalau’s letter will be discussed at the next Executive Committee meeting that will take place at the end of the month in Iasi, alongside “other points of view, other proposals.”
“Mr Badalau did not say it is not open to additions either,” Dragnea said when asked whether there will also be other points of view from other PSD leaders.
Badalau proposes political project: Collective leadership; PM should present annual activity report
PSD Executive President Niculae Badalau announced on Monday that during the party’s Executive Committee meeting he presented a proposed political project for 2018.
In his political project for 2018, PSD’s number-two man proposes the triggering of statutory mechanisms for the collective leadership of the party, the convening of the party’s Standing Bureau on weekly basis, and the Premier presenting an annual activity report within the party’s National Council.
In the document, Badalau complains about “the weakening of internal democracy” within PSD and proposes the rebirth of internal democracy through dialogue, transparency, and responsibility.
“Step by step, our party has accepted the suspension of internal democracy, and this was an error for which we must take responsibility: PSD sacked its own Government via a no-confidence motion, major economic decisions – such as the household tax – were announced and then abandoned, the fluidity of change in ministerial offices is far too great for a Government to be able to truly perform, not all those who became ministers were known in the party or were professionally recognised within the said fields in order to deserve a place in the Government. All of this is weakening the citizens’ confidence in our party, and the main cause is precisely the weakening of internal democracy. We can win the credibility and efficiency of governance only through the rebirth of internal democracy, through honest dialogue, transparency, and responsibility. The first step is to consider legitimate the opinions we disagree with too, to abandon the illusion of false immunities. The second step is to trigger the statutory mechanisms for the collective leadership of the party,” reads the Social Democrat’s letter.
He says that the Standing Bureau should become once again the body of executive leadership within PSD, and the Executive Committee should be “not just the place where certain decisions are formally validated, but the structure in which really important matters are being debated.”
Badalau states that the communication between the central leadership and local party branches must be restored by presenting and explaining the governmental projects.
In what concerns the relationship with the Government, he emphasises that it should be clear that there are no “taboo” topics and the judiciary or foreign policy, for instance, cannot be abandoned to other institutions or structures for reasons of political advisability. Badalau points out that a “pact of cohabitation” with the President of Romania is not being sought.
The Social Democrat states that PSD’s Standing Bureau, whose member the Premier is, should convene on a weekly basis, and the more significant ministers, or those with responsibilities in certain fields, should attend its meetings, based on the order of the day.
“The Prime Minister must be provided with an institutional framework for the systematic, regular and transparent discussion of governmental policies with PSD’s collegial leadership,” Badalau says.
He also claims that the Premier should present an annual activity report within the National Council.
The PSD Executive President also proposes that Social Democrats should act based on the sayings “in fair weather prepare for foul” and “the right man in the right place.”
He warns that, even though Klaus Iohannis is an “unconvincing” President, he could win a new term in office if PSD sends an ill-suited candidate in the final of the presidential elections. In this context, Badalau claims that the party president must establish, during a meeting taking place in the first half of this year, the profile and potentially the name of the party’s presidential candidate. He also proposes the setting up of a working group at the level of PSD, one that would prepare, along with the Party of European Socialists, “PSD’s offer for Europe,” namely the elections for the European Parliament.
The letter also proposes that promotion in public institutions based on the criterion of loyalty to Social Democratic values should be doubled by the criterion of competence and professional recognition, and the list of candidates for public offices or public institutions should be discussed and vetted within the Standing Bureau before it is validated by the Executive Committee.
The letter also pleads for “administrative-territorial reform – which must once again become a priority –, ideological reconstruction, the Social-Democratisation of militants, communication with the face turned toward society, and a vision for Europe.”
Oprisan: The democratization of the internal party life is needed and I strongly believe that the central administration must be restructured
The PSD Vrancea leader Marian Oprisan stated on Tuesday that the democratization of the internal party life is needed and that the central administration must be restructured. He also mentioned that there have been some breaks in the PSD’s BPN meetings, but the problem has been solved “by an operative manner” at the Monday’s Executive Committee.
Asked if he reproached to Liviu Dragnea in the National Executive Committee (CExN) that he takes the decisions by himself inside the party, Marian Oprisan stated: “I didn’t reproach such a thing to President Dragnea. I’ve always advocated, as a party man, because I love PSD, since I became a politician here, I said very clear that the democratization of the internal party life is needed, so that decisions can be taken collectively. On the other hand, I strongly believe that the Romanian central administration must be restructured, because it is a very large apparatus. After 28 years, we continue to have the same administration that Nicolae Ceausescu left us. In the countries with consolidated democracies, the staff ratio between local and central authorities is of two thirds for the local administration and one third for the central administration. Only in Romania it is vice versa”.
He mentioned that he didn’t attend the CExN meetings since a long time ago, due to objective reasons.
Oprisan also stated that Niculae Badalau’s letter should be debated inside the party: “The Executive Chairman Niculae Badalau’s opinions included in that document are worthy to be discussed by CEx and debated by the party (…) We are a living party, in which we are obviously united, but our opinions’’ diversity is needed”.
However, the PSD Vrancea leader rejected the idea of a collective leadership of PSD. “Collective leadership is nonsense. Our party is not structured on a collective leadership” Oprisan stated.
“There have been some breaks in the BPN meetings, but this was solved by an operative manner as a result of the yesterday meeting” Marian Oprisan also said.