PSD’s National Executive Committee (NatExCom) convened on Monday in a meeting preparing the Extraordinary Party Congress of March 10, in which Liviu Dragnea will ask for a vote of reconfirmation at the helm of the party. PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated before the meeting that he will propose that the party should have 16 Vice Presidents, two for every region, with the positions set to be distributed equally between women and men. Also ahead of the PSD meeting, Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea complained that she is being impeded and that the Government did not support her, pointing out that within the party there is “unrest that has no justification,” something that could lead to “political suicide.” Likewise, she threatened to resign from all party offices if Bucharest’s grave problems are not solved “within reasonable time.” Liviu Dragnea announced that Firea is right and measures will be taken. Meanwhile, lists of candidates for PSD’s leadership offices are being prepared.
Before Monday’s ExCom meeting, PSD President Liviu Dragnea pointed out he will propose that the party should have 16 Vice Presidents, two for each region, the positions set to be distributed equally between women and men. He pointed out that his support for women is not “a whim,” with him having done everything in his power for women to gain “an important role.”
“Let’s start achieving women-men parity: 8 women and 8 men, each region should elect its female vice president and its male vice president,” the PSD President said.
He added that “the country needs a balanced approach in order to lower development disparities,” because “there were plans, but they couldn’t be taken to completion” by previous governments.
Dragnea pointed out that his support for women was never “a whim.”
“My support for women is not a whim, it’s a given. I did everything in my power for them to gain an important role,” Liviu Dragnea added.
Gabriela Firea threatens to resign from all PSD offices. Dragnea: She was impeded
Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea stated on Monday, at the Palace of Parliament, that she will resign from all Social Democratic Party (PSD) offices unless her party colleagues help her solve, in a reasonable period, some “of the Capital’s grave problems.” Firea added the PSD offices are of no use to her if she is unable to prompt her colleagues “to look with objectivity at the problems of the Capital.” “I’ll resign from all political offices and I’ll remain a simple party member. (…) If the Capital’s grave problems are not resolved in reasonable time, I’ll resign from all political offices. I’ve established with Mrs Dancila a timetable for all sensitive problems. I’m not part of any camp, neither for nor against Dragnea. The president (Liviu Dragnea – editor’s note) also disagrees with these camps and areas of interest that have formed within the party. If I have the support of my colleagues in Bucharest, I’ll run for an office of national vice president. If these deadlines are not met, I won’t accept that like I’ve done so far, I’ll resign,” Gabriela Firea stated.
“I’ve been the Capital’s mayor for a year and a half. In a first, Bucharest was won by seven PSD mayors, one general mayor and six district mayors, and unfortunately the governments that succeeded to Victoria Palace did not support us,” Gabriela Firea stated at the Palace of Parliament, before the PSD’s National Executive Committee (NatExCom) meeting.
Likewise, the Bucharest Mayor accused the former government of not helping the Bucharest City Hall, claiming that there are people within the ministries who are “putting spokes in the wheels” of City Hall projects.
“I would like to find out why spokes are being put in the wheels of the Mayor. We’re talking about people who are working within the ministries, who represent very important financial interests. A minister cannot say he/she can’t because the directors won’t let him/her, the directors have financial, political interests. If a minister allows himself/herself subjugated by directors then he/she is not a good minister,” Firea added.
Gabriela Firea is currently PSD Vice President, as well as the leader of the PSD Bucharest and PSD Ilfov branches.
Firea: The fact that there is unrest without a very clear justification within PSD is political suicide. Dragnea: The criticism is not aimed at me
Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea stated on Monday, before PSD’s NatExCom meeting, that within the party there is “unrest that has no justification,” which could lead to “political suicide.” PSD President Liviu Dragnea said, in his own turn, that he met Firea on Sunday evening and she informed him of her discontent, Dragnea claiming that “PSD no longer accepts discussions, bickering, intrigues.” Likewise, Dragnea claimed the criticism is not aimed at him.
“Regarding the fact that I’m allegedly part of a camp that wants to destabilise the party, to dethrone the president from the helm of the PSD. I dismiss this information and I want to state that I have the strength and political courage to express my point of view within the National Political Bureau or the ExCom when I believe things are not taking place in a correct manner. I never hid behind journalists (…) and I didn’t extend feelers – not within the party nor among the public opinion – with such statements that I wouldn’t assume publicly, or by asking other colleagues to state what I think, it’s not true. I consider that the fact that within the PSD there is unrest that after all doesn’t have a very clear and very exact justification is political suicide. There is discontent, I too have discontent, there are grievances, maybe I’ve expressed some of them, I kept others to myself, but it’s a long way from here to ending up organising a putsch,” Firea stated.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea agreed with Gabriela Firea.
“I had a discussion with her and with the district mayors, a discussion I also had with the Prime Minister. A serious plan of collaboration between the Government and the Bucharest City Hall has been drafted, a plan whose implementation will start very soon, because there are commitments that Mrs Firea and I have taken during the local elections and parliamentary elections campaigns,” Liviu Dragnea said.
Dragnea on potential PSD camp against him: There’s been talk about this for a year, I’ve had enough of it. I’ve seen that all branches have issued resolutions of support. I probably have to ask for support from Asia too
Asked whether he feels that within the party there is a camp that opposes him, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that he is tired of the constant talk about this and said that all PSD county branches have issued resolutions affirming their support for him. He sarcastically said that not even the party conference will be sufficient to prove he enjoys support and maybe he should ask for support from Asia.
“Which is that camp, because I’ve grown tired of hearing about this for a year. I’ve seen that now all branches have issued support resolutions. The party conference will probably be not enough either. I’ll probably have to ask for support from Asia too. The fact that 1, 2, 3 colleagues – comrades to put it like this –, all of them are talking about this, that doesn’t mean it’s the party’s reality. The party has objectives it has undertaken, governance objectives, to lower abuses in Romanian society, objectives that it pursues step by step and fulfils them,” the PSD leader stated.
Dragnea: I support Niculae Badalau remaining within party leadership. Badalau: In PSD the most important office is that of party member
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that he continues to support Niculae Badalau, the party’s current Executive President, in a bid for a new leadership office within the party. In response, Badalau said that he believes Dragnea when he says he will support him, and that there was never a conflict between them, on the contrary, they had a single goal – modernising the party.
“I support Niculae Badalau remaining within the party’s leadership,” Liviu Dragnea said.
Asked whether he believes Badalau will remain PSD Executive President, the PSD President said: “I don’t know if he will, I support him.”
In response, Niculae Badalau said the most important office within the PSD is that of party member, and the fact that his county obtained the best results in the elections prompts him to think whether he still wants a leadership office within the PSD.
“In PSD the most important office is that of party member. I was part of the 2016 campaign team. The county [branch] whose president I was obtained the best results in the country. This prompts me to continue thinking whether I’ll run or not, depending on the ExCom’s decision,” Badalau said.
Asked whether he and Liviu Dragnea have buried the hatchet, he replied: “There was never one. President Dragnea and I, we had a single target – modernising the party, a strong party. The visions were the same – the governing programme. The rest is less important.”
“I consider that the party president, if you refer to the office of executive president… it’s normal for him to like that person. (…) Being branch president felt the best,” Badalau claimed.
He added that he believes Liviu Dragnea when he says he continues to support him for a leadership office. “Of course, I believe (he supports me – editor’s note),” he said. Asked whether he will put up for debate the letter he sent to party leaders on January 8, in which he pointed out that PSD accepted the suspension of internal democracy, something he believed to be an error, Badalau said the document was something “internal, regarding the life, the health of the party, something that is being accomplished.” “That document was an internal document regarding the life, the health of the party, something that is being accomplished. The party is very healthy, and our only concern is winning next year’s elections and bringing the governance programme to fulfilment,” PSD’s number two man concluded.
Statements after ExCom
SocDem leader Dragnea: PSD Executive President, Secretary General to be elected by vote at party Congress on March 10
The Executive President, the Secretary General and the Vice Presidents of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) will be elected by vote at the PSD party Conference on March 10, party leader Liviu Dragnea announced on Monday at the end of the meeting of the National Executive Committee.
Liviu Dragnea said he will no longer ask for a vote of confidence for himself, since the leaders of the party’s county branches told him that that would not be necessary.
Dragnea explained that there will be two Vice Presidents for each region, a man and a woman, so that a total of eight men and eight women would hold these offices.
The PSD President pointed out that the interdiction that concerned branch presidents running for offices within the National Standing Bureau (BPN) was also eliminated.
Liviu Dragnea pointed out that, in principle, the party conference will take place on Saturday, at 11 a.m., but the final details will be established on Friday.
“At the end, many colleagues said what they expect from this party conference, most for the organising of elections. A small part abstained from voting – 3 or 5,” Dragnea pointed out.
He added that he informed the NatExCom about the discussion he had with EC First Vice President Frans Timmermans.
“We also discussed our commitment to finalise the judicial laws, in the sense of transposing the CCR decisions. Likewise, I told them, I reiterated what I told them at the Executive Committee [meeting] back when I said we will hold a party conference, that the main objective will be adopting a programmatic document with political, governmental and development components for Romania and probably several resolutions,” the PSD leader added.
Asked how the party’s Vice Presidents will be elected, Dragnea explained: “A region, Muntenia for instance… the counties there will vote in a well-established area where there will be voting booths and they will have voting ballots for the candidates in their region and voting ballots for national offices. It was decided by vote that each candidate should at least have the consent of the branch whose member he/she is.”
The candidacies can be filed on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Asked whether he will still ask for a vote of confidence, Liviu Dragnea said: “I’ve asked my colleagues and the general opinion was that there is no need for this, because on one hand there were resolutions of support from all branches, and all branches said there’s no need for this, so then I’ll probably no longer ask for one.”
Tudose on his bid for PSD leadership office: We’ll meet with the branch presidents and decide who will represent the area
Asked whether he will run for any office at the party conference, ex-Premier Mihai Tudose stated on Monday that a meeting with branch presidents will take place and they will decide who will represent the region. He added that modifying the PSD Statute may “bode well” and the fact that “there is no longer a war throughout the country” will lead to “far more tranquil elections.” Asked for his opinion on Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea statement that the recent governments put spokes in her wheels, he said the mayor is right.
“After the discussion concerning the elections became official and we decided by vote that there will be elections, we’ll have a meeting with party branch presidents in the area and we’ll decide who will represent the area,” Mihai Tudose said when asked whether he will run for any leadership office within PSD.
Likewise, he said modifying the party’s statute could bode well, and the fact that “there is no longer a war throughout the country” will lead to “far more tranquil elections.”
“It can bode well, yes. Firstly, because there is no longer a war throughout the country. The elections will be far more tranquil, I believe. I mean, six counties are capable of agreeing on who to represent them,” the ex-Premier said.
Asked whether Liviu Dragnea needs a vote to reconfirm him in office, Tudose said: “No, there hasn’t been a problem. This notion of vote of confidence doesn’t exist, first of all.”
Asked for his opinion on Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea’s statement that the recent governments put spokes in her wheels, he said the mayor is right.
“No, she meant all governments, and I too confirm she is right. At the level of mayor, at the level of Prime Minister, at the level of ministers, we managed to meet and agree and only then all kinds of bodies, civil servants appeared, finding tens of thousands of reasons for which what was decided and was also included in the governance programme, and is commonsensical, cannot be done or it takes 10-15-20 years,” he added.
Codrin Stefanescu: I’m pleased with Dragnea’s answer regarding his presence at SRI events
PSD Deputy Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu stated on Monday, at the end of the party’s Executive Committee (ExCom) meeting, that he is pleased with Liviu Dragnea’s answer regarding his presence at certain events organised by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).
“We discussed this inside and I’m telling you I’m pleased with the answer I received. At any rate, he will go before the Intelligence Oversight Committee. There he will say more important things. I believe we will have to publicly discuss also the way our party has been hunted, the way blacklists were made, the way we had within the party people who indeed took part in such reunions, and our former colleague Victor Ponta is mentioned increasingly often, and was mentioned during the ExCom [meeting] too,” Codrin Stefanescu said.
Before the ExCom meeting, Codrin Stefanescu had stated that Liviu Dragnea must explain within the party his presence at events organised by the SRI, and that former SRI Director George Maior “said almost nothing from what he knows” during last week’s hearings.
“I won’t personally ask him for explanations. I believe he owes giving these explanations within the party, explaining how many meetings of this type he had, why and in what context. Maybe he was simply obligated to take part in them. Maybe he enjoyed taking part in them. He must say these things within the party, before us. Then, probably, he must tell them publicly. At any rate, I understand he wants to go before the Intelligence Committee, where he has very many things to say, following Maior’s statements,” Codrin Stefanescu said.
Dragnea on presence before Intel Cttee: Unlike others, I won’t go there with half-truths or lies. I was never at Maior’s or Coldea’s birthday parties
PSD President Liviu Dragnea announced on Monday that he will go before the Intelligence Committee with everything he knows, not “with half-truths like George Maior, or with lies like others,” and in the end he expects “some things to occur.” “What I have to say, what I know, I’ll say it before the Intelligence Committee, I won’t go there with half-truths like George Maior, or with lies like others, I’ll say everything I know because I’ve seen that a fictionized history is taking shape. Nobody did anything, they were all good, and this system that almost everyone feels descended from somewhere in the sky,” Liviu Dragnea said on Monday before PSD’s National Executive Committee meeting.
Asked whether he met George Maior during the weekend, Dragnea answered negatively.
“I haven’t. I last talked with Maior early last year, at a hotel in Bucharest, we exchanged a few words. I haven’t had this honour of meeting him,” the PSD President added.
He said he will go before the Intelligence Committee and will say entirely new things.
“Have patience, because you’ll find out from me things you didn’t even imagine, but after I go there, because I want to do an institutional thing, not something for the gossip newspapers. I want some things to happen after I talk and after the activity of this committee concludes. We can’t continue to rely on gossip and [to see] nobody being held accountable, I disagree with this,” Dragnea added.
Asked whether he took part in parties organised by the SRI, Dragnea said: “I never took part in Maior’s or Coldea’s birthday parties. Too much talk about Securitate guys.”
Ruling coalition to conduct first assessment of Gov’t after PSD party congress
A first evaluation of the ministers’ activity will take place in the ruling coalition, after the Social Democratic Party’s Congress due March 10, the main ruling party’s national leader Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday.
Liviu Dragnea made this statement after the sitting of the PSD’s National Executive Committee.
Quizzed whether locum tenens were found to the 27 secretaries of state who are to be replaced, Dragnea said yes, adding that their number is bigger.
“They are more than 27,” said Dragnea.
As for the statements made by Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea, who has announced that she would resign from all public positions if the deadlines for her City Hall projects are not observed, Liviu Dragnea said he was confident that after the meetings between Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and the six Bucharest district mayors the shortcoming will be worked out.
“This discussion is not new, it is old, and yet we are both confident that after the meetings with Mrs. Dancila and the very relevant talks, these shortcomings the Bucharest City Hall and the district halls have faced, will be no more,” the PSD leader concluded.
Dragnea: I support Minister Toader; his report cannot be combated by someone of good faith
PSD President Liviu Dragnea said on Monday that he does not hesitate to support Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, and his report [on the DNA management] cannot be combated by someone of good faith.
“To avoid any doubts, I have read the report of Mr. Tudorel Toader, I have read it very carefully and I want to say that I support Minister Toader with no hesitation. I do not know about other criteria, but that report cannot be combated by someone of good faith. The fact the report can be interpreted in many ways, there are reasons related to political opportunities, that is another issue,” Dragnea said at the end of the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the PSD.
The PSD President says he wanted to make a statement about the minister of justice because there was “an avalanche of criticism against him”. “There has been today an unofficial piece of news that the minister of justice would be revoked today at the National Executive Committee’s meeting or at the party conference. I wanted to make this public statement to cast away any doubt as to my position on Mr. Toader, his work and the overture he has made [the proposal for the dismissal of the chief prosecutor of DNA],” Dragnea said.