Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea made unprecedented revelations. He claimed on Tuesday evening, at a TV show, that Victor Ponta came with the name of the prosecutors in his pocket, dictated by George Maior, who negotiated them previously also with Traian Basescu.
“It was 2013, in April, if I’m not wrong. Usually, coalitions were meeting in the first office, in Crin Antonescu’s office, at the Senate. On Monday, at 6.00-7.00 PM, we were sitting at the long table, I was sitting on Victor’s right, Gabi Oprea was on his left, Crin was sitting in front of him, and at some point, Victor took a paper out of his pocket, a pretty crumpled paper, on which there were written three names: Bica, Kovesi and Nitu. He told me to talk to Mrs. Pivniceru and he said he will explain this to me in the office at the Development Ministry. He said: this was negotiated, Bica has to be at DIICOT, Kovesi at DNA and Nitu at the General Prosecutor’s Office. I told him we have a procedure, Mrs. Pivniceru was traveling across the country to talk to the prosecutors, urging them to come and file their candidacy. I asked Victor why do we have to do this, since we have a procedure. He said that this is what George Maior negotiated with Basescu, I think he also mentioned Mrs. Udrea. I asked him if he talked to Crin, too, but he didn’t agree with this. I called Mrs. Pivniceru at my office, and when I showed the paper to her, she said she will not sign such a thing and she said she’ll resign. She told this to Crin, too, and she resigned. This is the brief story about the appointment of the prosecutors. George Maior provided the names, Ponta wrote them on a paper” Liviu Dragnea stated for Antena 3.
Liviu Dragnea said that at the Committee for the SRI Control he will say even more serious things than the ones that have been publicly revealed.
“This is the kind of things that I want to tell at the Committee. I don’t want you to think that I’m only saying (…) I’ll say much more serious things at the Committee” Liviu Dragnea stated.
In 2015, Gabriel Oprea told me he spoke with “the state of law”, who said to him that Zgonea must be the number 1 in PSD
Liviu Dragnea also stated on Wednesday evening that before the elections of 2015 inside of PSD, when he ran for the interim Chairman of the party, Gabriel Oprea told him “he spoke with the state of law”, who said to him that Valeriu Zgonea must be number one inside the party, and he must be number two. Later, Oprea called him at a restaurant, telling him that he spoke with the state of law, which agreed that he will lead PSD. Liviu Dragnea claimed that Oprea told him that the one with whom he spoke was Florian Coldea.
Former minister Gabriel Oprea wrote on Facebook last week that there have been many moments in which the fact that he asked for his support was very useful to Liviu Dragnea, a support that “was decisive for his political and even personal destiny”. Oprea gave the example of the year 2004, when he was the Administration Minister and Dragnea asked him to help him become the head of the chairmen of the PSD County Councils, and the year 2015, when he asked him to help him become the PSD Chairman.
“Mr. Oprea said he helped me become the interim Chairman of the party in 2015. I am sorry he approached this topic. I have to say what happened then (…) I resigned from my position, it was on Monday afternoon; the Executive Committee in which the CEx members had to elect the interim Chairman, was scheduled to take place two days later, on Wednesday. Mr. Oprea told me: ‘I understood from the state of law that Zgonea must be number one at the party, and you must be number two, me and you will rule and Zgonea will be like this’. I told him: ‘Gabi, I don’t know what you understood, but I will run on Wednesday, and I believe I will be elected as interim Chairman of PSD’. ‘Well, it can’t be possible, I didn’t understand this’. And he took the phone and called the state of law. I don’t know what was saying the one with whom he was speaking, but he told ‘Liviu doesn’t know anything from what you told me, I mean he will run, and he says he will win. I’m coming with him to you’. I said: ‘wait a minute, I’m not going anywhere, you told me you want to talk to me, we talked, I told you I will run, I believe I’ll win, I don’t know what you talked and to whom you talked’. He told me he talked with Coldea by the phone” Liviu Dragnea stated las week, as a reply to Oprea’s post.
He said that he was with a few friends in the evening, and he was insistently called by the phone by Gabriel Oprea, in order to meet him, so he went to a restaurant in Amzei Square. “Mr. Oprea and Mr. Zgonea were in the separate room. Marian Oprisan came later. He told me he talked with the state of law and ‘they accept you to be the interim Chairman and Zgonea to be number two’. I told him: ‘I don’t know what you talked and with whom, I don’t want to discuss on this anymore. The party will decide on Wednesday’. This was the discussion about this case publicly revealed by Mr. Oprea” Liviu Dragnea also said.
“I have no idea if Mr. Coldea was at the end of the line. This is what Mr. Oprea told me. I don’t think he is lying, he is an honorable officer” the PSD Chairman added.
Reactions to Dragnea’s revelations:
Victor Ponta: Dragnea was desperate to be there, to find out things
Victor Ponta quickly replied to Liviu Dragnea’s revelations according to which Laura Codruta Kovesi’s appointment to DNA was asked by George Maior.
“Dragnea doesn’t want people to find out how he fights against the parallel state. When he saw me entering my car, he was coming to me and asking: ‘Are you going to see the boys?’ And I was telling him: ‘What do you have to do with that, Liviu?’ I couldn’t get rid of him. He was desperate to be there, to be present, to find out things. Dragnea was at my home, at Cornu, if I wasn’t inviting him, he would have been able to jump over the fence. Crin Antonescu was there, Daniel Constantin was there, my father-in-law was there, 10 people were there. Dragnea lies so much and so bad that I don’t think Florian Coldea is advising him. Dragnea wanted to get protection from SRI. The Government was decided at my father-in-law’s home, and he was there. He lies so much he can’t breathe. He didn’t know how to get under George Maior’s skin. He brought gifts to him, everything he thought that George Maior wants. It seems to me incredible that he is not good now, since he was a servant for 4 years. He was afraid not to show pictures with him cutting the rind and giving it to Kovesi. I don’t show pictures, we’re not Belina thieves. Maior and Coldea were at Dragnea’s home with me. He was begging us. ‘Come on, bring George and Florin, ‘cause I’ve got some fish!’ He was a Teleorman servant. Maior told me not to take him with me. ‘I can’t stand him anymore. Don’t bring him with you again!’ Maior said to me. I don’t like to wash my linen in public, but I will not refrain to say the truth about Dragnea. If Ghita will show pictures, it’s his business, I don’t do such a thing. Mr. Dragnea was running with the rind to Kovesi, she was embarrassed, he was running like a waiter. Everybody was embarrassed” Victor Ponta stated for B1 TV.
Crin Antonescu: When first Ponta Gov’t was formed, Maior was not even invoked. Dragnea should have been the Interior Minister but Ponta wanted Ioan Rus
Former PNL President Crin Antonescu stated in a phone interview with B1TV that George Maior’s name was not even invoked back when the first Ponta Government was formed. He pointed out that the longest discussion concerned the Interior Ministry, at whose helm Liviu Dragnea should have been appointed but Victor Ponta wanted Ioan Rus to be the Interior Minister instead.
“Parts of the things that the two (Liviu Dragnea and Victor Ponta – editor’s note) have declared are true, in the sense that I can confirm them. I don’t know about the rest. I have no knowledge about things I didn’t witness. I don’t know who is telling the truth and who is lying, probably they’re both telling the truth,” Antonescu pointed out.
He reminded that this concerns the first Ponta Government, the one formed after the Mihai Razvan Ungureanu Cabinet was ousted via a no-confidence motion, so before the USL won the elections.
“It’s very true it was a Government formed politically, it was an alliance based on parity. At least half of it was the PNL’s business, and nobody got involved in the appointments in any way, I took the decision as [party] president, after consulting the party within its statutory bodies. And indeed, the discussion and moment recounted consisted of a lengthy debate – with the participants and in the location that both Mr Dragnea and Mr Ponta have indicated – centring on the Interior Ministry,” Crin Antonescu stated.
The former Liberal leader pointed out that Liviu Dragnea wanted the position, but Ioan Rus was eventually appointed in office.
“We had agreed in principle that the Interior Ministry should go to the PSD, and the entire discussion, which lasted several hours, a four-way discussion – Victor Ponta and Liviu Dragnea representing PSD; Eduard Hellvig, PNL secretary general at the time, my main political collaborator, and I –, centred on who should hold this ministry. Somehow tacitly, it was known that Liviu Dragnea will be the holder of the office. The moment we met to discuss the Government, Victor Ponta came up with a different option. I don’t know whom he consulted, if he did so, and in what way. I can, of course, form hypotheses, but he came there and assumed the option of staking on Ioan Rus. The discussion was long, because, I have to say it, I didn’t agree with the Ioan Rus option, and the discussion was long, and it ended with Ponta saying that that was the PSD’s position and it was his and the PSD’s decision. And that was that,” Crin Antonescu pointed out.
He pointed out that George Maior was not mentioned.
“Of course, piecing things together now, listening to other statements too, what Liviu Dragnea is saying is plausible,” the former PNL President added.
Daniel Constantin: Ponta is the “enemy” Dragnea uses to make himself credible
Former Conservative Party (PC) President Daniel Constantin stated on Wednesday that Victor Ponta is the “enemy” with which PSD President Liviu Dragnea is trying “to make himself credible,” the only ampler discussion that took place when the first Ponta Government was formed concerning Dragnea’s request to be appointed Interior Minister.
“Before the discussion we had at Cornu, on a Sunday if I recall, I hadn’t seen any list of ministers. There were several persons there – Mr Ponta, Mr Crin Antonescu, Mr Eduard Hellvig, Mr Dragnea and me. Each having political capacities and it was normal for us to be there to discuss the forming of the Government. It’s true that the day before, when we went to Brasov, Mr Ponta presented us the overall [Government] structure. There was no mention of any name, the names were discussed that Sunday, and not even then in detail, because it was the task of each party leader to go and obtain the vote, to have this discussion within the party whose member he was. It was a very long discussion, but in general lines it was resolved in half an hour in what concerns the portfolios allocated to the PNL, PC and PSD. This was the longest discussions during that period,” former PC President Daniel Constantin stated.
He pointed out that neither he nor Crin Antonescu intervened in that discussion.
“Mr Ponta disagreed with appointing Mr Liviu Dragnea as Interior Minister. There were arguments they discussed both separately and along with us,” Constantin added.
He said the involvement of the SRI or of George Maior in the appointing of ministers was not discussed in any way.
“Under no circumstances. Back then there was no discussion, SRI or George Maior were not mentioned during our road to Brasov, the day before, when Mr Dragnea was not present, nor on that day. There was no list, there were things that Victor Ponta presented, there was an ACD-PSD parity that was put on the table. The Interior Minister’s portfolio was allocated to PSD, and after that of course the discussions started. Mr Liviu Dragnea was saying that that position was his due, Mr Ponta disagreed, so there were contradictory discussions on that,” Daniel Constantin pointed out.
In his view, the situation generated by Liviu Dragnea’s statements must be seen in “a political key.”
“I believe you must look at everything that happens in a political key. There is no adversary and no topic, there are political leaders – I won’t name them – who are trying to make themselves credible, to build a profile for themselves by relating to someone. During that time, the “enemy” or political adversary was Traian Basescu, and it was a topic to get rid of what the PDL and Traian Basescu meant. Now it’s not a topic, Mr Klaus Iohannis refuses, maybe justifiably, to enter this debate with the current political leaders. So an attempt is being made to create an adversary and probably to link Mr Ponta with this adversary that, I saw last evening, Mr Dragnea did not define, because he doesn’t know how to define it. (…) This damaging tendency on the part of politicians to take decisions separately, for close groups to form, existed back then just as it exists now. Back then Mr Dragnea somehow tried to secure the relationship with Mr Ponta, for them to take decisions only jointly, and so forth,” the former PC President added.