POLITICS

Dissidents Adrian Tutuianu and Marian Neacsu excluded from PSD. Paul Stanescu got away: I believe the party made a big mistake. Dragnea, ahead of CExN meeting: Unfortunately, it will be an unpleasant but necessary meeting. From Madrid, Firea resumes “offensive” against Dragnea: We can no longer continue under the terror of exclusions. PSD is led by toxic character

Social Democratic Party’s  (PSD)  Executive Committee  (CEx) decided on Monday, in a 53-9 vote, to exclude Adrian Tutuianu and Marian Neacsu, the latter announcing that he will not fight against the party but will challenge the decision.

“Following this vote we are obviously excluded. We will go, we will analyse, we will go at the party branches. Of course, we will file challenges, because it’s a senseless public execution. It’s very interesting how I managed to go from one extreme to the other. It’s an absolute lie. Both in the letter and every time we discussed with our colleague, we never had the intention to vote for the Opposition. We were and will remain the party’s loyal soldiers,” Marian Neacsu stated after the Executive Committee meeting.

“Why the decision was taken was not explained to us. There were some mindboggling reasons, senseless, so it’s hard for me to say. Yes, it’s an influential party office, won at the party conference. If the vote of 4,000 colleagues at the party conference did not matter, that’s that,” Neacsu said.

Marian Neacsu was PSD Secretary General, an office in which he was appointed following the party conference in March 2018, while Adrian Tutuianu was vice president of the party.

Adrian Tutuianu stated that the decision adopted on Monday shows that different opinions are censured within the party.

At the same time, Tutuianu said: “After 20 years, there are some colleagues who say I improperly served the interests of this party,” adding that he will talk with the members of the Dambovita branch.

“It’s a difficult moment I was expecting. I believe it’s a major mistake and today’s decision does nothing but show that different opinions are censured within the PSD. I expressed myself within the party. I didn’t see anyone condemning the fact that a man was recorded within the PSD by people interested in spoiling things in a party branch. I never intended to hide the things that are not working. I believe the party is heading in the wrong direction. Time will show whether we were right or those who voted for our exclusion today were right. There are statutory means, the Ethics Commission, the Party Congress, and there are legal means. I will consult my PSD Dambovita colleagues and we will decide what we have to do next. I want two things to be clear. To talk about a party’s problems does not mean being against the party. Neither Mr Neacsu nor I supported actions against the party,” Tutuianu said.

 

Stanescu after exclusions: I believe the party has made the biggest mistake today

 

Deputy Premier Paul Stanescu stated on Monday, after the Executive Committee meeting in which it was decided to exclude Marian Neacsu and Adrian Tutuianu, that this is the biggest mistake that the party has made, and he does not fear being sanctioned next.

“I believe the party has made a big mistake today, maybe the biggest mistake. Today I really am by their side and I believe it’s a mistake. I have no problem with that (being replaced in the Government – editor’s note),” Paul Stanescu stated.

 

Dragnea, ahead of CExN meeting: Unfortunately, it will be an unpleasant but necessary meeting

 

PSD Chairmant Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday, ahead of the party’s Executive Committee meeting, that the meeting will unfortunately be unpleasant, but necessary, and suggested that there will be several proposals to exclude party members.

“Unfortunately, it will be an unpleasant but necessary meeting,” Dragnea said. Asked whether he will table proposals to exclude party members, he said: “We’ll propose several, to put an end to this whole period in which some colleagues plotted, negotiated, the ousting of the PSD Government.”

 

PSD’s Dragnea shows up to CExN reunion with two suitcases, one containing donuts.  “Documents” brought by PSD leader concern Klaus Iohannis

 

PSD President Liviu Dragnea brought two suitcases to PSD’s Executive Committee meeting on Monday, following Rise Project’s announcement that it is in possession of Tel Drum documents found in a suitcase.

“I’m a little bit late because I received two suitcases. The first suitcase is full of fudge from Rise Project. It’s fresh. We’ll eat it here. The second suitcase… as you know I’m from Teleorman [County], and, as any person from Teleorman, I found in my courtyard a suitcase of documents that are yet to reach the DNA, so let’s see what’s in it. Look, dossier no.1 – the procurement of the Raiffeisen dossier. Restitutions to the German Forum of the German ethnic group. Three – the promotion of prosecutors who dismissed his cases. Four – statements about money collected as rent. Five –renting the house from the German Forum. Six – the pressuring of a Constitutional Court judge. And there are also some [USB] sticks,” Liviu Dragnea stated on his arrival.

The dossiers that Liviu Dragnea brought in suitcases to the PSD’s ExCom meeting on Monday contain several documents, including the ordinance to dismiss a case concerning Klaus Iohannis, signed by prosecutor Cristian Lazar, as well as reports on the dismissed criminal cases in which the President was involved.

Dossier no.03 – Promotion of prosecutors who dismissed his cases – contains President Klaus Iohannis’s decrees appointing in office prosecutors Augustin and Cristian Lazar.

Document no.1: Presidential decree no.989/15 December 2015, appointing prosecutor Aurel Cristian Lazar – who dismissed criminal dossier no.664/P/2013 which concerned President Klaus Iohannis – as deputy chief prosecutor of the Criminal Prosecution and Criminology Section of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ).

One of the dossiers also contains the ordinance to dismiss the case concerning Klaus Iohannis, signed by prosecutor Cristian Lazar, an ordinance that, according to the document, is allegedly closely connected with the decision to appoint him in office.

“Thus, President Iohannis used his public office to obtain an undue benefit, consisting of the dismissal of the criminal case in which he was being probed,” reads one of the documents.

Another document concerns the presidential decree issued on 28 April 2016, appointing Augustin Lazar – “who accepted the dismissal of 9 criminal cases at the PICCJ, concerning President Klaus Iohannis” – as Prosecutor General.

The dossiers that Dragnea brought in suitcases also include an Alba Iulia Court of Appeals report pointing out that nine cases concerning Klaus Iohannis were dismissed.

“Augustin Lazar could have invalidated the dismissal solutions. He did not do so in any of the 9 dossiers, which justifies President Klaus Iohannis’s non-material interest in using his office to promote Augustin Lazar as Prosecutor General,” one of the documents reads.

Dossier no.06 – Pressuring of a Constitutional Court judge – contains the statement made by CCR Judge Petre Lazaroiu, the one allegedly pressured.

“Yesterday, June 14, at 2.30 – 3 p.m., I had a meeting with Ms Simina Tanasescu, presidential aide on legal issues, at her request, not mine. Among other things, she told me she has a disagreeable mission and, when I arrived in her office, she showed me a piece of paper that had circulated a while before, a request from the VeDem Just Foundation, asking CCR President Valer Dorneanu no less than to put my mandate up for discussion. I told her it’s an aberration, but she said the President is being asked to issue a decree dismissing me from office. I told her the President does not have this prerogative because the dismissal is made only by the CCR plenum. She answered: ‘Yes, that is so, but if the President does not issue this decree the [VeDem Just] association will sue us; and if he does, you will sue us.’ I said: of course, I would sue you. I don’t know whether the madam professor spoke on her own behalf or on behalf of the President but, considering the way I was informed, the way the discussion took place, I believe the intention is the issuance of a decree to dismiss me, albeit devoid of juridical value. I repeat, the President does not have the legal possibility to issue this decree. The problem would not be so much mine as it would be the CCR’s. If such a decree is issued and I challenge it, of course, until courts rule the President can say: I won’t dismiss Ms Kovesi, I first have to clarify what’s going on with Lazaroiu’s mandate. The text that allowed me to be appointed for a full mandate is in force. The main idea is that creating pressure is badly wanted,” reads Lazaroiu’s statement included in the dossier that Dragnea brought.

 

Rumoured scenario ahead of ExCom meeting: Sanctioning of dissidents Tutuianu, Neacsu, Mocioalca and Pandea

 

In a talk with Liviu Dragnea, some of the PSD’s county branch leaders have expressed themselves in favour of having sanctions enforced against PSD Vice President Adrian Tutuianu and PSD Secretary Marian Neacsu during Monday’s National Executive Committee meeting, sanctions that could go as far as exclusion, party sources have told MEDIAFAX. Opinions differed among PSD’s county branch leaders ahead of Monday’s NatExCom meeting: some publicly invoked the possibility of having the PSD Vice President excluded, while others called for calm.

On Sunday evening, PSD President Liviu Dragnea talked with some of the PSD’s county branch leaders, at the Palace of Parliament, about the agenda of Monday’s National Executive Committee meeting. According to the aforementioned sources, PSD President Liviu Dragnea asked for a “preparatory meeting” in limited format.

Likewise, having PSD Calarasi President Ciprian Pandea and PSD Caras-Severin President Ion Mocioalca sanctioned during the NatExCom meeting was also proposed during the talks that Dragnea had with some of the PSD’s county branch leaders, party sources told MEDIAFAX on Sunday.

In the case of Tutuianu and Neacsu, those taking part in the talks at the Palace of Parliament proposed that they be excluded from the party. In the case of Pandea and Mocioalca, the proposals were that they be replaced at the helm of the county branches they lead but should remain party members, the sources added.

PSD Deputy Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu stated on Saturday, for MEDIAFAX, that the leaders who sent letters “of #resist origin” and said that they are members of a party “of monkeys,” no longer represent “PSD’s unitary position.”

Likewise, House Deputy Speaker Florin Iordache (PSD) considers that it would be better for the party “to part ways” with those members who do not respect the vote of the majority, and he named Adrian Tutuianu, saying he was angered by the fact that the party’s vice president criticised his colleagues.

PSD Vice President Gabriel Zetea stated on Thursday, for MEDIAFAX, that some county branch presidents are “vehemently” demanding that Tutuianu be excluded from the party for making “inappropriate statements.”

On the other hand, PSD Vaslui President Dumitru Buzatu considers that the party must try to keep the leaders who registered good electoral results. In a statement for MEDIAFAX, the county branch leader stated on Saturday that he disapproves of the “liquidation” of critical voices, and that PSD Vice President Adrian Tutuianu must be accepted even though “he talks too much.”

 

Vasilescu It’s very likely to have exclusions. We can’t be blackmailed from within our own party

 

Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu states that it is “very likely” for exclusions to be carried out after the PSD’s National Executive Committee meeting on Monday. “We can’t be blackmailed from within our own party by colleagues who are upset that they lost an office…,” she added.

Asked, on Antena3, whether there will be two Executive Committee meetings, one political and one for the Government reshuffle, Lia Olguta Vasilescu answered affirmatively, confirming that the political meeting will take place on Monday.

Likewise, asked whether there will be exclusions, she said: “It’s very likely.”

Asked whether there are party members with whom the PSD President can no longer collaborate, Vasilescu said that that is not what this is about.

“It’s not about the PSD President, whether he still collaborates well, it’s about what is happening within the Parliament of Romania. Namely we cannot be blackmailed from within our own party, by colleagues who are upset that they lost an office… Don’t ask me now to give you… I’m saving for tomorrow what I want to say, for the party meeting, that’s what I find normal and logical, namely there wouldn’t be any kind of problem if these discussions were taking place within the party and if we were reaching a solution agreed by the majority and that solution agreed by the majority were to be applied,” Vasilescu stated.

Asked whether PSD members will be excluded, but members who are not parliamentarians, so as not to break the parliamentary majority, Vasilescu said: “I don’t know if it’s important whether they are parliamentarians or not, after all, of course any vote in Parliament is very important, but the moment they break your majority and do nothing but push others to leave the party too, or to vote against the decisions adopted within the party by the majority, then I don’t believe we should have any kind of hesitation from this standpoint, even more so since, based on the talks I’ve personally had with other parliamentarians, they will turn toward the PSD in the upcoming period, several parliamentarians,” Vasilescu stated.

 

Statements ahead of ExCom meeting. Dragnea: Unfortunately, it will be an unpleasant but necessary meeting

 

PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday, ahead of the party’s Executive Committee meeting, that the meeting will unfortunately be unpleasant, but necessary, and suggested that there will be several proposals to exclude party members.

“Unfortunately, it will be an unpleasant but necessary meeting,” Dragnea said. Asked whether he will table proposals to exclude party members, he said: “We’ll propose several, to put an end to this whole period in which some colleagues plotted, negotiated, the ousting of the PSD Government.”

 

PSD Vaslui leader: I won’t vote in favour of any exclusion

 

PSD Vaslui leader Dumitru Buzatu stated on Monday, ahead of the ExCom meeting, that he will not vote in favour of any exclusions from the party. Asked about the “suitcase episode,” Buzatu said he does not know what it is about.

“I won’t vote for any exclusion,” Buzatu said.

Asked for his comment on the fact that others want to exclude Adrian Tutuianu, for example, the leader of PSD Vaslui said: “It seems to be some of us have nothing better to do.”

Asked for his opinion on the “suitcase episode,” Dumitru Buzatu said: “Do you have a suitcase or something? I don’t know what it’s about.”

 

Robert Negoita: It’s wrong to talk about exclusions, I don’t believe we’re in the position to do something like this

 

Bucharest District 3 Mayor Robert Negoita (PSD) says that exclusion from the party should not be used as a form of revenge, adding that it is wrong to talk about this because, even though nobody is perfect, they are all colleagues. Asked whether he continues to believe Liviu Dragnea should take a step back, Negoita declared himself consistent: “I speak my mind.”

“There is talk about exclusions in a mistaken way because I don’t believe we’re in the position to do this. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes from time to time, but we must all be colleagues and only if we have grave infringements… otherwise… I don’t know, I too have heard all sorts of things,” Robert Negoita stated at the Palace of Parliament on Monday, ahead of PSD’s NatExCom meeting.

Asked how he would vote if the exclusion of Adrian Tutuianu, for instance, were to be proposed, the District 3 Mayor initially said he would vote against it, then backtracked and said he would wait for the arguments.

“Here we’re not talking about those close to Liviu Dragnea, we are nevertheless talking about normal behaviour. My reaction will be to vote against, obviously. Or let’s see what the arguments are. I won’t start off from the premise that there must be a way of telling colleagues that they are making repeated mistakes. I don’t believe exclusions should be used as revenge. It’s a matter of option,” Negoita said.

He talked about normality when journalists asked him whether he will show solidarity with those who will, in the end, be excluded from the party, reiterating that normality should be promoted.

“I’m ready to have normal behaviour. Let’s promote normality. Namely if I realise that non-principled things are being promoted, I’ll behave accordingly. (…) I’ll distance myself in case the issue of excluding a colleague is raised today,” the Mayor of Bucharest’s District 3 explained.

Likewise, asked whether he continues to believe Liviu Dragnea should take a step back, Robert Negoita declared himself consisted.

“If this topic is brought up, you should know I’m a very consistent man. I speak my mind,” the District 3 Mayor emphasised.

 

Adrian Tutuianu: I won’t be leaving anywhere, not for another party, nor the PSD, as long as I have the support of my colleagues in Dambovita and of the signatories of the letter

 

House lawmaker Adrian Tutuianu, one of Liviu Dragnea’s detractors, says that he continues to enjoy the support of his PSD colleagues and will not leave the party, nor join a different party, as long as he is backed by the party branch whose member he is, namely PSD Dambovita. Tutuianu claims that within the PSD there is “a dispute” that must be solved “via a democratic response.”

Adrian Tutuianu stated on Monday, ahead of PSD’s Executive Committee meeting, that he does not know whether there is a proposal to exclude him from the party. Asked whether he will be excluded, he said he enjoys his colleagues’ support and remains a member of the PSD.

“I’ve seen that there are colleagues who are more inflamed, I’ve seen that others are calling for calm. I want this to be very clear: I’m not leaving anywhere, not for another party, nor the Social Democratic Party, as long as I have the support of my colleagues from the Dambovita branch and of the colleagues who are the signatories of the letter,” Tutuianu said.

Asked what his reaction will be if one of the Social Democrats considered “putschists” is sanctioned during the Executive Committee meeting, Adrian Tutuianu pointed out that he and his colleagues who dispute Dragnea are not putschists.

“Now, let’s look in the dictionary. Putschists – I see this term keeps being used – means something else: some who take over the leadership of a state by armed force. We have no armed force behind us, we don’t want to take over the leadership of the state. We are in an internal dispute within the party, which must have an adequate response, and I hope it would be a democratic response, not one that would disregard the interests of the party,” Adrian Tutuianu added.

 

Reactions after NatExCom

 

From Madrid, Firea resumes “offensive” against Dragnea: We can no longer continue under the terror of exclusions. PSD is led by toxic character

 

Present in Madrid on Monday, PSD Vice President Gabriela Firea stated, while the party’s National Executive Committee was ongoing, that the Social Democrats can no longer continue “under terror,” and that the party is led by a “toxic” character.

“We can no longer continue like this, under the terror of exclusions and dissolutions. Fear can maintain a status-quo, for a while, but it certainly is not a solution for progress and reconstruction. In general, excluding those who want to keep the word they gave to Romanians is a profoundly undemocratic act. In our case, exclusions do not solve a problem, like some harbour the illusion, they make it worse. It is not only about the image of the party or the ego of certain leaders, but about the weakening of one’s own governance. Those proposed for exclusion today were among the most active colleagues, among those who brought excellent results for the party. They had critical positions, but they did nothing to sabotage the governance; on the contrary, they voted in favour of all the projects and they fought, sometimes heroically, against our adversaries,” PSD Vice President Gabriela Firea stated on Monday via a press release remitted to MEDIAFAX.

Firea says that the PSD is led by a man with “bizarre outbursts” that are “far from those of a statesman,” and blames herself for endorsing “the existence of this toxic character.”

“The true challenge for the PSD is the governance, which must generate well-being for Romanians and prestige for Romania once it takes over the rotational presidency of the Council of the EU. We can no longer afford to waste our resources and credibility in unfair, unequitable, manipulated internal disputes, considering we are at any rate attacked, as a party, from all quarters. Just as we can no longer accept the party being captured by a group that acts based on the principle ‘who isn’t with us is against us’ and whose agenda is gradually moving away from the agenda of the citizens. PSD is led at this moment by a man concerned with his own political, legal and economic situation, a man whose bizarre outbursts – far from being the outbursts of a statesman – denote desperation and bitterness. I know, I am guilty, alongside many other colleagues, for endorsing the existence of this character that has become toxic for the country, and for helping him consolidate his position, from which he now uses power in a discretionary manner. Had this concerned solely my disappointment, maybe I would have remained silent. But it concerns the Bucharesters I represent, who are affected by Liviu Dragnea’s actions, inimical to Bucharesters and to many, many other Romanians from all over the country,” the PSD Vice President says.

Bucharest Mayor added she assumes any political consequences for the statements she makes, and even if she will no longer be a PSD member, she will continue to be a left-oriented person.

“My critical positions, which are based on arguments, against the party’s leadership, started when I realized that the passivity or even the hindrance coming from some people in the Government, who are loyal to Liviu Dragnea, endanger the local governance program we presented to the voters. In my opinion, this is inacceptable, and if there will be political consequences, I assume them. Even if Mr. Dragnea will dismiss me from any position, as if it is his personal party, I will continue to be a simple PSD member. If Liviu Dragnea doesn’t accept me as a simple member, too, I will continue to be a left-oriented person, but belonging to a true, legitimate left, which is solidary to the people’s needs, not to his groups of interests. We are in a critical moment for the party and for the country, and many people have the feeling that we are going to the abyss. If there are people who notice this danger and take action, they are not putschists, but reformers. And reforms, even when they take the shape of utopias, cannot be treated with the fist in the mouth. I would also remind to my colleagues an old Chinese proverb: the avenger must dig two graves from the beginning!”, she concluded.

 

 

 

 

 

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