On Tuesday evening, Viorica Dancila announced the changes adopted during the party’s National Executive Committee (ExCom) meeting, with Paul Stanescu set to become Executive President of the PSD and Rodica Nassar Secretary General of the PSD, replacing Codrin Stefanescu. At the same time, the ExCom decided that the party must remain in Government.
“I would like to start with a decision taken in Bucharest. It’s important for us to understand where mistakes were made, to unite our forces in order to be able to move on. The ExCom has voted Gabriela Firea as acting president of PSD Bucharest, after Gabriel Mutu’s mandate ended. At the same time, she has been voted as Vice President of the PSD,” Viorica Dancila announced.
“Also during today’s ExCom meeting, we put to the vote the office of Executive President, and Paul Stanescu was unanimously voted, but also the office of PSD Secretary General, where Rodica Nassar was unanimously voted. We have put to the vote the option of staying in Government too. With a single exception, all colleagues considered that we must not mix the vote in the European Parliament elections with the vote for the Government, and we should keep the Government because otherwise we would disappoint those who voted for us in 2016,” Dancila added.
She also announced the Government changes that she will send to President Klaus Iohannis:
Deputy Premier – Titus Corlatean
Justice Minister – Ana Bischall
European Grants Minister – House lawmaker Roxana Minzatu
Romanian Diaspora Minister – Natalia Intotero
Dancila and Stanescu start eliminating Dragnea’s people from party’s leadership echelon
The elimination of Liviu Dragnea’s people from the leadership of the PSD started on Tuesday night, during the PSD’s Executive Committee meeting, and will continue in the upcoming period by having all those close to the former party boss eliminated from the Government offices too. However, the discussions that took place during PSD’s ExCom meeting were not calm as Marian Oprisan had promised. Oprisan had talked about “a transition made easily, statutorily.”
Codrin Stefanescu’s resignation from the office of Secretary General was obtained with difficulty by Viorica Dancila and the camp of party branch leaders who demand the party’s reformation. Gabriela Firea proposed that Stefanescu resign and Rodica Nassar – president of PSD District 2 – be appointed in his place. But Stefanescu refused to leave on his own, and had strong and vocal allies, Lia Olguta Vasilescu being his most aggressive supporter.
Paul Stanescu, PSD’s new number-two man, had the decisive say on the issue, imperatively asking Stefanescu to leave and to stop talking publicly on PSD’s behalf because he causes great damage to the party.
“Who sees you sees Dragnea!”, Paul Stanescu told Stefanescu. The latter asked that his dismissal be put to the vote, in the hope of winning. He lost and was dismissed. Lia Olguta Vasilescu also stepped down, no longer wanting to remain PSD Spokesperson, expecting to be dismissed unless she resigned.
“There is huge rivalry between Olguta Vasilescu and Viorica Dancila because on Sunday evening, after the elections, Liviu Dragnea asked the Premier to keep only her Government office and to allow Lia Olguta Vasilescu to be the party’s president. At the same time, according to PSD leadership sources, Dragnea had promised Vasilescu the office of European commissioner too, an office that officially he had promised to Rovana Plumb too,” Digi24.ro informs.
Paradoxically, House lawmaker Catalin Radulescu, criticised by Social Democrats to a higher extent than Codrin Stefanescu, avoided being excluded from the party, thanks to the fact that several party branch leaders asked that “no more heads should roll.”
Their fears were justified by the purge triggered by Viorica Dancila. Dancila officially announced that her former adviser Anca Alexandrescu was kicked out of the party and that she will also take a decision in what concerns Darius Valcov, the grey eminence behind the governing programme.
Nevertheless, a lengthy Government reshuffle planned by Viorica Dancila is up next, one that would see the removal of all people appointed by Dragnea in the Government. Interior Minister Carmen Dan is first on the blacklist. PSD Neamt President Ionel Arsene is not comfortable either, PSD’s new Executive President Paul Stanescu planning to make changes at the level of party branch presidents too, in order to replace those appointed by Dragnea,” Digi24.ro informs.
Viorica Dancila: Olguta Vasilescu will remain member of PSD leadership
Viorica Dancila has said she collaborates very well with Olguta Vasilescu and the latter will remain a member of the PSD leadership. She added that she does not understand the source of and reason behind the allegations that there are disagreements.
“We have a very good collaboration. Olguta was alongside us today. She expressed her point of view. We have no problem. Olguta Vasilescu will remain a member of the PSD leadership. I don’t know the source of this information that there are disagreements,” Viorica Dancila stated at the end of PSD’s ExCom meeting.
Prior to that, when asked about the messages that Liviu Dragnea allegedly sent to his party colleagues, in which he allegedly told them that he prefers Olguta Vasilescu at the helm of the PSD, the Premier replied: “You must ask the colleagues that received these messages. I have no way of knowing. President Dragnea did not tell me he would rather that Lia Olguta Vasilescu remain, and statutorily he couldn’t have because the Executive President takes over as party president.”
“Olguta Vasilescu is Vice President of the PSD. She is no longer party spokesperson,” Dancila said, pointing out that Olguta held that office only for the duration of the European Parliament elections campaign.
Prime Minister announces ministers’ activity will be assessed: I cannot replace those accomplishing
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Wednesday stated that each minister’s activity will be assessed, but that she cannot replqace, however, such members of her Cabinet who accomplished the governing programme.
“I will make an assessment of each minister’s activity. I cannot change, though, such ministers who have no clear blame. I cannot replace a minister who accomplished the governing programme. Yesterday I gave tasks to all ministers by field of activity and I asked them to return me a road map of how they achieve such tasks,” the Prime Minister said at the Parliament Palace, when asked if the Ministry of Interior will still be Carmen Dan.
She added that she did not discuss this at the party.
“We will discuss everything in the Executive Committee. In one day and a half I tried to gather all party members, to gather all the decision-making factors and we discussed the first things related to the good functioning of the party, the path we are going to follow, how we position ourselves in respect to the governing programme.We are also going to discuss everything at the National Standing Bureau meeting on Monday. We haven’t discussed about any of the ministers yet,” she said.
We want to open the doors wide and those who want to join us will always be welcome. Of course, Mircea Geoana too and other colleagues who want to join the PSD
Premier Viorica Dancila stated on Wednesday that the PSD “opens its doors wide” and welcomes all those who want to return to the party. “I want all people of good faith and, even though they left due to various reasons, their heart has remained alongside the Social Democrats,” Dancila stated.
She said that all those who want to return to the PSD are welcome.
“I haven’t talked with Mr Victor Ponta, so I have nothing to tell you. I’ve told you that we want to open the doors wide and those who want to join us will always be welcome. Of course, Mircea Geoana too and other colleagues who want to join the PSD. I want all people of good faith and, even though they left due to various reasons, their heart has remained alongside the Social Democrats,” the Premier stated.
Geoana after Dancila names him among those expected to return to PSD: I remain alongside my former colleagues, but my immediate plans do not include a return to active politics
Former PSD leader Mircea Geoana has stated, after Viorica Dancila named him among those expected to return to the PSD, that he remains alongside his former colleagues but his immediate plans do not include a return to active politics.
“My heart will always remain loyal to Social Democracy, to progressive ideas and to democratic European values. I understand and encourage the PSD’s need to overcome a difficult period which, not treated with courage and responsibility, has the potential to call into question the fate of this large Romanian party. I remain alongside my former colleagues, but my immediate plans do not include a return to active politics,” Geoana wrote on Facebook.
Serban Nicolae: Codrin Stefanescu is not leaving the party. He assumed the responsibility for the result
SocDem senator Serban Nicolae stated on Wednesday that Codrin Stefanescu will not leave the party, but he assumed the responsibility for the result of the EP elections and resigned as the PSD General Secretary, being replaced by Rodica Nassar.
“Codrin Stefanescu assumed the responsibility for the result and said he is ready to resign, and his resign was accepted. This is proved by the fact that Codrin Stefanescu remained, he is not leaving the party, he is not upset”, Serban Nicolae stated.
He said that there was no scandal inside PSD, at the discussions held on Tuesday.
“The decisions made by the majority are observed. There are things said according to each one’s opinion, but it doesn’t mean that if I disagree an opinion, that opinion is necessarily wrong. But there are unwanted situations to which we have to answer. There was no scandal or fight, despite the speculations. I saw messages, news from inside, according to which Lia Olguta Vasilescu was asked to resign, or she asked someone, I don’t know whom, Codrin Stefanescu, to resign, and so on. No. They made a review of their mandate at the end of the campaign, especially because Olguta Vasilescu was the spokesperson during the electoral campaign”, Serban Nicolae added.
The leader of the PSD senators’ group also said that none of the amendments made by the Parliament or by the Government in the last two years were made to protect Liviu Dragnea.
“And, since we are fair to each other, I would like you to notice two things: none of the amendments made by the Parliament or by the Government in the last two years protected Liviu Dragnea from the pending cases. So, the whole story was a big lie, a rough manipulation of some guys who have no common sense or responsibility, saying that we changed the laws in favor of certain people. On the other hand, no one could prove that a PSD member has made pressures on justice, that he indicated what cases should be made, what cases should be closed or how certain cases should be made. The independence of justice has been strictly respected by PSD. I’m not sure other people respected it, and I am not sure even at a lower extent that there weren’t influences from the secret services there, or from certain people representing the secret services”, Serban Nicolae concluded.