Premier Viorica Dancila stated on Monday evening, on TVR, that at one point she regretted accepting this office, because she was unable to build her own team, not taking a stand when she should have done so, and not having the courage to be blunter and name the things she was uncomfortable with.
Premier Viorica Dancila added that she rules out running in the presidential elections next autumn, but that she is running for the leadership of the PSD and believes she can better help the PSD presidential candidate from her position as Prime Minister. Regarding the PSD’s result in the European Parliament elections, Viorica Dancila says that the result was “bewildering” for the PSD representatives, since they were expecting a low score but not 22-23 per cent. She states that Liviu Dragnea, as party leader, was a very good organiser and knew where to lead the PSD, however “a lot of hatred has accumulated” now. “We saw so much accumulated hatred, more than we could have imagined. Maybe we cultivated it too, I don’t know, but we saw only hatred,” Dancila says.
I didn’t build my own team
Dancila has stated that now she has started to be herself and that until now she followed lines that were already drawn.
“I have started to be myself. I followed certain lines already drawn, certain messages I had to convey publicly. It was probably also the fear of not disappointing, of not letting down those who believed in me or those who hoped I will change things. I don’t know, maybe there were several elements that resulted in me not going out publicly a lot, to me being more reserved. Now I have realised that the Social Democratic Party was in a critical moment and maybe all the changes or all the moves in the following period relate to the way in which I will act in my capacity as acting president, to the way in which I will get involved, to the way in which I will interact with my party colleagues, to the way in which I will change the mode of action within the Social Democratic Party and, of course, all this in parallel with leading the Government and adopting the legislative acts that the citizens expect,” Dancila stated.
Asked why she could not be herself until now, Dancila said: “Because there were certain directions I had to follow, or a certain discourse I had to have, certain elements I had to outline. Many times, you know, if you don’t identify with what you are saying it seems you also lack any credibility and it seems you can’t even transmit across the screen.”
The Premier pointed out that it was her fault too, because she accepted certain things.
“The important thing is the present and the way we relate to the future. The past is in the past. To criticise someone, or maybe it was also my fault because I accepted certain things and I don’t want to blame only others. I too must take my share of the blame. The important thing is that I’m now very determined to get involved much more, because I realise that my involvement, the involvement of all those who are part of the Social Democratic Party, is very important. (…) There were several factors that contributed to that reserve, or maybe some mistakes. I wouldn’t want to keep referring to the past,” the Prime Minister explained.
Asked whether she regretted accepting to be Premier, Viorica Dancila said: “Honestly, yes. I regretted it at one point because I had the feeling that, in fact, I cannot coalesce around me the people I would have wanted. I didn’t build my own team. I regretted not taking a stand when I should have done so. I regretted that many times I wasn’t, I didn’t have the inspiration or maybe the courage to be blunter and name the things I wasn’t comfortable with. I regretted that maybe I should have gotten much more involved and should have tried to be more active within the party so that the activity of the Government wouldn’t be separated from party life.”
Dancila pointed out that when she accepted being Premier she did not think she will share the fate of Sorin Grindeanu and Mihai Tudose.
“I thought that, being a very balanced person and a person who always seeks consensus, and by seeking consensus I don’t want you to understand giving in when someone tells you to do something but finding the best solution and not making a scandal out of each and every thing, not going public. I believed the cooperation will be very good because we all wanted the Government to do well because that was lifting the party,” Dancila explained.
For us, the elections result was bewildering. Liviu Dragnea was a very good organiser, he had this inclination of knowing where to go. Unfortunately, a lot of hatred has accumulated now
Premier Viorica Dancila says that the result of the European Parliament elections was “bewildering” for PSD representatives, since they were expecting a low score but not as low as 22-23 per cent. She states that Liviu Dragnea, as party leader, was a very good organiser and knew where to lead the PSD, however “a lot of hatred has accumulated” now. “We saw so much accumulated hatred, more than we could have imagined. Maybe we cultivated it too, I don’t know, but we saw only hatred,” Dancila says.
“I believe several mistakes were made and we will run analyses to see where exactly we erred. Maybe Liviu Dragnea had his share of the blame too, but I believe there were also other things that we neglected, maybe we estranged ourselves from our 2016 voters. (…) I believe there were several things that caused this result, a very bad result, a result that we must take into account in order to be able to return to the percentage points we had. (…) Aside from the fact that we talked very much about the judiciary, aside from the fact that maybe Liviu Dragnea had his share of the blame too, I don’t know, maybe the fact that he estranged himself from the statutory bodies, maybe the fact that we should have adopted the decisions within a wider circle, not within a small circle,” Viorica Dancila stated on Monday evening on TVR.
She said she does not want to level accusations that she cannot prove but she believes the PSD has estranged itself from citizens too.
“Maybe the fact that we did not say what seemed unfair to us, and here all National Executive Committee leaders must take responsibility, we must take responsibility for certain mistakes we did, just as I must take responsibility, as Premier, for issuing Ordinance no.114 without a much ampler debate,” Dancila added.
She said that she defended that ordinance because it also contains good things.
Asked whether the moment the Government reshuffle was discussed was the lowest point in her relationship with Liviu Dragnea, Dancila said: “There were other things too.”
Likewise, asked when did she realise that the PSD disastrously lost the European Parliament elections, Dancila said: “When I saw the very high voter turnout, I discussed with colleagues in the field, I too went in the field, you saw I went to Transylvania, I went to Moldavia, I tried to have a schedule that would allow me to come into contact with the people, to take the pulse… and I felt that people nevertheless had many things to reproach. The moment the result was announced I thought – and I would do the same now – I must go at the party, because we must take responsibility for this. We lost, we won, but we must be at the party and show that regardless of the situation we must carry on.”
She said she did not know what Liviu Dragnea was set to announce on the evening of the elections.
“For us, the result was bewildering, we realised that it’s worse than we expected and the first thing that came to my mind was that we should see why we generated distrust, why were we censured, how can we address these things in a very short period and how can we regain the confidence of our voters. So, I’m telling you that we were expecting a lower score, but we weren’t expecting 22-23 per cent,” Dancila explained.
Dancila pointed out that leaving the Government was not an option considered at that moment, and Liviu Dragnea in fact told them not to leave the Government.
“Don’t you leave the Government, you have the obligation, taken before the people, to carry through the governance programme,” she said, referring to what Dragnea told them.
Dancila said that the news of Dragnea’s conviction was the second blow for the party, but the party had to regroup.
“From a political standpoint, Liviu Dragnea obtained an extraordinary score for the PSD in 2016. Liviu Dragnea was – and I’m using the past tense referring to his capacity as party leader – a very good organiser, as politician he always had this inclination of knowing where to go, knowing where to lead this party. Unfortunately, a lot of hatred has accumulated. We saw so much accumulated hatred, more than we could have imagined. Maybe we cultivated it too, I don’t know, but we saw only hatred. I went to Iasi, before the party rally in Iasi, and I tried to talk to the people there, but the people were hating, they were really hating. So, then I realised… I saw that those people were really hating a lot and no matter what we were to tell them… I was telling my Government colleagues that I shudder seeing so much hatred and the way they relate to the party leader, and that I believe this will impact the party as a whole,” Dancila added.